There comes a time in the life of all things- clothes, cars, refrigerators and yes, software, when you have to make a decision to maintain, upgrade or replace. The considerations for many of the things we buy are the samefor applications software.
First, let's get some vocabulary out of the way.
TechnicalUpgradeor LikeforLike Upgrade: A method to upgrade that does not add new features or functions. An easier way to get on the current release.
Re-implementation: Reinstallation and reconfiguration of applications. When a significant amount of functional, technical or environmental changes are needed, you may decide toreimplement your applications.
Migration:Moving data and/or configurations to a new instance is referred to as migration.
Adjacent Products: Additional modules that can be added to the overall solution to enable new capabilities. The integration could be out-of-the-box or custom built depending on the module
Co-existence Solutions:Implementation of on-premisewith cloud or other applications modules in an integrated solution
CEMLI: (pronounced “kemlee”) Conversions, Extensions, Modifications, Localizations, and Integration. See also “RICE”.
RICE: Term sometimes used in lieu of CEMLI. It refers to Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, and Extensions/Enhancements.
Now let's look at the considerations for each potential upgrade variety:
Maintain (do not upgrade)
Lowest risk potentially. Some risks of not making a decision need to be taken into account, e.g. lack of support from your software vendor
Does not necessarily address ongoing data or process issues
Ongoing lower budget
When to consider:
Vendor support and upgrades are readily available
No budget for upgrading
Extreme risk aversion
No major issues with functionality or features
Current system is in accord with IT direction i.e. cloud vs. on-premise
Technical Upgrade (like for like)
Medium risk, medium cost – rewards deferred
Easiest but a lot of CEMLI's or RICE may present some retrofit difficulties
Utilizes the existing instances
When to consider:
Get into the latest support band at least cost
No issues with existing process of applications
No need for new instances or sets of books or other environmental changes
Upgrade features are “nice to have” vs. “must have”
Re-Implementation (ground up)
Higher degree of difficulty
Fixes issues/enhance processes
Can be a hybrid model – partial technical upgrade with selected new features implemented
When to consider:
Fix issues such as compatibility mismatches
Much of the new functionality is needed
Supports organizational change (acquisitions/mergers/restructuring)
Usually the decision to upgrade or re- implement is driven by a number of factors not least of which is a winding down of support and enhancements for old versions of applications. It is important to evaluate your business's needs, assess your tolerance for risk and balance out the budget and benefits when making a decision.
Do not hold out for new versions of applications unless you KNOW that the next version will have the features and functions you need.
Waiting for the perfect version is time-consuming and can be self-perpetuating. Eventually, as with all things, you have to settle on a version even knowing that the next version will be better. Don't get caught in the cycle of seeking perfection at the cost of immediate improvements. Cloud products make this aspect of the decision a little easier since the upgrades will be pushed out to you over time once you are “in the cloud”.
About RJT Solution Beacon: RJT Solution Beacon (RJTSB) is an Oracle Applications and NetSuite technology implementer headquartered in El Segundo, California with offices throughout the United States and around the world.
RJTSB has numerous successful Oracle applications projects for enterprises of all sizes. RJTSB specializes in application implementation, process improvement, application support, help desk services and Oracle Cloud applications. RJTSB was founded in 2003 by Rita and Amarr Shokeen as a premier provider of Oracle family solutions. RJT Solution Beacon is part of the RJT companies including RJT Compuquest also headquartered in El Segundo. Further information about RJT Solution Beacon and RJT Compuquest can be found at rjtsolutionbeacon.com and rjtcompuquest.com.
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