Should You Replace That Old Computer System?

By Enabliser Howard

You know your software system is approaching or past its Use By date; maybe it is even a DOS based application and can’t hang on forever. It works well, like that faithful dog. You know it inside out, you are comfortable with it and probably can operate it in your sleep. But just as the old dog will die, what if your old system had an unrecoverable crash? Could you stay in business in the aftermath?

If you have to replace it, how do you choose the new solution?

What if you can get one which works just like the old one, but working with the newest technology? That would make training easy. If you were buying a car, and did this, bought a remake of your first car, imagine what features you would be missing? The old one had windscreen wipers, maybe a heater, windscreen washers if you are lucky. Would you be missing anything? No, unless you wanted seatbelts, all the modern safety features like ABS, and modern engine design and fuel management systems, maybe better suspension and handling, and better lights and more comfortable seats. That’s just to start. Cup holders too.

Will software be any different?  What do you think? There gets a time when that faithful dog has had its day. Take the opportunity offered by new technology, it can be exciting. There will be a learning curve, but on the plus side, all the extra things you can do. What about automated reporting instead of manually copying and pasting and transferring and checking data? Or sales people getting a warning that a customer has passed their credit limit? Or shipping costs feeding in automatically, making cost recovery a delight?

Will the expense be justified? Maybe there are sufficient benefits to make it worthwhile. Make a Return on Investment (ROI) calculation to see if the benefits are there or are not justified. Look at the time savings from automation of processes, from extra insights in reporting, from improved stock turnover and collection time, from better margins with better information, better controls over purchasing and buying margins, or increased customer satisfaction or improved warehouse systems.

Maybe it is the transfusion your business needs. Maybe you and your staff will enjoy it and say “why didn’t we go with Enabling before?”



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