In my last blog “Are those SLA’s a Fool’s Bargain?” I explained the service level agreement, which you signed with your implementing partner after you implemented a new system. However, this partner will tell you that system updates are necessary, but that`s not always the case. So let`s see what options do you have.
Okay, let’s start with an example. Your phone asks you to update an app. You, against your better judgement, decide to do it. Guess what… after the update, the app changed and it all got a lot more complicated or it’s less fun. It’s different. And yes, some new cool features were added. But did you really need those? Now you have to spend some time getting to know how does it work exactly.
Maybe this example is a bit exaggerated and the time spent in getting to know the app again is not that significant. But imagine if this app was a multi-million dollar ERP system with hundreds of your employees using it and your day-to-day operations depending on it. Think of all these people needing to learn about the new functions in the system. Also your implementing partner will constantly bill you for all those hours spent in keeping your ERP environment up to date. This way you will keep spending a lot of money on a system that was already working as it should.
Now don’t mix this up with maintenance. In order to create a stable ICT environment, maintenance is a must, updates however, are not.
Of course there are a few exceptions to the rule, some changes might require you to update the system. For example:
– Your Business is going in a new direction, requiring new functionalities.
– Or your new projects require some new functionalities.
Now the main goal is to always keep your AX system running smoothly, that’s what you want right? Well (un)fortunately there isn’t one perfect way to do so. Some systems might need updating because of the changes listed above. But that same update might make another system perform worse or conflict with the custom work you have integrated in your system. All ways lead to Rome (or in this case only three) you can create an Evergreen environment, an Affordable Evergreen or a Stable Evergreen. Listed below is their meaning:
1. The first one is an Evergreen situation in which you always make sure you do all system updates and have the newest technologies, cost doesn’t matter. This might be necessary if your company is in a changing and technology demanding situation. If your system is custom built this option is going to be a costly one, because the update might conflict with the custom work.
2. The second option is an Affordable Evergreen. Here you check if the cost of the system updates is worth it in comparison to what the updates will bring you. If it`s not, you don’t do the updates and your system will continue to perform as it did.
3. And the Stable Evergreen option. You decide beforehand that you won’t do any system updates at all. You are satisfied with your current system and you know your business won’t change drastically in the next years.
What option is best for your AX system depends completely on your company’s situation. Now I advise you to really think about what option you are going to choose, think about where your business is going in the future. If you choose the right path you might save yourself a lot of money and time. In some cases you might even save yourself a million dollars, but I will show you how this is possible in my final blog on this subject so stay tuned!
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