SumTotal Blog

Louis Lauria (1 Posts)

Louis Lauria

Louis Lauria has been with SumTotal Systems since 2004. He has over 25 years of experience in software implementation and project management in Financial Services, Enterprise Resource Planning, Expense and Workforce Management, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Why a System Upgrade is No Longer Optional

Why a System Upgrade is No Longer Optional

“It isn’t broken, why do I need to fix it?”

“Why should I spend the money to upgrade if the system is doing what I need for it to do?”

“I don’t have the resources to work on an upgrade project.”

Sound familiar? These are just some of the reasons it is just so difficult to convince decision-makers to upgrade their enterprise software applications. However, the absolute truth is software and technology are continually changing and so too must the thinking around upgrades.

Here’s what I think when I hear the above arguments.

While it is not broken, neither is it growing with your business and the times.”

“It is doing what you needed x number of years ago, but it is not providing you with the latest in features, functions or, productivity gains.”

Upgrades are crucial

One of the most critical reasons is to ensure your organization avoids browser issues. The number of updates and changes to browsers is perpetually rising yet most older versions of the enterprise application software were neither developed nor tested with the latest versions of browsers. Typically current enterprise applications are much more browser independent than legacy applications developed many years ago. This disconnect impacts the end user’s experience and drives up support costs.

Other reasons involve the underlying tech stack or the various technologies such as database server, application server layer and so forth. For example, as a SumTotal application version ages, so too are the underlying technologies. These do go out of support and can become incompatible with newer technologies leading to risks such as performance, interoperability of components, and security vulnerabilities.

As technologies age and move into later stage models of support, costs go up. This is true even for hosted clients because with fewer clients running specific versions, SumTotal can no longer maintain the same economies of scale. Later this extends to the need to keep infrastructure and support of specific older technologies in some cases even for a single client. In these cases, SumTotal has no choice but to pass along the increased costs.

Upgrading lowers cost of ownership

The benefits of upgrading extend beyond technology and productivity. There are significant financial compensations to keeping as current as possible with your critical systems and applications.

SumTotal offers multiple options when it comes to staying current, each with unique advantages:

  • Like for Like Upgrade – SumTotal will minimize the cost of upgrading and migrate a client’s current configuration to the new version, enabling the client to adopt new features and functions over time as desired or needed.
  • Optimization Upgrade – SumTotal work with the client to review and eliminate any unique business requirements and rules that are no longer needed or that can now be satisfied within the newer capabilities of the current version. SumTotal also reviews the client’s business processes and make recommendations for optimization to enhance productivity, user experience and adherence to best practices.
  • Upgrade with Migration to SumTotal Cloud – For clients looking to move from On-Premise (self-hosted) solutions to SaaS or Private Cloud, SumTotal will build the migration into the upgrade project.

Continuous benefits of upgrading

The advantages to upgrading do not stop once a client upgrades. SumTotal extends services to include:

  • Consulting On-Demand – This includes consulting on things like configuration, security, data import/integrations, changing business requirements and more. We also have partners that we can bring in to work with clients on business process optimization and change management. All of these help clients get the most out of their SumTotal systems once they are current.
  • Release Management Services – Aware that each new release brings changes, SumTotal offers Delta Workshops that review new features and explain changes in functionality, new feature implementation consulting, a comprehensive review of product fixes in each release, as well as a high-level roadmap and future vision, in addition to assistance in testing and validation of major releases.

The rationale behind upgrading is so overwhelming that the real puzzle is why organizations choose not to upgrade. This hesitation or reluctance is not considering the significant gains in productivity, the new capabilities to better manage their processes and the ways to avoid costly manual workarounds or user frustration.

SumTotal is always happy to help organizations optimally perform and maintain that performance. This begins with a discussion about your current system and how an upgrade will improve efficiencies. Start by getting in touch and seeing what is available.