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Balance ScaleLike so many small to midsized businesses, you finally make that big leap of faith – trading in your XL spreadsheets or small accounting software package for an integrated business software solution. It’s time to play with the big kids. Things are coming together – your employees are buying in and for the first time ever you are getting an accurate picture of your balance sheet, speeding inventory returns and improving margins on your products and services. Then – you get the news – a new version of the software is being released.

So many growing businesses are making that initial investment in business software and then struggling with the decision to upgrade when a new version is later released. Point in case – SAP recently released its latest version of SAP Business One 8.8. The latest version brings a host of new features like Crystal Reports integration, Data archiving, remote support platform and on and on. But if you don’t feel that new product features alone are relevant enough or beneficial enough to your daily operations to warrant the upgrade, the bigger question to ask your software provider is ‘Why or how will this upgrade benefit my business?’

After working with hundreds of SMBs through business software upgrades, myself and the rest of the Vision33 team have had the opportunity to help customers find the value in upgrading that is ‘unique’ to them. Many have come back to myself and our Consultants weeks and months later saying they understand firsthand now why they needed to take that step. So – at a strategic level, here are the key benefits we hear.

1. Higher ROI and TCO
There is an initial investment in business management software and a continued commitment to annual software maintenance.  Only by being committed will you really achieve a strong ROI and see your TCO decrease.

2. Things last longer and work more efficiently when routine maintenance is performed
If software were a car, an upgrade would be an oil change. Being committed to maintenance/upgrades ensures a long-life and highly productive investment. It keeps your investment in top operating shape.

3. Minimizes changes and disruptions to your business
Technology is changing faster than ever. Believe it or not – keeping up to date a little at a time through an upgrade will protect you from the paralysis of having to implement something brand new. Waiting too long between versions can put your software on an unreachable island.

4. Learning in steps is easier than starting from scratch
New features bring new value to business. The latest features can be the easiest to learn because as a user you become smarter and more skilled. It’s simply a new destination to arrive at.

5. Builds confidence
Employees love working for businesses that use the most up to date tools, as it gives them a sense of security in the business owner’s commitment to the company growth. It helps them do the best at their job and communicate that confidence to customers on a daily basis.

Have you recently upgraded your business software or are currently thinking about it? What are your thoughts?