How Sunset Software Affects Your Business

Danielle Lobo

If you’re using sunset software, it’s time to think about getting rid of the old software and implementing something new. While the system you’re using may be good enough for some areas of your business, you are likely missing out on quite a few key tools that new software systems are able to automate nowadays, not to mention the risks associated with using outdated technology and a lack of support. It is also a good idea to think about how the system in place is affecting your processes and employees. Is everyone doing their jobs in the most efficient way or is there room for growth and cost savings? Smart business owners know the value of investing in software and understand how it can cut costs and increase productivity.

Sunset software refers to old software that is being phased out or retiring. It has not been able to be updated in recent years and/or is resistant to change either because the company has decided to stop support and development on the product, the company no longer exists, or the technology available at the time of inception has completely changed.  

30 years ago computer knowledge was minimal, 15 years ago we discovered how useful computers can be and how implementing software meant expedited processes and money savings. Since then, it seems every year, there are thousands of changes made to the internet, computers, and software. Change is everywhere, especially with technology. If you’re using sunset software, are you noticing slow run speeds or missing tools that seem to be available with all the new ERP software? Your business has likely changed throughout the years and you may have found the need for tools you didn’t think you would ever use. And if the COVID pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we need to be adaptable to change at the drop of a hat. Updating software is like updating your smartphone. Without updates you’ll notice slower speeds; some areas of the technology won’t work the same as they once did and a lack of support from the company. While it’s easy enough to update your smartphone or get a new one, system updates for your business’s software are slightly more important.

Risks Associated with Application Sunsetting

If you’re using sunset software you risk security issues, IT issues, upgrade issues and more just because of the lack of support. If your software provider is scaling back their human resources only a few people around will still know how to help you should you run into any of the above issues. Having ongoing support is imperative when you’re using software because if the operating system or your computer breaks you will be out of luck and will completely lose access to the software.

Another risk of continuously using sunset software is the missed opportunities associated with new technology. Not only has the available software’s changed but so too has the way you do business and the new processes you can put in place. A few examples are:

  • The ability to do EDI transactions
  • The ability to integrate seamlessly with a website
  • Barcode scanning from mobile devices using Bluetooth technology

How Cloud-Based Software Helps

Switching over to a cloud-based solution has many perks but one of the most beneficial one is the one-time opportunity to cleanse your data – an opportunity you should take advantage of! You’ll be able to remove duplicate content, choose one format for data information entering, and organize your contacts to your liking so that when you’re ready to go live, everything is in place for the most user-friendly experience (both internally and externally).

You may have already done some research on cloud-based solutions and found prices to be quite unexpected but as a part of monthly fees, most cloud-based solutions include year-after-year upgrades and maintenance of the software. This means if you’re running the same system for 15 years, you’re always up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology. Think of it as a competitive advantage because, with society’s reliance on technology, you’re going to want to be using the best software that can perform tasks commonly expected from today’s consumers (such as seamless integration with websites).

Benefits to Keeping Software Up-to-Date

Having software that remains up-to-date allows your business to grow at the same speed as technology growth. You’re able to take advantage of new technology such as AI (artificial intelligence), eCommerce, wireless barcode scanning, reporting and analytics and more). These recent technology advances may not have been around when you first started your business, but they can likely assist in the growth of your business. When you use the most up-to-date software, you also allow for better interactions with your partners and vendors by being easy and adaptable to work with. For example, if one of your customers wanted to share information between systems, you will easily be able to ensure the technology you’re using is compatible with the technology they’re using. If they have a 2021 version of their software and you’re using a 2005 version of your software, data exchange will not be simple.

Not only will keeping your software up-to-date allow for better interactions with your current clients but it will also allow you to discover other avenues of industries and sales channels. If your software vendor is always updating their technology, they are likely aware of most industry trends, and you can take advantage of their expertise. A great example of this is eCommerce. 10 years ago, as a wholesale distributor you probably didn’t care about selling online, but now (and especially with the Covid pandemic) having an online store allows you to remain competitive.

If you’re looking to transition to new software and are curious about pricing take a look at our ERP Pricing Guide.