Enterprise systems (ES) upgrade is a complex phenomenon, yet it is possible to reduce the complexity through understanding of the upgrade drivers. The purpose of this…
Enterprise systems (ES) upgrade is a complex phenomenon, yet it is possible to reduce the complexity through understanding of the upgrade drivers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the various upgrade drivers, in order to provide a detailed understanding of the factors driving upgrade decisions.
This research is grounded in a qualitative survey design. It utilises a web-based survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to collect data from 41 respondents representing 23 large organisations. The data were qualitatively analysed and coded to identify the various drivers and their influence on ES upgrade decisions.
The findings suggest that the upgrade decisions are dependent on establishing the need to upgrade, which is influenced by various drivers and stakeholders interests. In addition, the findings suggest that organisations would only opt to upgrade when benefits are aligned with the upgrade and when the decision makes business sense.
In this paper, the authors propose that there is a relationship between the upgrade drivers and the upgrade strategy. However, qualitative studies can only formulate logical generalisations. Hence, future research could explore these associations through a quantitative study in order to provide probabilistic generalisation that offers either similar or conflicting arguments applicable to ES upgrade phenomenon.
This paper provides an alternative classification of upgrade drivers, and conceptualises an association between upgrade drivers and the upgrade strategy, which in turn facilitates minimising disruptions and upgrade risks.
Enterprise systems (ES) upgrade is a complex undertaking that recurs throughout the systems’ life span, therefore, organisations need to adopt strategies and methodologies that can minimise disruptions and risks associated with upgrades. The purpose of this paper is to explore the processes undertaken during upgrading ES, to identify the upgrade project stages.
This research is grounded in a qualitative survey approach, and utilises a web-based survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews as methods for data collection. The data were gathered from 41 respondents’ and analysed using qualitatively inductive content analysis principles to derive meaning and to identify the trends about upgrade processes.
The study findings stress the importance of adopting a methodical approach to ES upgrades. Also, it suggests that due consideration should be given to the impact of new version features and functionality, the risks and the effort required for supporting upgrade projects.
The five-stage upgrade process model can be utilised as a strategy to minimise complexity and risks associated with upgrade projects. However, this study only proposes logical generalisations; therefore, future studies could explore these stages in-depth to offer generalisable arguments applicable to ES upgrade phenomenon.
The study proposes a five-stage upgrade process model that offers a systematic approach to support upgrade projects. The proposed model extends previous models by proposing alternative strategies to support ES upgrade projects.