Author: Chris Kneen
It's Hard to Say Goodbye
Saying goodbye is hard. Remember 1993, when Michael Jordan retired (for the first time)? Or, in 1996 when Phil Collins left Genesis? When we spend a lot of time and energy familiarizing ourselves with something, even coming to love that thing, it’s hard to let it go.
Unfortunately, that happens quite often in the software universe. Company X launches a big product and serves a loyal customer base for years until it’s decided that said product is no longer making the ‘core competencies’ list and they send it off into the sunset. Or, perhaps even worse, the software isn’t being retired and you currently spend most of your time fighting to get it to fit your needs, which it never quite does. Taking the leap to a new solution is a significant investment and, let’s face it, inconvenience for a business.
There’s always a silver lining
The process of transition—finding a new solution, implementing that solution, and ultimately re-training your team—can seem like the last thing you want to do during your already busy workweek. Some of you may be going through the process now to find a replacement for your credit application processing system, and we hear you. It’s a pain.
But, let’s zoom in on the silver lining to this situation. Losing or scrapping an old product doesn’t mean wallowing in despair until a second-rate alternative shows up to partially meet your needs. Let’s look at this as an opportunity. Step back for a second and you might remember all of those little things about the old system that drove you nuts, all of the hours and dollars spent hiring programmers to make simple changes, the number of phone calls you made to your vendor for things you should have been able to handle yourself, all of the sleepless nights spent stressing over integrations and automation.
Wait. Isn’t all of this groundbreaking technology supposed to make your life easier?
Yes. So, can the inconvenience of switching software be outweighed by actually having access to technology that drives success without causing you stress?
Knowing when it’s time to move on
If your software is being retired then you have no choice but to look for an alternative, but if you still have a mostly functional credit application processing solution how do you know when it’s time to move on?
Put simply, when it comes to business software, you can’t afford to get sentimental. While your current system may have powered you through the early days—or simply just feel comfortable to use—it could be the very thing that’s holding you back from achieving further growth.
Here’s 2 key reasons why you might want to show your current technology the door:
- Your software can’t adapt to your changing business needs
- Your software is making you less competitive
Vent your frustration
Your business has moved on, did your processing solution keep up?
Before The Gap was an international clothing brand, it was a small record store in San Francisco’s Lakeside district.
Similarly, tech giants LG got their start selling cosmetics, toothpaste and other personal hygiene products.
LG was originally the Lak-Hui Chemical Industrial Company.
There are dozens of stories like these. Businesses grow and evolve over time. And while you might never pivot as dramatically as The Gap or LG, your products and services have and will continue to evolve to meet new market demands.
It goes without saying, but if you shift your offering, expand into new markets, or even grow, your current software may no longer meet your needs. And while it can be tempting to try and adapt existing technology to meet current business requirements, it’s often like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. When assessing the long-term feasibility of your existing loan application processing solution ask the following questions:
- What’s the cost of maintaining the current system?
- How much will it cost to make significant changes to meet new business needs?
- How long does it take to make changes?
- Is it making you less competitive?
- Do you rely on the vendor to make key updates?
Over time, keeping your software operating smoothly will cost much more than investing in new technology.
Don’t believe it?
Consider this. Outdated technology cost businesses $1.8 trillion in wasted productivity in 2016.