What does it mean for your business when Dynamics NAV goes end of life?
Posted by Bethany Crease – 27 June 2017
Version 5 of Microsoft Dynamics NAV has gone end-of-life this year, and NAV 2009 is due to go end-of-life in January 2020, so if you haven’t upgraded yet, there’s no better time to start planning!
Despite lacking vendor support however, there are often organisations still using older versions of Dynamics NAV in their production environments. The decision to stick with outdated software could be down to the perceived stability of the system – all the teething issues have been resolved, and the platform does exactly what is required.
Alternatively, businesses may choose to delay upgrades to reduce their IT capital spend, “sweating” their assets to maximise return on investment. And many may be planning a similar strategy for their aging Dynamics NAV systems.
Whatever the reason for these delays, the truth is that sticking with old versions of Dynamics NAV is a bad choice. Realistically, avoiding upgrades any longer simply isn’t an option.
A huge security risk
Once a vendor, in this case Microsoft, decides to end support, you will no longer receive any updates or patches. This is critically important because you will no longer receive support or fixes for security issues.
Limited disaster recovery options
Additionally, with no more support from Microsoft, most businesses are on their own. If something does go seriously wrong, and the environment needs to be rebuilt, sourcing the correct software versions, will be extremely difficult.
Businesses in this position will have to track down older operating systems and older SQL Server versions. This in its own right can create big security risks, as Microsoft are ending support for these products too, which can expose core operations to data loss and hackers. This is because the supporting network infrastructure is no longer maintained.
Worst case scenario, where you can no longer get access to older operating systems, you’ll need to carry out an urgent upgrade. An upgrade project can take months to complete, even when fully planned. So, the risk to your business is that you will experience downtime in the interim. The question is, how long can your business survive without being able to order goods, or raise invoices?
Lack of functionality
For businesses who have been paying for maintenance licensing, you’re entitled to use the latest version of NAV. Holding off the upgrade process any longer simply does not make sense if that is the case.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV has a pedigree of constant development and improvement. For the last 30 years, NAV (and Navision before it), has been refined to deliver greater power and functionality for its users. Read the full functionality list for Dynamics NAV 2017.
Indeed, Dynamics NAV 2017 is far more advanced than the older classic versions, offering the potential for greater operational efficiency and cost control. These benefits quickly recoup the cost of an upgrade.
Mobile clients allow your team to be productive across your site and beyond. And new workflow functionality allows you to automate more of the backend processes that keep your business moving. Even new features like document versioning and approvals can help avoid costly mistakes and ensure that governance is built into your processes without affecting productivity.
No more delays
No matter how stable your Dynamics NAV platform may be, the fact remains that the software itself has reached the end of its life. Your business must begin the process of upgrading to Dynamics NAV 2017, or face serious problems in the (almost inevitable) event of a system failure.
To discuss your options and how Acora can help take the pain out of a Dynamics NAV upgrade, please get in touch.