Every day we speak to businesses, large and small, who are growing increasingly frustrated with their legacy business systems. Once hailed as a business saviour, these older systems have become brittle, inflexible and change-resistant. Stuck with costly upgrades and multiple barriers to innovation, businesses must choose between sunsetting their legacy systems or saying goodbye to their growth ambitions in today’s fast-evolving business landscape. 

The headache of legacy systems

Multiple disconnected systems, IT budgets drained by systems upkeep, escalating regulatory and compliance demands, immobility and a lack of real-time visibility – does any of this sound familiar? 

If so, you are far from alone. These are some of the most common challenges faced by businesses running outdated systems. Eventually these obstacles become insurmountable, forcing you to take a strategic look at how technology is hindering your business’ future. It becomes quickly apparent that sustainable growth – or more brutally, survival – can only occur when you sunset your legacy system and take advantage of the advances that have taken place in the world of business systems.

Transitioning to a modern ERP solution

Modern cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems enable you to automate business processes across your organisation, effectively eliminating inefficiencies brought on by outdated legacy systems. One such solution is NetSuite, a version-less cloud ERP designed for today’s needs, not the needs of yesteryear.

NetSuite is a unified suite of cloud-based applications, including financials/ERP, HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce. Beyond functionality however, NetSuite supports business innovation and agility in a variety of ways:

  • Realign towards innovation-focused IT spend 
  • Reduce risk and resources through continuous regulatory alignment 
  • Enable business velocity without scaling cost structure 
  • Empower the mobile workforce 
  • Create a distributed, decentralised business 
  • Close the ‘analytics gap’
  • Drive a ‘connected’ business with suppliers, channels and customers 
  • Equip employees for self-service 

That’s the solution to legacy system pain points. But let’s rewind a little. What exactly are these legacy systems that cause businesses to modernise with a cloud ERP such as NetSuite?

The below list is by no means exhaustive, but it does outline some of the key legacy systems that commonly hold organisations back, and why.

Legacy spreadsheets

The humble spreadsheet has long been a business staple. After all, they are incredibly flexible and useful. But every spreadsheet in your reporting reduces the speed of making decisions. You can only make a decision if you have the data, and if someone has to update the spreadsheet, you’ll have to wait until they get around to it. Then there are the issues of duplicate copies, inaccurate or outdated data and overly complex or confusing formulas. Yes, spreadsheets will always remain a popular business tool. A better alternative, however, is to consolidate spreadsheets and various applications into one interconnected platform.

Real-life case studies 

Moving from spreadsheets to NetSuite:

Legacy accounting

When a business is smaller, their accounting needs are less substantial. But as they grow, so do their business financial processes. Here are some commonly outgrown systems.

Xero & MYOB

Xero and MYOB are the default accounting platforms for many small businesses. Their capabilities focus squarely on that market too. But their inability to keep up with the demands and complexities that come with growth – think increasing your workforce, entering new markets and adding product offerings - often result in work-arounds, such as additional applications or spreadsheets, which eventually only inhibit the business scaling further.

Real-life case studies

Moving from Xero to NetSuite:

Moving from MYOB to NetSuite:


Legacy Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

With more supply chains being designed to enable the fast, efficient movement of goods, more companies are tossing out their dated warehouse management systems and using a combination of hardware and software to orchestrate their fulfilment operations. 

When companies implement NetSuite’s sophisticated Warehouse Management System (WMS), key wins include better inventory accuracy, lower labour costs, increased storage capacity, better organisation, improved order accuracy and a more flexible operation overall.

Real-life case studies

Moving from legacy WMS to NetSuite:

Legacy commerce

Your legacy commerce solution may be a custom-built, first or second-generation ecommerce system that runs on-premise and siloed from other platforms. Or maybe it’s a licenced off-the-shelf ecommerce solution manually integrated into your tech stack. Either way, NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce natively integrates with the NetSuite ERP, to seamlessly unify your front- and back-end systems. It also removes the ongoing and growing costs of maintaining the integration and gives you more flexibility and adaptability to keep pace with your business needs. As an added bonus, you can integrate POS solutions with it too.

Real-life case studies

Moving from legacy commerce to NetSuite:

  • True Protein had Maropost Commerce Cloud (formerly Neto) in its system mix before moving to NetSuite 

Moving from legacy POS to NetSuite:

  • T2 used Vision Bean Store for their POS solution


So there you have it! Four types of outdated systems that you can say goodbye to with NetSuite. By sunsetting your legacy systems and investing in an integrated business system solution, you will not only greatly simplify your tech stack, but you’ll also streamline your business processes, improving efficiency and productivity, as well as your ability to grow and innovate.

Learn how an integrated NetSuite solution can help you retire your outdated systems and drive business growth by speaking with a NetSuite consultant today.

Annexa is a leading NetSuite partner with extensive experience designing and implementing comprehensive and customised business systems, including payroll solutionsfinancial management, warehouse management and ecommerce solutions.