PurposeEnterprise 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.Design/methodology/approachThis 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.FindingsThe 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.Research limitations/implicationsThe 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.Originality/valueThe 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.
Journal of Enterprise Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 10, 2016
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