The true cost of legacy warehouse management software

The majority of warehouse management applications on the market today were written 20 years ago.

Many have applied lipstick and had a face lift since 1998 but the underlying design and technology stack has stood still with mandatory Microsoft compatibility updates at best.

Please don’t blame them. It’s a huge cost re-writing a system from scratch and experienced modern web technology developers are not cheap! Quality, bug free code which can be relied on is very valuable.

While there is nothing wrong with knowingly investing in legacy technology, the issues is, many businesses reviewing systems don’t knowingly do it or evaluate the true cost of not replacing a legacy WMS system.


Additional resource is needed

With legacy software you have to buy and maintain server infrastructure, ever changing database licenses, implement a full disaster recovery process alongside maintaining regular data backups for when some accidentally unplugs the server. It’s not common, but it will happen and the costs can be huge.

Maintaining this usually falls on the desk of the already over-worked, small IT team or is outsourced to a 3rd party at additional cost. As companies typically have several applications all running on different servers, with different architectures this burden compounds.

The majority of warehouse management applications on the market today were written 20+ years ago.

With cloud applications the software vendor takes responsibility for the infrastructure and availability of the application which is all paid for as part of the subscription to the service.

This means the client base can benefit from enterprise grade infrastructure while paying a fraction of the cost. How is this financially viable for software providers? – Scale. Modern internet technologies allow for lots of businesses to securely share resource. E.g. think about internet banking!

A cloud WMS allows the IT department to focus on other problems within the business and let the cloud WMS vendor concentrate on delivering a high quality service to drive the warehouse.


One project, get it right first time

Regardless of your current view of cloud WMS or cloud software, one thing is very clear.

If you buy a piece of software which is not a cloud application in 2017 you will be either upgrading or buying again within 5 years, so you are investing for the short term.

Technology is all about cycles and things move very quickly

Even WMS system vendors who have decided to take the plunge and invest in rewriting their legacy software into cloud technology will need to treat an “upgrade” from a legacy system as a new project which involves time, cost and a lot of risk.

Cloud WMS vendors shouldn’t gloat however. Technology is all about cycles and things move very quickly. However, providers with a cloud WMS are currently at the forefront of this technology shift so is a wise choice for those that only want to go through one warehouse management system install in the next 10-15 years.


Cloud Shift – Don’t get left behind


Cloud software provides businesses with greater flexibility, reduced risk and lower total cost of ownership. No upgrades, no downtime, minimal cost for expensive consultants.

One version of the software to develop and support allows a developer to focus 100% of their time on great quality features into one version. This keeps clients innovating which means they grow faster buying more software licenses at the same time. Win win.

What Gartner refers to as Cloud Shift, has been the business tech revolution of recent years allowing small and medium businesses to compete with national retailers. They are now able to utilise high quality software which 5-10 years ago was unobtainable due to huge upfront costs in infrastructure and software licences.

This means those businesses not only better equipped to deal with the day to day challenges of doing business, they can offer a world class service.


About us

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.