Oracle EBS Clients Face Many Risks By Failing to Upgrade to R12.2.X

September 20, 2021

The Prelude

With a history since the 1980s as a financial software application suite, Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) officially launched in 2007 as a compilation of applications and business software, both in the cloud and on-premises.

Since then, it’s been reliably supporting mission-critical tasks for clients, ranging from enterprise resource planning, supply chain and manufacturing, human capital management, customer relationship management, and more.

In 2013, Oracle announced it’s most groundbreaking Oracle version 12.2. With new product functionality, hundreds of new features, new Fusion Middleware and database components, and new tools for installing, configuring, and maintaining EBS environments, this release is pegged as the last major release upgrade that EBS clients will ever have to make.

Now, in what’s become almost an annual tradition, Oracle has been releasing subsequent versions of the 12.2 release, with the latest one being 12.2.10 released in September 2020.

For all clients on any version of release Oracle12.2, Oracle has pledged that Oracle Premier Support will cover EBS through at least 2032 as part of the Continuous Innovation model that pledges to deliver new features, updates, and security patches.

While many have taken prompt action to modernize their Oracle EBS, there is still a great deal of clients who are still hesitant about making the upgrade or simply lack to perceive the value of the innovations they’ll gain after upgrading to R12.2.X.

The Interlude

We’ve seen time and again how some of Oracle EBS clients don’t want to “break” what’s currently working, and fail to take advantage of the enhancements that R12.2.X delivers on an ongoing basis. Of course, there’s a looming deadline in the horizon as Oracle Premier Support will only be available for those on any version of release 12.2, and clients who stay below will lose Premier Support in December 2021.

In this post, we examine two real-life client scenarios of the risks and dangers associated with working with an unsupported version of Oracle EBS, inadvertently putting their instance and organization’s wellbeing in jeopardy.

Scenario A

A manufacturing company has been using Oracle EBS for many years with little change to the underlying technology and without making any major upgrades as of late. In fact, the company is still in a version of Oracle 11i, meaning the interface is outdated, the code is now considered legacy, and there are no security patches available or enhancements delivered to the system.

At this point, options are scarce, but there are steps the company can take if they want to leverage Oracle EBS to its fullest potential.

Modernization is a necessity, and no longer a luxury as there has already been a reported case of a bug that creates havoc in one specific EBS module they leverage for mission-critical capabilities. This bug has been fixed in Oracle version 12.2, but since the company is below that release, they are not able to access this critical patch.

The bug is causing tens of thousands of dollars in losses, and will continue to escalate the longer the company waits to take action. Even though the upgrade to R12.2.X represents an investment in time and costs, it pales in comparison to the unwanted costs of working with an unsupported version that opens up the footprint for bad actors to attack.

In fact, the industry estimate of a data breach as a result of an unsupported or unpatched system fluctuates between $3-4 million dollars in the US.

Scenario B

A commercial company has been on version 11.5.2 of EBS for a few years now and have no concrete plans to upgrade to R12.2.X or migrate to the cloud any time soon.

Research giants predict that executives and application decision makers who overlook the modernization element of their digital transformation journey are pivotal to the overall success of a company. Organizations that create a robust upgrade or migrate to the cloud strategy gain the most out of their resources.

In the case of company B, while things are seemingly working in their old EBS version, they have already experienced the headaches of working with old code that is not up-to-date, compliant, and on par with industry standards.

With many customizations sitting on top of old code, it becomes more challenging to make any sort of change or move within the system, and as many say, old, legacy code is a form of technical debt that should be avoided as much as possible.

Modern business demands call for optimized applications that can respond quickly and help companies address their day-to-day tasks with ease; unfortunately, such an old version of EBS fails to deliver the value that a fully supported, optimized, and secured system would.

In hindsight, this company has already spent more money trying to fix, patch, and create workarounds for their legacy code than they would have spent by modernizing their system some time ago.

It’s time to face the music

There’s still time for you to modernize your Oracle EBS, be it through an upgrade to R12.2.X or a migration to the cloud, we are certain you’ll be pleased with the innovations, enhancements, security patches, and ongoing support from Oracle that your system will obtain.

If you’re interested in learning more about what’s the right move for you, we’ve prepared this ebook to help you determine if you should choose an upgrade, move to the cloud, or a hybrid coexistence.

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