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I think Oracle would answer, that a PeopleTools upgrade would not effect any functionality, because it is a different layer, it would only enhance your application, preserving your functionality.
The after effects depend mainly on the customizations on your environment and from which PeopleTools version you are upgrading.
Especially if you have customizations on PeopleTools objects, these will have to be reapplied or not (but it is off course a big no-no)...
For example we are currently doing a PeopleTools upgrade from PeopleTools 8.47 to PeopleTools 8.51 and switching from Unix to Windows.
Issues that we encounter:
Fully Service Oriented Integration Broker. All messaging will be converted to Services with deprecated Handlers, which you should preferable build to correct Application Class Handler and test all internal and external integration.
Switching from Unix to Windows changes path separators from / to \
Certification requires new OS version eg new Hardware.
Any reference to file server paths in your customizations or configuration have to adjusted in the or replicated on the file server.
Recreation architecture and configuring PeopleTools to reflect your new archtecture, configuring ports, firewalls, shares, (s)ftp, smtp etc