Legacy systems are outdated computing hardware or software that are still being used by businesses. Due to the age of legacy systems, the technology can no longer be updated automatically or fully supported. These obsolete systems may be critical to the day-to-day operations of a company but pose certain challenges. In some cases, an outdated legacy system can be upgraded through application modernization to increase the system’s functionality and efficiency.
Risks Of Continued Use Of Legacy Systems
The continued use of legacy systems can threaten the productiveness and long-term effectiveness of a business. In a recent survey published by Riverbed Technology that included statements from 1,000 IT leaders from across the globe, 97 percent of respondents said that legacy technology is holding them back. From increased operational costs and system downtime to security vulnerabilities and system incompatibility, continuing to use legacy systems could potentially threaten a business’s growth and bottom line.
Some other risks of continued use of legacy systems within businesses include:
Incompatibility Of New Software Integrations
Technology continues to evolve at a rapid rate leaving outdated hardware and software behind. While legacy systems may still function and provide some value to businesses, this “old” technology rarely meshes well with “new” technology. In other words, most legacy systems are incompatible with new systems which can make it difficult to make critical upgrades to a business system.
If a legacy system prevents a business from using new, advanced functions and capabilities, they may fall behind their competitors and begin to lose customers and revenue. This puts the entire business at risk as the business is never able to completely modernize.
Lack Of Support & Maintenance
Legacy systems often lack vendor support and maintenance options making it challenging to keep the hardware or software performing at its best. When vendors develop new computing systems, they often stop providing support and maintenance services for older, outdated systems.
This is because legacy systems generally use older forms of technology that are no longer standardized in the industry. Without proper support and maintenance, businesses are forced to use the systems as-is or make critical changes themselves which could leave the system vulnerable to security risks.
Performance Of Systems Slowing Over Time
Legacy systems are known to slow down over time. Businesses may experience more frequent system interruptions and downtime impacting productivity and negatively affecting revenue. A slow system can also have other negative effects, such as brand damage, low employee morale due to stress, potential employee overtime costs to meet deadlines, lost sales and dissatisfied customers who may leave the business for a competitor.
If the system slows down too much, employees may have difficulty accessing the software, especially from modern mobile devices. This can inhibit business growth and scalability. If the system eventually fails, the business may also face expenses for data restoration and IT recovery.
Decrease Of Organization Productivity & Efficiency
When businesses are forced to use hardware or software that is slow, freezes frequently or is incapable of keeping up with demands, productivity suffers. Time is often wasted waiting for the screen to budge and devices may constantly be requesting updates or patches that are not available.
Once technology begins to slow down, it can take much longer to execute tasks and each minute wasted is lost revenue. According to Microsoft, a small business that uses an old PC can lose up to seven days per calendar year. This decrease in organizational productivity and efficiency can also be stressful for employees.
Should I Consider Upgrading My Legacy System?
Replacing an outdated system with a completely new system can be very costly, especially for larger businesses. That is why many companies choose to modernize their legacy system. The modernization process can provide businesses with many benefits, such as reduced support and maintenance costs, ability to meet user expectations and demands and enhanced application usability.
Modernized legacy systems are also better equipped to streamline business and IT solutions, meaning less lag time and less manual labor. Any business with an outdated system that is negatively interfering with cost effectiveness or productivity should consider upgrading their legacy system.
Speak To Experienced Custom Software Developers
Legacy systems pose certain risks to businesses, such as a higher vulnerability to equipment failures, attacks and unexpected operational disruptions. It is understandable that many businesses are not able to completely replace their computer systems with new ones; modernizing legacy systems is a more affordable and efficient option.
There are two main modernization approaches that businesses can use to update their system. A quick-fix approach focuses on resolving specific issues or adding new features within the existing code. A complete rebuilding approach involves rebuilding the legacy application from scratch using modern frameworks and programming languages. For more information about legacy systems or application modernization services, reach out to the experts at Orases calling 301.756.5527 or by scheduling a consultation online.