Why are legacy systems still used?
Many companies are reluctant to part with their seemingly dependable programs for several reasons:
- There can be a high cost and significant effort associated with modernizing software
- Users may be happy with their existing systems
- Business leaders might be anxious about losing key data
And, of course, there is always fear of the unknown. Another common roadblock to replacing legacy software is that it has usually been validated and certified, so any rewrite or conversion would require these steps to be retaken. That leaves a difficult choice — live with the risks and drawbacks of legacy systems, or accept the disadvantages of replacing them.
Why you should embrace legacy modernization
Legacy systems are beset with security issues
Unfortunately, with cybersecurity threats evolving all the time, what seemed like solid software security measures five or ten years ago are often unlikely to make the grade today. As such, legacy software tends to put valuable company data at risk, with vendors often ceasing to offer support for these programs after a certain amount of time. Windows XP, for example, was released in 2001 and had its support ended in 2014, meaning that updates, patches, and new modules are no longer made available, which makes those using the operating system even more vulnerable.
Legacy systems are often unable to integrate with other programs
Most modern businesses generate huge amounts of data from many different sources, meaning that data integration is crucial. This process involves “combining data from disparate sources into a meaningful and valuable collection of information. It essentially produces a single, unified view of an enterprise’s data, which can then be used to generate actionable insights.” Data integration offers many benefits, such as simpler and quicker access to data, more accurate information, and improved collaboration. However, many legacy systems are not compatible with other systems, leaving a huge number of companies unable to reap these rewards.
Legacy systems tend to perform poorly
Most legacy systems are simply just not up to the job anymore. Considering they weren’t designed to meet today’s requirements, many are beset with slow operational speeds and non-intuitive user interfaces or workflows. Similarly, waiting several minutes for a file to load may not be a huge issue in isolation, but imagine if this happens to your staff over and over again. This time soon adds up and ultimately eats into your bottom line. Other common legacy system performance issues include being inaccessible from mobile devices, and having outdated, hard-to-use interfaces that prohibit productivity.
Legacy systems require special training
Because legacy systems are often difficult to work with, you’ll likely need to train new users on how to operate them, which ultimately costs your company needless time and money. Some legacy systems also run on out of date operating systems, meaning there may be few computers available to run them, or worse, none at all.