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Digital transformation

Legacy Systems & Your Business: Why Upgrading is a Must

Legacy software systems are obsolete computer systems that are no longer compatible with today’s technologies, but yet are still in use. Back in the day, they were the best that technology had to offer. Now, they are a menace to any business, especially in the long run. These old and clunky systems are hindering your business in so many different ways.

In addition to that, they are something that you’ll have to get rid of eventually. The more you wait, the more the upgrade will cost you. Despite the serious threats that legacy systems pose to a business, many executives are holding on to them, because they believe an upgrade is a luxury option or is too painful to even consider.

The following are some of the reasons why replacing legacy systems should be a top priority for any business that wants to succeed. 

Reason 1: Security Threats

Data security is a serious issue. In the past, this applied to certain sectors that were known for storing sensitive data, like banks. In the digitalized world that we live in now, data security has become a major concern for every business.

No matter what industry you’re in, protecting your data should be a top priority. Depending on the size of your business, a single security breach can cost you millions and have devastating effects. When you’re using a legacy system, you are maximizing this risk.

Being obsolete and not up-to-date with the current technological advancements makes legacy systems less secure. They’re not designed with best cybersecurity practices in mind, and you can’t count on them to keep your digital infrastructure and sensitive data safe.

The cost of upgrading to a modern system is negligible when compared to the risks that legacy systems pose to your business.  

Reason 2: Compatibility Issues

Legacy systems are called so for a reason. They were designed according to standards and workflows that are no longer applicable. When these systems were made, the technologies were different, and so was the way people worked.

Even if your business and its systems haven’t changed in the past years, digital technologies did change. Running your business on such an old system is like running your computer on Windows 95. Even if it gets some of the job done, it is a huge waste of potential.

Massive compatibility issues is one of the side effects of using obsolete technologies. With the digitalized workflows that are being widely adopted by shipping companies, legacy systems are becoming more irrelevant. Before you know it, you’ll find your company running a system that’s not compatible with anyone else’s workflow. 

Reason 3: Expensive Maintenance

Maintenance costs are inversely proportional to how old your system is. The older your systems, the more issues it will have, and the more expensive these issues are to fix. It gets hard and expensive to find people who are well-versed in your legacy system’s technology/programming language.

In addition to that, the continues patching makes your system extremely complex over time. The person who is doing any upgrades has to understand all the small patches and upgrades that were previously made, which is another factor that adds to the maintenance cost.

In fact, this isn’t something that’s exclusive to digital systems. When any item gets old, the maintenance gets complex and expensive. Everything from cars to computer systems follows this rule.

With legacy systems, there is also the fact that you need a dedicated in-house server and a dedicated IT team that’s well-versed in archaic technology, which adds even more to the system’s cost. These are things that you don’t have to deal with when you are using a cloud-based solution.

Even if you can live with the added costs and manage to fix all the issues in your legacy system, the problem is that this is just a temporary solution. In the end, you will have to change it, as it will reach a point where maintenance is no longer meaningful.  

Reason 4: Limited Innovation Opportunities

Technology is moving fast. There is always something new coming up that can significantly improve the way you work. This is something that’s not accounted for in legacy systems. When these systems were made, the pace at which technology moved was much slower.

What this means for your business is not being able to keep up with technology and as a result, becoming less competitive and less efficient. Considering the highly-competitive nature of today’s businesses, this is an unacceptable compromise.

On the other hand, modern systems are designed in a way that makes them highly flexible and compatible with third-party applications, add-ins, and other productivity tools. You can easily upgrade your modern system and extend it with more functionalities/applications.

By doing so, you’ll ensure that you benefit from the latest technological breakthroughs to overcome your specific business challenges.

Reason 5: Poor User Experience

In a world where everything is going digital, users have high expectations. Your staff is used to the refined user experience that’s common in modern systems and applications. And that’s why the user-facing part of your legacy system is disappointing for them.

Instead of focusing on their jobs, your employees focus on trying to deal with your legacy system’s complicated interface. This results in lower productivity and employee satisfaction.

The usability and user experience have a direct impact on your business success. Some companies have become aware of this, and are investing in tools that not their employees will appreciate and use.

Reason 6: Expensive Training

Training your staff to use legacy systems is both slow and expensive. And the reason is quite simple, which is the fact that not everyone is familiar with these systems. When you’re hiring new staff, there is a good chance that they know how to work with Windows. If you’re still using DOS though, that’s a different story.

You will have to train every single person you hire to use that system, which translates to time and money. Also, legacy systems tend to be more difficult to learn. Digital technologies have gone a long way in terms of usability, which can’t be said about legacy systems.

Instead of focusing on their work, legacy systems make your employees focus on the tools, which is bad for your long-term business success.

Reason 7: Poor Business Insights

Data is a valuable asset that’s often poorly utilized. Making sense of big data sets requires technologies that weren’t widely available a few years back. That’s the time in which your legacy system was created. And that’s why these systems aren’t useful when it comes to collecting and analyzing data.

As a result, you’ll never be able to see the big picture that modern data analytics will give you. On the other hand, the level of integration and technological capabilities that come with a modern cloud-based system helps you make the most out of your business data. Instead of resorting to speculations, you can make data-driven decisions.  

Conclusion

The more time you spend using an outdated legacy system, the more money you’ll lose. These systems are a waste of time, money and put you in a disadvantaged position compared to your competitors. The risks and costs from old, clunky systems should make switching to a modern infrastructure one of your top priorities.

The good news is that you don’t need to unplug the old system all at once. With a modular and flexible solution like Abraxa, you can start small and expand at your own pace.

Get in touch with us today to learn how Abraxa can replace your legacy systems and provide new levels of efficiency.