The term ‘legacy system’ essentially refers to any outdated computing software or hardware that you are still using. These systems are usually still meeting the need they were originally designed for, but they are unable to facilitate growth or progress. In other words, it will never be able to do more than what it does now, and it cannot interact with other, newer systems that could increase its capabilities.
Any process of digital transformation involves exploring ways to move away from legacy systems. And there are many reasons to do this if you want to grow and evolve as a business. Let’s look at why many companies are making the move to replace legacy systems in order to stay competitive in their industry.
Why you should be considering replacing your legacy systems?
In the landscape of accelerating technology, it is essential to modernise at every opportunity. Even if the switch will be a challenging one, the rewards are worth the effort. Here are some reasons to make that change.
1. Security Is Not Up To Scratch
Legacy systems often end up being unsupported by their manufacturers. Even a single unpatched vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain access to your systems. What’s more, the lack of modern backup and recovery solutions means that organisations often lose data and cannot retrieve it.
With legacy systems, workaround to patch against threats and vulnerabilities may be limited. For instance, some companies are still using Windows XP even though Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2016. Using such outdated and vulnerable software could be dangerous to your security.
2. Maintenance is Getting Expensive
Legacy systems often become a source of more and more problems within an organisation. But businesses are resistant to change because they don’t want to incur the expenses involved in upgrading. But this logic is flawed.
With increasing issues with compatibility and more, businesses have to pay out frequently to have legacy systems maintained. Updates and modifications require investment, and these all add up over time. Changing to a new, larger system may be daunting, but it could pay off in many ways over the long-term.
3. Few Developers Are Experienced in the Legacy System
Young developers coming into the industry are learning modern programming languages. Very few take the time to master languages that are no longer used for new systems. It may be difficult to find the experts you need to modify and patch your legacy systems.
If you need a fix for your legacy software and there are no programmers who know the necessary code, you have a big problem. It may be possible to find workarounds, but they will be expensive and only offer short-term solutions. Digital transformation and a true upgrade are the only way to ensure the longevity of your solutions.
4. There is Little-to-No Documentation
Legacy systems often have many complex functionalities that make it difficult to change or replace modules. A small update may lead to a number of conflicts throughout the system. With a lack of documentation and few developers or programmers with knowledge of the software architecture, it becomes very difficult to find employees to take over future operations.
5. Incompatibility With Other Enterprise Programs
Businesses need systems in different departments to integrate seamlessly in order to keep everything running smoothly. Unfortunately, legacy systems become increasingly unable to do this over time, leading to many problems in basic day-to-day operations.
This can be addressed with a company-wide upgrade. One superb solution for this is ERP software. These are broad-reaching solutions that integrate the data from disparate departments into a single, unified database. With a well-configured ERP in place, you will be able to watch and manage the seamless flow of data between departments and integrate automation, real-time analysis and more into such operations as:
- Supply chain management.
- Warehouse management.
- Human resources.
- Analytics and business intelligence.
Run them in the cloud and these systems are infinitely scalable and future-proof for a relatively low cost. You can learn more about the benefits of cloud ERP in our article 10 Reasons To Embrace Cloud ERP.
6. Limited Mobile and Web Compatibility
Mobile use is incredibly important for the modern world. But most legacy systems are extremely desktop-dependent. As technology advances, many of these older systems simply cannot upgrade to modern web and mobile solutions. This makes upgrading very difficult.
Beyond this, the constant advancement of web browsers means that certain legacy systems lose the ability to support them. This is because of changes in code, and you are missing out if you are unable to use the best browsers and their many plugins and tools.
7. Out of Touch With Current Trends
Trends are important in the modern digital landscape. It takes investment to be up on the latest business tech trends, but the benefits for your profitability and reputation are clear. If your legacy systems are holding you back from offering the solutions that your customers want, you will lose your competitive edge.
People want to be able to access your business in the ways that are trending now. Legacy systems are rarely able to facilitate this. You can read more about ERP trends in our article ERP Trends for 2023 and Beyond.
8. Issues With Employee Retention
For employees to feel satisfied in their roles, they need the right tools to carry out their daily tasks. Legacy systems which are hard to work with can cause frustration amongst employees and see them looking for employment in more technologically advanced businesses.
Employee expectations at an all time high, slow systems and software could see you scraping the bottom of the talent pool when it comes to recruitment. By updating your systems and software to better service your employees, along with creating a positive working environment, you might find recruitment and retention improves significantly.
9. An Outdated Look
Convenience, comfort and accessibility are important for productive employees and satisfied customers. If your legacy systems are causing you to look outdated and rendering you unable to offer the tools people need, you will fall behind.
Legacy systems frequently look unintelligible and outdated. Customers who see a platform that looks old and messy are likely to abandon it rather than spend their time trying to engage.
10. Slow, Limited Performance
Legacy systems become slow and encumbered the older they get. They consume a lot of resources and have frequent failures, reducing your efficiency and productivity. Without new solutions and upgrades, departments become disconnected and a failure in one place can cause a chain reaction.
Ultimately, this leads to frustration within the organisation and the poor performance reaches the customer. Slow performance is a real problem for businesses that double down on old legacy systems, and a great deal of time is wasted on fixing problems that didn’t need to happen in the first place.
If any of the above sounds familiar in your organisation, it may be time to start making some changes. Legacy systems hold organisations back. Modern solutions, particularly those built on subscription models, are designed to be future-proof. They are tailored to your company’s needs at launch and offer ongoing support and upgrades to always incorporate the latest technologies and trends.
ERP systems are just one example of this. You will find many more that can offer efficiency and productivity improvements to help your bottom line. Don’t allow yourself to be hindered by legacy systems; embrace digital transformation and reap the rewards of competing with the latest technologies at your disposal.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.