Though traditionally, the word “legacy” is generally associated with positive feelings, it’s typically associated with problems and challenges in computing and the world of enterprise. Why do some companies still use legacy systems, especially with the rise of thousands of highly used digital transformation systems?
Here we will explore the problem with legacy systems, discuss the costs associated with them, and why it’s important to modernize and replace your legacy systems.
How Legacy Systems Could Be Holding Back Your Progress
Before we discuss the problem with legacy systems, we’ll start with some reasons that enterprises are still using legacy systems, even if they aren’t contributing to company success.
Why Are Enterprises Still Using Legacy Systems?
Below we’ll describe the myriad of costs incurred by legacy systems and some of the challenges they present, but first, let’s discuss why enterprises are hesitant to modernize.
Fear of change is one of the main reasons that enterprises are resistant to modernization. Digital transformation requires a shift in both mentality and the traditional way you’ve been doing things for years. Not many are comfortable exploring new ways of doing things, even if it’s a more efficient way, and more often than not, it’s your employees who are hesitant to adopt new processes and software.
Another few reasons companies choose to keep their older systems are lack of resources, vendor lock-in, or lack of ROI when implementing new software. When organizations stick with legacy systems, it comes down to complacency. If it’s working to a satisfactory level now, why change it? Similarly, the risk of failure is another factor in staying with legacy systems and the risk of losing data.
Regardless of the reason, enterprises need to move forward and switch to processes, structures, and software that promotes growth. Staying with legacy systems or making a change both require an investment, and you need to consider how practical it is to continue investing in an outdated and soon to be an obsolete system.
Problems To Consider With Legacy Systems
Let’s discuss the problems you should consider with legacy systems.
Negative Employee and User Experiences
If anything affects the customer experience more, it’s the employee. Lackluster legacy software can directly impact employee performance, and most businesses can’t afford that these days. Legacy systems can slow down productivity and affect the way customers and employees view your company. If you’re slower than the competition, what’s the point of using your organization?
Training new employees on legacy software is often a tedious and time-consuming process that indicates your company isn’t willing to embrace change. If you don’t have a comprehensive digital strategy and a plan to adopt newer technology, you might make your employees’ jobs much more difficult.
The right software can help us create and scale business, while the wrong software can cause us to waste time and grow frustrated. At the end of the day, both customers and employees want speed and efficiency. Simply put, if your employees can’t get through the workday without software frustration and customers don’t have access to fast service, they will both move elsewhere.
It’s Hard To Scale With Legacy Systems
Software should help your business grow, which isn’t possible with inflexible systems, and that is the main problem with legacy systems. In such a competitive world, you need to be able to scale, and the technology you’ve implemented should be able to scale with you. If you’re facing setbacks because you’re always having to stop and adjust your legacy software, you’re likely losing time and money.
Today, your success is measured by how well companies as a whole can adapt to change. Legacy IT strategies, in general, are not equipped to handle change. Consider the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of unprecedented change. Is your company able to leverage its systems to facilitate remote work, or is the change almost too overwhelming to handle on a large scale?
Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Costs
Slow software impacts productivity, and ultimately that impacts profitability. Though legacy systems are known for being stable, they typically have numerous interconnected pieces, which means when one piece encounters problems, it affects other systems and breaks down productivity.
Hosting your software on-location means that you have a high ownership cost because of administrative expenses and maintenance costs. Your highly-paid IT professionals will likely be burning hours and hours on implementation before your system or upgrade of the system is even usable. Every hour spent on trying to make legacy infrastructures work will add to the cost of ownership – the older the system, the greater the maintenance cost.
Are you concerned about security? Legacy software is simply no longer secure for a few reasons. First, there is a lack of regular maintenance and updates of legacy systems because only a handful of developers can work with older systems. This lack of attention and support can put your data at risk. Plus, particular vulnerabilities in legacy systems aren’t always easy or cheap to fix, and your entire enterprise could be financially shattered with one data breach.
Security is based on the lean IT concept, which allows for continuous change to deal with threats that arise. The problem with legacy systems is that their age makes them vulnerable to attack, and these attacks can take a lot of time and resources to deal with those threats.
Why It’s Time To Modernize
In today’s digital age, every company can be considered a software company. It’s not a simple process to just find a solution and implement it. Legacy systems have to strain to support the complexity and variety of current products and services, and not being able to stay updated could prevent you from future success.
Investing in new systems and software has a plethora of benefits. The rewards could be endless from increasing speed, adding value, improving the employee and customer experience, and simplifying business operations. Bottom line – legacy systems can’t keep up with the digital transformation, inhibiting enterprise innovation. There comes a point when a legacy system no longer provides value.
When you need to replace your legacy system, any option will require considerable investment. If your cost of maintaining legacy tech becomes greater than the actual cost of digital transformation with modern and next-gen systems, it’s time to call it a day and switch systems.
How OnScreen Can Help
We know that modernizing your legacy system is not just about shiny technology. Changing your legacy system requires a change in mindset, as digital transformation is an overall cultural shift that needs to take place within your organization. Remember that business outcomes should be the priority, not the systems. It’s about being an efficient and profitable tool for employees so that they might provide their best to customers. Don’t rely too much on legacy systems because you might be doing more harm than good to your business.
Are you ready to weed out the problems with legacy systems and develop a solid modernization strategy? When you’re ready to take action, OnScreen can help.
OnScreen allows any trainer or expert to create step by step walkthroughs that are available to end users directly through the enterprise application you’re using for digital transformation. Schedule a demo with us today, and let us show you how we can address standard onboarding and training issues that many organizations face with their digital transformation efforts. If you want to increase user adoption rates and overall productivity on any Enterprise Application, then ditch old-school techniques like long documents that can be hard to find, incomplete, and simply confusing. Instead, OnScreen provides easy to read instructions that can guide users through any process and can make giving up your legacy system a breeze.