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6 Reasons To Sunset Legacy Systems

6 Reasons To Sunset Legacy Systems

1. The System No Longer Solves Your Business Problems

More than likely when you installed your current legacy system, it solved all your business problems and everyone was excited, but that was 15+ years ago. With the rapid advancement in technology over the years, business needs have changed and so have the problems. Why should you compromise your business efficiency and revenue, just because a legacy system cannot keep up with the new challenges?

Your business is constantly evolving. Your legacy system must be able to keep up with updates in your business model, processes, or simply be able to scale to your operations. If your system lacks this ability and no longer solve your business problems, you will end up adapting your business to your software and that will set you back behind your competitors.

Three questions to ask yourself  and think about with the software you are using are:

  • Can your system support increased productivity?
  • Is it possible to expand the system along with your organization’s expansion?
  • Will it be able to scale and change accordingly in the future?

2. Legacy Systems Users Need Special Skills and Extensive Training

Legacy software typically is not user-friendly, it is difficult to work with and has a clumsy interface, especially the one that was built back in the early nineties or even before. It does not cover the latest technology standards or device specifics. You will need to train your employees to work with antiquated software, which shouldn’t be acceptable for any business.

Today’s systems have a robust informational architecture, a multitude of navigation options, and strictly defined visual elements and style. Currently, your employees are using intuitive, mobile and web applications for their personal purposes, like for their banking, cell phone account and Internet account. These apps or interfaces offer the latest but well-established user experience and follow clear user behavior criteria. When your need employees to adapt and learn to interact with legacy systems that will frustrate them, they will be ineffective, and they might think about another place of employment where they can work with more modern technologies and thrive.

Migrating from your legacy system to a new, modern and properly implemented one will save time and optimize processes within your enterprise. Additionally, you will see the return on investment (ROI) more rapidly because of not hiring and training new employees to maintain your older systems. As the average cost-per-hire is rising this on itself is a solid reason to consider sunsetting your legacy system.

3. Integration, Scalability and Compatibility Issues With the New Systems, Tools, and Apps

No matter how old your system is, it needs to be able to automate and integrate with other tools and applications. This will allow you to run your business more efficiently and effectively along with being more flexible with new and existing clients. For example, implementing a new CRM, invoicing software or adding live chat functionality to your website are some of the integration points you would want to make. Most of the modern systems can handle integrations in a manner that does not break your current processes.

Compatibility issues are quite common with legacy systems. They typically require an excessive amount of custom code to make them work with new technologies, modules, and tools. In most cases, they completely fail to provide any straightforward compatibility options. If you are unable to innovate and utilize modern technologies like artificial intelligence, consumer portals, chat bots, and automated letters, I have bad news for you, your competitors are taking pieces of your market share. This means you could continue to lose clients, revenue and putting your enterprise at risk if you don’t make a change.

Consider the impact of everyone else using your outdated system like your clients and partners. Legacy systems typically support file and data formats to a certain version and development point in their lifecycle. Most formats have evolved beyond what the legacy system can handle like XML, JSON and others. Companies are stuck using old formats that their clients, partners, and suppliers probably don’t use or want to use anymore. Make sure to consider your partners, distributors, suppliers, agents and other companies or people who are part of your ecosystem and engage with your systems.

4. Slow, Crashing and Poorly Performing Legacy Systems

Some factors are telling you that your software is either outdated or it is starting to fail ranging from slow speeds when using, bugs that don’t have a clear resolution and there is manual work being performed by your team.

Waiting minutes for one report to run & display might not seem like a big deal the first time and you believe this is the way the system operates, but when you have hundreds of your employees doing this at the same time, daily, the minutes could turn into hours and puts a huge amount of pressure on the processes. This is a huge waste of precious time and it will cost you more in the long-term.

5. Security Threats

There are multiple reports from cyber security experts who claim different statements about legacy systems’ usage and all of them are united around the statement that outdated systems are vulnerable to malware and breaches.

A fairly widespread reason why legacy systems are not secure is that the software vendor stop providing updates, patches, and bug fixes, which means your system isn’t adhering to newer software standards. After not receiving system updates, it quickly becomes non-compliant with the latest security standards and has no security treatments against the latest threats.

6. Discontinued Vendor Support of Legacy Systems

If you depend on a vendor for updates, professional services and/or maintenance, there is a good chance they will not provide this in the future, no matter if you like it or not. When a vendor simply terminates the support for the legacy system that you and your organization use because it concludes its lifecycle aka sunset, it is more than a clear sign that you need to upgrade the system with a new and modern one.

Author Contact: Matt@emprise1.com

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