Change is frightening, but embracing change is also a key ingredient to a competitive and successful business. Unfortunately, many companies disregard the need for change and instead rely on outdated hardware and software, otherwise known as legacy systems, to conduct business.
Don’t let legacy systems sabotage your business’s success. They make it difficult for you to keep up with customer needs, and complicate your team’s daily workload. That’s why it is essential to keep up with new technologies, support those technologies, and upgrade archaic systems to technologies that equip you for the future.
What Is a Legacy System?
A legacy system is outdated hardware or software and thus faces compatibility issues with newer, rapidly evolving operating systems and IT infrastructures. Legacy systems are often unreliable and difficult to maintain - especially in today’s digital world.
Although legacy systems may function as their creators intended, they are limited in growth and longevity. Despite this, many companies continue to use legacy systems and turn a blind eye to their gradual extinction.
Do you use legacy systems? Unfortunately, this inevitably sets your company up for frustrating and disruptive obstacles.
Examples of Legacy System Software
It may feel disconcerting and risky for you to stop using legacy systems software altogether. Still, it better prepares your business for the future and helps you gain a competitive edge. Software that fails to meet current compliance standards has no access to security updates, or is incompatible with new systems, will sabotage your company and team.
The following are several examples of legacy system software you’re likely familiar with:
Example of Legacy System Software: Microsoft Windows XP
Windows XP was released in 2001 and was the dominant operating system for over a decade. While Microsoft no longer supports it, many businesses still use it because it’s a familiar option.
Although ‘only’ 0.39% of Windows users have Windows XP globally, considering the distribution of Windows products, this actually amounts to millions of users. As it is outdated software, this is concerning.
Example of Legacy System Software: Adobe Flash Player
Flash was once the go-to software for creating video content on the web, but it was phased out due to security vulnerabilities and incompatibility with newer tech.
Adobe no longer supports Flash as of 2021, meaning no further updates will be available. While the usage of Adobe Flash has significantly declined over the past decade, 2.2% of websites were still using Flash content as of January 2021. Once again, this accounts for millions of websites that depend on software heading for extinction.
Examples of Legacy System Hardware
If you’re considering whether or not to phase out your company’s legacy systems and upgrade to newer technology, take time to examine your current legacy systems.
Here are several examples of legacy system hardware you may recognise:
Old servers, desktops, and laptops are a clear indication that your business relies on a legacy system. A laptop’s lifespan is typically three to five years, while a computer can be considered “old” after three years.
These hardware types can be difficult to maintain as parts are often unavailable or in short supply. Furthermore, your team will likely find this hardware immensely frustrating; they’re stuck using outdated technology while the people and companies around them are stepping into the technological age and embracing new systems. Outdated computers will only make your team’s job more difficult.
The more frustrated your employees are, the less pleasant and efficient they will be, leading to widespread dissatisfaction - which could ultimately be your business’s demise.
Example of Legacy System Hardware: Old Printers
Outdated printers include dot-matrix, inkjet, and laser printers, no longer supported by manufacturers. According to a study conducted by Spiceworks, 43% of businesses still use printers that are five or more years old. These printers are considered outdated because they lack compatibility with modern drivers.
When you factor in the exorbitant cost of their replacement parts, ink cartridges, and the need for specialised maintenance, outdated printers might not even be affordable for your company in the long term.
Example of Legacy System Hardware: Discs
Storage media, such as floppy discs and zip discs, is another example of legacy system hardware. A significant drawback to discs is that they can easily suffer scratches, other forms of physical damage, and data corruption. This makes them unreliable and short-lived.
These storage media types have become outdated due to introducing better solutions with higher storage capacity, faster performance, and ease of use for businesses and individuals. You likely take advantage of cloud storage yourself, probably on your mobile phone. Cloud storage and USB drives are two examples of new and improved alternatives to storage media discs.
Furthermore, these outdated discs face compatibility issues with modern systems, as most computers and laptops no longer come with CDs and drives. When did you last store information on a CD and insert it into your computer to present at a business meeting? If you can’t remember, chances are you aren’t relying on storage discs.
Upgrade Your Legacy Systems
How Your Legacy System Is Hurting Your Business
If outdated hardware and software are at your company’s core, you’re operating on a legacy system and at a disadvantage. Outdated tech can hinder the long-term growth of your business by prohibiting flexibility and adaptability.
If your company fails to update its legacy system, its operations may stagnate and become incompatible with new technologies. Eventually, this can leave your business trapped, reliant on systems that are impossible to update, and it won’t be long before you cannot serve your customers or keep up with their demands.
To future-proof your organisation, your business must stay up-to-date with the latest technology wherever possible. If you’re operating on outdated technology, rethink how you’ll do business and keep an eye on emerging trends. Technology always evolves, and failure to keep up could make your company obsolete.
The following are ways legacy systems can hurt your business and stunt its growth:
- Systems run at a frustratingly slow pace.
- Systems are prone to crashes, leading to more downtime.
- Limited functionality.
- Support and maintenance is a challenge or no longer available.
- Poor useability.
- Systems are at a higher risk of cyber attacks.
- Data is difficult to access.
- Younger staff members may be unfamiliar with the old technology.
How Legacy Systems Hurt Your Profitability
The following are several ways legacy systems can hit you where it hurts - a.k.a, your business’s bottom line.
- A legacy system often requires manual processes to set up and update, taking away time and resources from other more profitable activities.
- As these systems are typically older, they also tend to be more difficult to integrate with newer pieces of technology, preventing businesses from taking advantage of advances in software and hardware that could boost their revenue.
- Legacy systems are expensive to maintain as they require a deep knowledge of the system and a significant financial investment, meaning that your business may have to spend precious resources to keep the system running.
Upgrade Your Legacy System To Guarantee Success
Are you dreading the much-needed overhaul of your legacy systems? It’s a daunting task, and like anything new, it can leave you anxious about the unknown and the possible implications of change.
solverASSIST is here to help. We oversee the entire transition process at an enterprise level and assist you by making straightforward recommendations and advising you on how particular transitions will operate and benefit your business.
Our capable team of experts will identify potential problems, develop solutions to avoid disruptions, remain responsible for the complete transition of new technology into your business, and ensure seamless integration or replacement, depending on your circumstances.
Embrace the seamless integration of new technologies to help your business thrive. Book a consultation with our solverASSIST team today, and let’s start you on the right path to success.