Six Signs to Modernize your Legacy System

Posted by Catherine Stewart on 05 August 2019

IT modernization has been defined as the continuous evolution of existing applications and infrastructure software to align IT with the ever-changing business strategies and goals. When considering IT modernization of a Legacy System- it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Strategic options from dismissing, maintaining, transforming or replacing the system are all viable options. A successful modernization is one that combines business processes, people and technology to reduce risks, promote adoption and realize potential benefits. 


Why Modernize Now? Efforts to avoid or postpone modernization will make it harder to compete and, ultimately, to survive in a changing digital era. The risks of not having a roadmap to modernize your Legacy System is critical. When undertaking an environmental assessment of one’s system - be wary of the following, which may indicate immediate action. 

1. Your Legacy System is incompatible with Modern Systems.

Most legacy systems run on obsolete technologies which are incompatible with newer modern systems. Leveraging the ability to install and work with a combination of tools and applications has become part of the regular running in many business processes. Those working with older systems, unable to install new functionalities are losing out to their competitors, who are taking advantage of the benefits. As business models, processes and scale of operations change, the software system must be able to keep up with the changes. 


2. Your Legacy System finds it difficult, and often impossible to add new functions.

Just how flexible is your current running system? Often, older systems lack the capabilities of adding new functions and features, typically down to outdated technologies or overcomplicated architectures.  Working with such frameworks can leave developers frustrated and uninterested to excel on such mundane tasks. If one single simple feature requires line-upon-line of custom code, then modernization is a must. 


3. Your Legacy System create more problems than it solves

Does your IT system cause problems on a daily basis? Many Legacy Systems are slow, crash and fail to perform, which can create significant problems for employees and customers. If your employees are losing quality time, waiting for a file to load or a pdf to print - this can negatively impact job performance. If your customers can’t access the right information quickly, are they going to pick up the phone to call you? In this day and age, the answer is most likely, not. 


4. Your Legacy System relies on training and a specialized skill set to understand the complexity. 

Most legacy systems have one major flaw: the software is not user-friendly. In the modern-day most systems, especially for enterprises, have robust informational architecture, plentiful navigation options, and strictly defined visual elements and style. Older software systems often require extensive training fo employees to get to grips with the complex nature. In this case, it’s usual that your clients will also face significant issues interacting with you and seek alternative solutions. As researched by Bersin for Deloitte, the average cost-per-hire in America is growing and exceeding  $4000. If true, how much is spent on legacy training and just how much can one afford to pay? 


5. Your Legacy System’s operation, support and maintenance all come at a high cost.

Technology is excellent, but it does come at a cost. On the one hand, it helps you run your business and remain competitive, but it does require updating and ongoing investments in time and money. The cost of maintaining legacy systems can quickly become a burden to small businesses who try to keep their budgets in check. Experts agree that an organization that utilizes an older, legacy system is fundamentally unable to provide suitable IT alternatives. Make no mistake - every legacy system user will reach a point where they will be spending more money on maintenance, due to not upgrading earlier. 


6. Your Legacy System has security threats. 

Its a fact that older technologies pose risks, ageing systems are not actively security-checked and are vulnerable to malware and breeches and to having information stolen or compromised. In fact, as your legacy systems continue to get more out-of-date while the world around them continues to evolve, the risks may be increasing.

Legacy Systems remain an issue for organisations because they do not satisfy the requirements of today's business needs. IT modernization implies the acquisition and deployment of modern technologies—along with their associated skill sets and capabilities—to replace legacy environments, without having to start from scratch or take the risk of rewriting business-critical applications. There are a variety of strategies for taking modernization into your hands Read: IT Modernisation: Should we be assessing our Legacy Systems? - to see which matches your current needs. 


To modernize your Legacy System, PanonIT experts are at your disposal.

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