Are Legacy Systems Hurting Your Business?
As the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate, Director of Modern Apps and Modern Workplace, John Talon explores just some of the reasons your business should consider application modernisation.
The acceleration of digital innovation, cloud adoption and technological advancement in recent years has fundamentally altered the way in which businesses operate. Legacy business systems that once served organisations well are now struggling to keep pace with the needs of the modern business, and are in many cases proving costly.
What is a legacy system?
The term legacy system refers to a piece of software, technology or system that is no longer flexible or agile enough to meet the current digital needs of an organisation. Very often such systems are built using outdated methodologies and architectures, which often results in difficulties integrating with modern technologies such as the cloud.
To help identify if you have a legacy system in place consider the below indicators:
The solution is no longer supported by vendors and/or it is becoming increasingly difficult to find IT resources with the technical knowledge required to maintain and modify the solution.
The system is no longer issued with security updates.
Integration with modern cloud-based software is proving complex and costly - or in some cases simply not possible.
Teams using the system are forced to find workarounds for the processes.
It is important to note that there has been no reference above to the system failing to operate as initially expected. Legacy systems often remain in situ as they still work and get the job done, however, the reality is they do so at a cost.
The business cost of running legacy systems.
According to VP Analyst at Gartner, Stefan Van Der Zidjen "For many organisations legacy systems are seen as holding back the business initiatives and processes that rely on them. When a tipping point is reached, application leaders must look to application modernisation to help remove the obstacles". And while migrating from these legacy systems will require investment, maintaining them may prove much more costly.
With plenty of statistics suggesting that maintaining and operating a legacy system consumes anywhere from 60-80% of corporate IT budgets and resources, the case for application modernisation is clear. However, the impact of legacy applications reaches far beyond the IT department, with business costs including;
Dysfunctional processes and workflows
Due to an inability to integrate with modern technologies, legacy systems often force teams to work within the constraints of the system rather than addressing the real business need.
Lack of Agility and Flexibility
In a fast-paced business landscape, agility and flexibility are key with those organisations leveraging modern cloud solutions to gain a competitive advantage over those reliant on legacy systems. With greater processing power and improved data insight, modern systems can help organisations rapidly respond to market shifts and ensure a reduced time to market.
The rise of technology adoption has lead to a shift in employee expectations. High-speed technology solutions are expected by default. Lengthy load times, fragmented business data and frequent bugs, will have a detrimental effect on overall employee morale, which in turn make hiring and retaining employees more difficult.
Decline in Customer Service Quality
Regardless of the industry you serve, clients expect to receive fast, high-quality responses from the businesses they choose to engage with. Mobile devices have become the platform of choice for research, sales and post sales support with many legacy systems failing to deliver on the speed and mobile requirements of the modern client.
The factors mentioned above, combined with the integration challenges experienced when relying on legacy applications can have a significant negative impact on overall productivity. Hurting not only the business's growth potential but ultimately the bottom line.
To learn how SteriPack leveraged the power of Microsoft Azure to facilitate the modernisation of their QMS solution, click here to read the case study in full.