Identifying When Your Legacy Systems Need Modernisation

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, many businesses are outgrowing their digital infrastructure leaving them with legacy systems. But how do you know when is the right time to modernise these systems? This blog explores some of the signs that indicate you need to update your legacy software.

The author of this page: Ali Mohd
Ali Mohd, Technical Delivery Team Lead Jan 19, 2024

Technology applications can deliver great benefits to organisations from increased efficiency and productivity to empowering growth and facilitating remote working. However, it is very common for businesses to outgrow their digital infrastructure leaving them with legacy systems. While these legacy systems may have served the business well in the past, they can become harder to maintain in turn, leading to rising costs, heightened security risks and missed revenue opportunities.

As technology evolves, businesses must adapt to stay competitive and by embracing system modernisation or updating, you can put your organisation in a better position to thrive in today’s digital world. However, it can be hard for organisations to identify if it is the right time to modernise legacy systems. Based on application modernisation engagements across a wide range of verticals and organisations, below we share some of the most common indicators that it's time to modernise your legacy software.

Incompatibility with Modern Systems

Compatibility across your business technology ecosystem is important. Many organisations have several different business applications, some of which may be more modern than the legacy systems in place. This is where compatibility issues may arise. Legacy systems typically do not offer the same ease of integration as modern software. This can result in additional operating costs, as the business must invest in third-party integration tools or manual workarounds. Where disconnect exists between systems organisations tend to face challenges such as inaccurate data, operation inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities.

Rising Security Concerns

Cybersecurity remains a top concern for modern business and legacy systems can pose a big security threat. Although the legacy system may have been very secure when it was first implemented, it may no longer be as reliable today. Even if the system has regular updates and security patches, cyber security threats are becoming more and more sophisticated so they may not be enough to protect your legacy system and your sensitive business data.

Performance Issues

If your system is becoming slow, having glitches, frequently crashing or just taking longer to perform basic tasks then it may be a sign that the system is becoming outdated. Alternatively, it could indicate that it may not be able to handle all the data it has to process now or that there have been too many extra functions added over the years. Performance issues not only cause frustration but waste valuable time for employees which is most likely already costing the organisation.

High Learning Curve for Employees

Many older legacy systems were built without modern UI or UX principles, meaning they generally lack the simplicity and ease of use that we see today. Often if these systems have been in place for years, some employees become experts in using the system. However, if these employees leave they can take this expertise with them. It will be harder to replace them and take longer to train new staff on the complex system, meaning longer employee onboarding cycles and presenting challenges when it comes to scaling up operations. Further, in today’s competitive landscape, new talent does not want to work with outdated systems.

High Maintenance Costs

As legacy systems age, they can become much more expensive to maintain. Running legacy systems may cost your business more in the long run than it would cost to modernise the system, between operational inefficiencies, outages and staff training. Additionally, support for this legacy solution may continue to become more expensive. Your legacy system may require a specific skill set of expertise that is becoming harder to find when new IT talent is becoming experts in more modern technology systems.

Cannot Keep Up With Business Growth

Businesses are constantly evolving and setting strong growth objectives, but will your legacy system be able to support these goals? As your business changes your software should be able to keep up rather than having to adapt your business operations to suit an outdated technology system. If your legacy system is already showing some of the above signs, then it is unlikely it would not support any more growth and it may be time to invest in a more scalable and flexible system to support your future objectives.

These are just some of the signs that may indicate that is time to modernise your legacy systems. While the journey to legacy system modernisation may seem daunting, we have experts to help you decide on the best modernisation approach for your organisation. If you want to learn more, get in touch to speak with an expert or read our legacy application modernisation customer story here.

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