If your business is over a decade old, chances are you are holding on to outdated IT systems. These are pieces of hardware or software that are vital to your business that have since become outdated by modern technology. It may still work, but as time goes on, you notice that you’re spending more and more resources to keep it running as it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain or improve.
In an age of disruption, this can be a huge drag on your business. The technologies that have kept your company running for the last 30 years are not capable of integrating with the emerging technologies of the present day. You see these trends of artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and cloud, but you are unable to take advantage of them because your legacy IT prevents any innovation.
Industry experts agree that the majority of IT budgets (as high as 80%) are spent on maintaining, operating, and managing existing IT. It can be daunting to look at the systems that have become integral to your business and think about updating them. But to stay competitive in the modern age, making the decision to replace current legacy systems is crucial.
Your Legacy Systems are Holding Back Your Business
The first question technology leaders and IT decision makers must ask is what happens to your business if legacy systems fail. Legacy systems can form the backbone of many enterprises and veteran organizations and losing business because of failed systems is unacceptable.
Cost of Maintaining Legacy Systems
As these legacy systems are the backbone of many companies, they are required to be up and running around the clock. Even the tiniest amount of downtime can cost millions. Just look at what happened to Comair when a glitch caused 1,100 flights to be cancelled, costing the company an estimated $20 million. For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) who are dealing with limited IT budgets, the strain that can come from legacy systems can be overwhelming.
CIOs and IT managers of all industries have to take stock in what it costs to maintain these legacy systems. How much time are you spending putting out fires that are created from outdated practices? What percentage of your IT budget is spent on simply maintaining it?
There are many costs to maintaining legacy hardware or software, least of which is the cost to hire specialists to run them. If your system was created in the 80’s or 90’s, those skills are no longer taught in schools today, forcing you to spend on hiring an expensive specialist or on training someone with little relevant experience.
Impairing Modern Systems
A good sign that your hardware or software is outdated is how compatible it is with modern systems. Your legacy systems must be capable of integrating with the tools and applications that are necessary for success like new customer relationship management (CRM) software or simple additions like live-chat addons to your website.
It’s not just integrating with modern tools, but also modern capabilities. Legacy systems that have difficulty scaling can prove costly as they cannot support the complexity and flexibility of current services and products. By not updating these systems, businesses of all sizes are leaving growth opportunities on the table. For instance, enterprises are wasting $140 billion due to data trapped in legacy systems.
Employees Demand Modern Technology
There are many signs that your legacy systems need to be replaced, and your employees will be the first to start sending those signals. Are you hearing from your IT team that your software or hardware systems are not doing what your IT is asking it to do? Your team can learn to adapt, but if this technology cannot adapt to changes or improvements, that can lead to frustration.
This frustration can be a direct result of clunky and complex interfaces that affect employees of all kinds. This can increase the time it takes to do simple tasks because of inefficiencies, preventing employees from spending time inventing better practices.
Your competitors are upgrading their legacy technology in order to boost innovation and create growth for the business. As a technology leader, you have to give your employees – and potential talent – a reason to work for you and not for your competition. Systems that only create frustration and stress will turn off today’s tech-savvy workforce that demands better practices.
Security Threats from Legacy Systems
Security has become the top concern of many CIOs and IT managers. Data breaches make for great headlines, and you do not want your business to become the latest to have millions of customers private data hacked because of inefficient systems.
What was secure a decade ago is not even remotely secure today. Old systems are vulnerable to malware and breaches, and by not updating these legacy systems, businesses are exposing themselves to cyber attacks. Consider this: about three-quarters of the top 10 malware detected by companies could have been avoided by updated technology.
Legacy Systems Cost You Clients and Customers
Most importantly, you want to think about what your clients and customers are expecting. They expect mobile experiences that don’t just work, but work well. They expect user friendly websites and customer service options that include live-chat and email. A lack of mobility is not an option.
Uptime and consistency is vital when delivering a service. Outages due to legacy systems can cost you current clients and prevent any prospecting ones. If you provide a service that is vital to a client’s business, you cannot afford any downtime that interferes with their business. Updating legacy systems is necessary in order to be a reliable partner to your clients and customers.
Don’t Cut Corners with Legacy Systems
In a rush to transform, it can be tempting to find the quickest way to reach the end result. However, it is not as easy as flipping a switch. Not only will you have to consider the technical aspects of migrating to modern systems, but you also have to think about how it will affect your employees. Major migration efforts come with a culture shift to more agile processes, which will require training.
Replacing your current legacy systems is no simple task, and will require more than just the efforts of your IT department. From the most senior leadership to the average employee, legacy migration requires a complex strategy that asks every person in the business to get on board.
In order to reach the best result, you need an experienced team that can provide a strategy that will help mitigate any risk that comes with migration. If you are looking to replace your current legacy systems, contact JIG Technologies today to build a strategy that ensures success.