The fast pace of developments in technology and the functions technology is increasingly capable of should be a reason for businesses to assess the value of their legacy systems. Should they keep the older systems or move on to something new?
Whether it’s a CRM system, financial technology software, design software, or any application that is useful to an organization, businesses should be aware of their options and think about what will be most time- and cost-effective, as well what will allow for maximum productivity.
Advantages of a Legacy System
When there is a system that everyone on the team is familiar with, there are no roadblocks. Nobody gets stuck trying to perform a certain function, thus requiring assistance. Team members know how to access what records under what tab, setting up filters and generating reports with ease and quickly.
Business continuity is important, and a legacy system that works and keeps everyone on the same page is good for the organization.
And when new a team member joins the organization, there are enough trained resources to guide the new employee to become comfortable with the company’s technology.
“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
Sure, there may be newer, more powerful devices and applications, but is it necessary to upgrade if the costs are high and for what one pays to upgrade, the benefits are minimal?
For some organizations, their needs are very simple; they don’t need elaborate functions to manage their databases or to generate reports. Old legacy systems have done the trick then, and they do now.
Disadvantages of a Legacy System
Why stick with old technology when newer devices or applications might do things better and faster? Certain tasks that once required manual processes can now be automated, and these systems could lead to better data accuracy and faster turnaround times.
Perhaps people got by ok with candles and typewriters, but they have no idea how much easier things are with light bulbs and computers.
What’s more, the technology provider may have sunset service to the older systems, so tech support will not be able to help when something goes wrong. Outdated technology could also be a security threat, as the old technology may no longer be protected from viruses or hacking.
Some businesses invest a ton of money into a system that they intend to get the maximum ROI from, but over a period of time, that technology is no longer the best in class, and newer solutions on the market could things better.
The problem is that because of the initial investment into the newly outdated system, firms may decide to stick with their investment, or in some cases, they have no choice but to stick with it because they don’t have the funds to switch.
Older systems could act almost like a straitjacket for some businesses.
Due to costs or the sheer of inconvenience switching to other solutions, companies are restrained from making changes that could benefit them.
With legacy technology, exporting data from an old system can be very cumbersome, messy, and time-consuming. Furthermore, the formats of which data is exported may not be recognized when importing into a new software.
Legacy systems may contain information stored on local devices, thus requiring one’s physical presence at a physical location to do the work. Internet- and cloud-based setups, in contrast, would provide greater flexibility.
What Makes Sense for Your Organization?
The pros and cons of legacy systems may vary depending on the organization, but with the options that new technology offers, businesses should consider if it makes to keep their current setup.
For some firms, things like familiarity and functionality may be attractive reasons to keep the legacy system, whereas the outdatedness, costliness, and lack of flexibility may be reasons for others to make the switch.
As long as one has given careful thought into staying with or keeping their legacy system, then their decision should be respected.
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