In terms of code and functionality, legacy systems may be quite large, and it may not be possible to replace just a single module. Even making small updates may cause disruptions in the working of the entire system. There is a considerable amount of time and effort that needs to be spent in making updates to such systems, which can be expensive too. The presence of large amounts of documented and undocumented features poses the additional risk of disruption to the source code. Legacy software systems and applications still continue to have a place across various industries such as banking, insurance, industrial, and healthcareamong other sectors.These sectors were among the first to adopt technology and they stayed with their long-trusted systems as they believed them tobe more reliable, secure, and embedded into their processes and way of working. However, with technology advancements and innovation becoming rife, even these enterprises are forced to think about replacing these legacy systems to meet the needs of the changing and dynamic business environment.
Technological advancements and changes in customer preferences and demographics are making it necessary for your customers to build new business models to navigate competitive markets. A company’s key systems and applications must support these business models.This is not possible using obsolete and outdated legacy software systems. These legacy systems are unable to meet the current needs of their organization. Organizations across sectors are beginning to recognizethat it may become challenging to maintain, support, improve or integrate older software with the new systems owing to their design, architecture or underlying technology which may have become obsolete. Clearly, your customers are already considering making a change. But is that reason enough for you to change too?
If you are a company that has built its reputation, and revenue model, on just such a legacy system, then read on to know why there are several other reasons for you to upgrade too.
Legacy systems also require the right hardware environment for its maintenance and support and again the cost of such infrastructure can be enormous, compared to cloud-based solutions which come cheaper. The requirements of specific skill sets and technologies make legacy software support and maintenance even more expensive as it may be difficult to find the right talent who may be still capable of working on obsolete technologies.
• Integration and security issues can be challenging
Most of the modern technologies are built for fast and smooth integration. There are a variety of APIsavailable that can be leveraged through multiple programming languages and frameworks. On the other hand, the legacy software lacks such compatibility.Connecting such software to other systems, processes, and third-party service providers require large amounts of custom code with high chances of failure in the end. There is also an additional security risk involved in legacy software as they are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and malware threats. Many of the base technologies of these legacy systems are now not completely supported by vendors which makes it difficult for companies to keep the system compliant with the latest security requirements.
• Prevents business scalability and growth opportunities
Legacy software may not be able to support yourbusiness requirements of high growth and productivity due to the sharply reduced scope available for innovation. Thiswill lead to loss of potential business opportunities. Consider something as fundamental as the mobile revolution. Legacy software solutions may offer limited, or only reluctantly qualified support to the mobility agenda of their enterprise customers. Such half-hearted support for mobile systems will lead to longer loading times, lack of an intuitive user experience,and ultimately, customer frustration. This is an opportunity lost for your product to reach new customers, offer new options, and scale dramatically.
How can software companies benefit from modernizing their legacy systems?
Let’s explore some of the top benefits of modernizing your legacy systems:
• Application of new technology to boost performance
Modernization of legacy systems allows you to identify the drawbacks of your current solution. Leveraging the efficiencies of new technologies presents opportunities to add features, identify bottlenecks and discrepancies, automate, and address development issues which lead to less productivity and hamper growth prospects.
• Meet user expectations and demands effectively
These modern systems could be more intuitive and more focused on user interface and usability when compared to legacy systems. Updating legacy system enables you to provide enhanced value to the customers and a better user experience.
• More reliability and scalability
Modernizing legacy systems can provide scalability and portability across systems. You can address more users, in a shorter span of time, and potentially be using fewer resources than you would have earlier. The systems tend to be more robust and hence more reliable.
• Gaining competitive advantage with greater business agility
Companies that modernize their legacy systems are able to ensure that their business is future ready to take on the challenges by unlocking potential business opportunities. Besides, companies can gather better data and make better use of itfor generating actionable insights. It’s possible to create an internal culture of innovation and business agility to follow the best practices in the industry through the modernization of legacy systems.
It’s a reasonable argument that it may not be possible for you to replace your legacy systems completely. There is a valid fear of business disruptions caused by the new systems, the cost factor, and, perhaps, an inability to convert data into the new formats compatible with new technologies. The key here is to modernize legacy systems in such a way that it helpsyou retain the value of your existing customer base and create a structured pathto migrate to newer platforms to meet yourevolving business and customer requirements. The road ahead is not easy -but it is one that must be taken!