A legacy system can be defined as the obsolete software or some technology which is still a part of most businesses. It refers to older software solutions hat businesses continue to use even after they’ve become outdated.
Regardless of its incompatibility to integrate with newer systems, slowness and many other issues, it is still being used by some companies. The legacy system over a period has been deep-rooted in the company’s processes and structure that no one in company thinks to change them for a newer technology.
Every company has its own reasons to continue with outdated systems. Some may have poured in considerable resources and time to maintain them could be one of those reasons. Some people in the company are unwilling to replace it with a newer tools. Simply because they fear that they would have to learn, understand and operate with the new technology.
Nevertheless, whatever may be the reasons for not using the newer technology, the companies will have to take a concrete decision to replace or update the legacy system with a newer and agile technology and solutions.
What are the shortcomings of legacy systems?
Slow and inefficient
The legacy systems are time-consuming for the people from various departments who use them. In fact, these systems add to their frustration even when being well-acquainted with them over the years. These systems are highly inefficient. They take long to time to load, fail to keep up with the pace of employees’ expectations. In its initial days, the system may have been perfect in every sense, it slows down with time.
Cost of maintenance
A majority of management people have a notion that upgrading the software may be costly affair. Yet, as a matter of fact, is not that costly compared to maintaining an outdated technology. Legacy systems demand comprehensive maintenance and the costs to maintain them are inflated. They are considerably costly than the probable cost of merely switching over to a new technology and hardware. Even if one continuously bears maintenance cost of the outdated systems, they are unable to match the performance of the newer systems. Therefore, it is futile spending money on a technology that eventually fails to achieve the levels that you require.
Not being compatible
There are companies which make use of diverse technologies. They maybe a mix of new and the most advanced. The problem starts when it comes to integrating these advanced ones with the legacy system. This incompatibility of newer systems with the older systems leads to having more systems than required. So it is better to have an advanced system with diverse functionalities and features which support various processes.
The problem of data silos
Data silos are created due to the incompatibility of the outdated system. Since legacy systems do not properly integrate, one has to use them separately from one another. Therefore, this creates data silos wherein data is isolated in the respective systems.
Now this is a chaotic situation for companies regardless of their sizes and types. The employees require to access different systems to find the data required. This is a frustrating and time-consuming process leading to loss of productivity. Compare this with the latest ERP systems which facilitate to store the same data in one place.
Lack of Support
Most of the legacy systems receive no support from its manufacturers. The reason being the manufacturers have stopped selling the systems. It simply means that in case one faces any issue with the software, the vendor would be unable to provide a solution.
What is the way out?
Overhauling the legacy systems is the only solution. It would be wise to prepare a checklist of things which need an overhaul. Make a note of the technology which must include software and hardware. Take a consensus of employees about the systems shortcomings, its utility value and the issues plaguing the employees.
Categorize systems that cause maximum issues and which could be replaced with apt, modern technology. It is advisable to consult an expert to make a seamless transition to advanced systems. Let the company management take a decision which will help to company be in step with the times, in terms of technology.