How Legacy Systems are Hurting Small Business and What to do About it
Despite going through digital transformation, many businesses are still using legacy systems. Over the years, these systems have become ingrained to the company’s operations and is a fundamental way for the organisation to function. Replacing a system that is so ingrained into the workflow, processes and overall way the business is run can be very challenging and most of the time are not straightforward.
Here are some of the challenges with legacy systems:
- Increased security risk
- Incompatible with new technologies
- Inflexible and not adaptable to changes
- Cost more to maintain
- Increased possibility of disruption
1. Increased security risk
Security for any software is usually dependent on the continuous changes made to the software to meet the latest threats. Legacy systems would usually struggle with constant changes due to their age. Specific vulnerabilities may not be easy to fix in large and older legacy systems. Sometimes there are fixes but will be delayed as companies will prioritise on newer systems. Fixing an older system will usually be far down on their priority list. As a result, legacy systems typically pose a higher security risk to any business.
Legacy systems that are not able to adapt to new business requirements mean that there is a lot of workarounds or manual intervention to achieve the desired result. This will drastically reduce the organisation’s flexibility and scalability. Integrated information across departments is crucial to increase efficiency across workflows and processes.
Systems that are no longer supported would not be able to benefit from updates, bug fixes, security issues and stability issues – all in line with technological and industry trends. As such, legacy systems can become unstable to perform regular day-to-day functions and may pose a risk to businesses.
4. Incompatibility with new technologies
If you are thinking of purchasing a new piece of software and would like to integrate some information from your legacy system with the new, there is a high chance that it may not be compatible with new technologies. So you may not be able to benefit from the full features and functionalities from your new technology and would require modernisation of your legacy system for all systems to work as one.
5. Inflexible and not adaptable to changes
New business requirements and changing trends can lead to the need for changes in your workflow and processes that may not be able to be fulfilled by your legacy system. Most of the time legacy systems are not flexible enough to be able to adapt to new functional request. You will need to purchase separate software to fulfil the unique business need, and thus make your legacy system redundant if the new system has equal features.
6. Cost more to maintain
Updates and support for legacy systems can be expensive for many reasons. The cost of support for legacy systems is higher because operating system support becomes obsolete without necessary updates. Availability of skills is also limited as there are fewer people with the skillset to manage and maintain the legacy system. The resources and cost required to maintain legacy systems can far outweigh the benefits of keeping them, and thus it may be a motivation for business owners to consider replacing them with newer and more efficient technologies.
7. Increased possibility of disruption
The potential of disruption from outdated systems in the form of failures and outages can be a huge problem and can drive up operating costs.
Many organisations keep their legacy systems because the risk and cost to replace them are too high. As a result, they will continue to use those systems and jump through the support and maintenance hurdles when it comes.
Find how MicroChannel can help you move away from legacy software and future-proof your organization with a modern and integrated ERP system.