It’s hard to admit when something is over. For years it worked perfectly but today you spend more time plugging ever-increasing holes than you do making improvements. These old programs that many businesses still run on today are referred to as legacy systems, and they’re putting the brakes on your growth.
How to spot if you’re using a legacy system?
Legacy systems doesn’t just mean it’s old, they can come in many shapes and styles but there are a few key indicators to look out for;
- They don’t integrate with new softwares
- There are fewer people each year that know how it works
- You’re spending more on the maintenance than on improvements
Commonly you’ll find legacy systems firmly integrated in business critical roles (such as finance, accounting or logistics) with change posing a significant potential risk to a break in the current process. These systems do their job well, however they struggle or are simply unable to scale with the increasing demands of your business.
Why legacy systems are costing you more
Inefficiency, instability, inflated wages & lessened security. With the reliance on legacy systems, a company guarantees ever increasing costs matched with less and less certainty over the performance and security.
The gap between cutting-edge technology and your legacy system is a divide that increases each year as less current and potential employees know how it functions. A decreasing knowledge pool also leads to a lack of innovation on and around this system. The result is an abandoned software that is left static as the industry around it moves forward. By not moving with the changes, the system’s security also quickly decays opening more opportunity for risk to any business using it.
A negative outcome to legacy systems is the slow but assured limitation on other business processes. By pinning a department or a section of your business in the past, it can have a broad reaching impact on stopping revenue growth of the company.
Why your customers hate legacy systems
Legacy is now synonymous with analogue. Customers today don’t just expect digital, they demand it. The world’s largest and most successful brands aren’t just “on digital” they dominate it. Netflix, Amazon, Disney, all have digital experiences designed for their customers and anything less just adds barriers to a transaction. In a recent study, 23% of marketers cited “Legacy technology and infrastructure” as the most significant barrier to a better customer experience.
Often overlooked or not appreciated, the use of legacy systems creates internal and external barriers and makes the business less efficient and your customers less satisfied. When paired with the increasing costs and decreasing security, running a legacy system could be the cause of your business failure.