If your company has been on the market for more than a decade, there’s a good chance you are using a legacy content management system. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? A legacy! A system that helped your company grow and is still with you! Well, when it comes to IT, things are a bit different.
Old IT systems sometimes are like dinosaurs trying to adapt to the modern world. They are heavy and reluctant to connect to the new realities and may end up slowing your business down.
In this article, we explore the risks of sticking to a legacy platform and the alternatives that can help you keep your organisation up to date.
A legacy CMS is an outdated system that is still in use. In many cases, it started as a top-of-the-line bespoke software system developed years ago using the technologies available at the time. But, in the meanwhile, the digital products and experiences skyrocketed around it, causing the company to invest more money as they tried to integrate new functions. Unfortunately, sticking to legacy software is not a long-term solution, so today, many companies consider legacy system modernisation or legacy system migration.
The term ‘legacy systems’ refers to more than old software. It also includes relatively new inefficient software platforms that are difficult to update or maintain. Here are a few clues that point toward a legacy system:
1. There are no upgrades available for it.
2. Integrating it with new processes is a very difficult and costly task.
3. Its maintenance costs you more than maintaining modern custom-developed software.
4. It is decades old.
5. The vendor is no longer on the market or doesn’t offer IT support for the product.
6. You have already spotted another visibly superior software solution.
When an organisation decides to keep a legacy system instead of opting for a modern bespoke solution, it can come across the following downsides:
Old technology tends to be slow for today’s user perception of speed. The main cause is that no updates are available, so the platform struggles to cope with more complex digital functions whilst using outdated technology. Many employees using a legacy CMS feel like they are losing a lot of time waiting for pages to load or reports to be generated. Overall, a legacy system is a time-wasteful tool slowing down your business.
Many business owners assume investing in a new custom software solution will cost them more money than simply adjusting their existing platform to cope with everyday tasks. The upfront cost is indeed not to be ignored. For example, a bespoke software company in London may charge a few tens of thousands of pounds for a medium-complexity application. But with your new product, you will receive updates and technical support, whilst keeping the old system will only require investing more and more in maintenance each year.
Staying efficient means integrating all that’s new in the field into your business. New social media platforms, new functions, and new interfaces – they are essential to keeping your existing customers and attracting new ones.
However, old systems usually don’t work well with new ones. You may find it difficult to integrate an ERP or a CRM system into your platform. Sometimes, you need to integrate multiple systems just to make the functions you need work. It doesn’t sound like an easy job, doesn’t it?
When you integrate a legacy system with modern systems, the biggest problem is that the data is stored separately simply because the two software solutions don’t fully match. This leaves you with data silos. Your employees must use multiple tools to get the information they need and thus spend more time doing unproductive tasks.
Instead, a modern ERP system allows you to have all the data stored in one place, making it easily available for all the departments that need it.
Finally, ransomware attacks and data breaches have only perfected over time, so older systems no longer have the tools to fight them. If updates are no longer available, your system is most likely exposed.
After learning the disadvantages of legacy systems, you may be wondering what makes some companies continue to use them. Let’s see.
Some companies don’t consider data migration from legacy systems because their platforms are still functional. They don’t see them as urgent threats to company growth, and since everything still works as expected, investing in a new system can be postponed. In most cases, the legacy platforms they use are not outdated, just old.
The use of customised software development services implies a high upfront cost that is usually amortised in a few years. Some business owners are afraid that by the time the new software can make up for its cost, it will already become obsolete. This is often true when the company chooses an unreliable developer, but the risk can be avoided by working with a reputable software development company instead.
There have been cases when companies lost important data whilst migrating it to a new platform. But they usually tried to do it themselves without having the proper expertise and experience.
Word got out, and many organisations decided it is safer to struggle with old software than go through a slow and possibly risky data transfer process.
If this is your situation, we can help you move to a new platform without risks. Get in touch with one of our development specialists in London, and we will explain the process so you can rest assured all your company information is in good hands.
Sooner or later, legacy systems no longer work, so it is best to look into a modern software solution before your platform crushes. Our ERP and CRM systems are based on a microservices architecture that allows you to add and remove modules whenever needed, which increases these platforms’ lifespan considerably.
If you feel that your legacy system is becoming a burden for your business, it is probably outdated and needs to be replaced. You may be able to use it for a couple of years, but the idea of developing a new one should already be on your mind. New systems are a lot lighter and faster, they integrate so easily with other platforms and, more importantly, are safer, so it would be a pity to keep struggling with a legacy platform.