How You Can Support Legacy Software Systems

The enterprise software landscape continues to change rapidly, with new technology and more advanced solutions being created and adopted by businesses at an astonishing pace.

Older, established systems, commonly referred to as “legacy systems”, continue to play a vital role, serving critical functions and processing valuable data.

However, supporting and maintaining these systems can be challenging, and is often neglected. This is often to the detriment of an organisation, especially if you’ve invested significant time and energy in developing a bespoke application to digitalise your unique processes and gain a competitive advantage. 

I’m a strong advocate for businesses addressing technical debt and modernising their tech stack to help increase flexibility, improve performance, and drive growth, and we can help with this too (visit our software development page for more information)!

However, it isn’t easy for legacy systems to be replaced, so you must also have a strategy for supporting and enhancing your systems, so your business doesn’t fall behind the competition.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of supporting legacy software systems and discuss some pitfalls to avoid.

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Do you have the relevant expertise?

Firstly, it’s important to establish if you have knowledge and expertise in-house to support and enhance your legacy tech. If not, you may need to recruit, which isn’t always easy, or work with a third-party software house like Koderly.
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Don't create dependencies!

Commonly, organisations rely on a guru, product owner, or technical lead to support or enhance their legacy systems, which creates a dependency and a single point of failure. You must avoid this at all costs or, as an absolute minimum, mitigate the risk! Communication, documentation, and knowledge transfer are critical in this area.
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Is the underlying technology supported and secure?

It’s not easy keeping all components of legacy systems up-to-date, and this may introduce vulnerabilities and security risks into your technology ecosystem.

However, it’s important you can demonstrate effective support and a means of upgrading your legacy systems. Especially if you’re preparing to exit the business or going through an investment cycle. Inevitably, any risks will be flagged during a due diligence process, so you must have a plan in place well in advance.

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Can you outsource the risk?

Outsourcing to an experienced development team, like Koderly, can give you the peace of mind to focus on operating the business, and the confidence that your critical business systems are in safe, capable hands.
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Can you integrate with modern tools?

You may want to connect your legacy software with modern tools, platforms, or third-party systems which will allow you to enhance your system and leverage new technologies.

If you can’t integrate your legacy system, and it’s having a detrimental impact on your business, you may have no choice but to bite the bullet and upgrade, replace, or re-write the system.

You can do this using an internal development team or outsourcing to an experienced software house.

What are the benefits of supporting legacy software systems?

Supporting legacy software systems may present unique challenges, but sometimes the business benefits make it worthwhile. Here are some reasons why you might want to retain your legacy software systems.
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Business continuity

Many businesses rely on legacy systems to perform critical functions, and downtime can result in financial loss and negative customer experiences. Furthermore, legacy software, by definition, has been in use for a long time and could be more stable than newer software.
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Time and cost

Replacing a legacy system with a modern alternative requires significant investment and can take time. By supporting and systematically enhancing the existing system, you can manage costs and resources effectively.
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Not all legacy software is unreliable and flaky. If your legacy systems are reliable and performant, and meet the needs of the business, you may want to adopt the principle of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
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Employees and customers are already familiar with how the software works, so there is no need for retraining.


Whilst there are exciting opportunities to replace legacy systems with modern technologies, the decision of whether to continue using legacy software is a complex one.

Businesses need to weigh the benefits and challenges of supporting legacy software carefully before making a decision, and make sure they have adequate support for legacy systems in the meantime.

Find out more about our software development or digital transformation services, or feel free to contact us

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Picture of Craig Kennedy

Craig Kennedy

Chief Executive, Craig Kennedy, is a Certified Accountant with 20 years’ experience. Craig joined Koderly in 2011 as Finance Director and took on the role of Chief Executive in 2019. Craig oversees strategy, finance, and compliance, working alongside the Board of Directors.