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.
Do you have the relevant expertise?
Don't create dependencies!
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.
Can you outsource the risk?
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?
Time and cost
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.