Everything ages — some more gracefully than others. Software and systems are no different. While it may work, the declining user experience can impact your business negatively. It can cause forced inefficiencies in your staff, reduce your ability to pivot your business and slow your day to day processes down into a grinding mode of constant frustration.
But why upgrade when everything still works? You could almost ask the same question for your clunky 15 inch TV from the 90s.
Don’t let Legacy Systems Kill your Advantage
Startups are popping up everywhere with the latest tech stacks and abilities to quickly implement features and pivot their strategies. However, established businesses have something startups do not — market recognition, prestige and an existing customer base.
But these advantages could be lost due to the upkeep of a legacy system.
As new methodologies of software creation, iterations and cycles become mainstream, the older and legacy software built in a different era becomes obsolete. Speed becomes a major problem, along with usability and user experience — creating a disadvantage for your business.
This in turn becomes the Achilles heel of your operational processes. Startups and businesses that have opted to upgrade their system lessen this potentially crippling issue through newer tech stacks.
An Efficient System Makes for Effective Staff
Software and digital systems are tools that employees use in order to complete the tasks that make up their work. When the tools are inefficient, there is a flow on effect on your staff’s maximum efficiency and productivity potential.
The long term costs of inefficient staff is often more than the initial investment of upgrading your legacy systems. While the cost of upgrade and maintenance is quantifiable, inefficient and ineffective staff due to your current systems can impact negatively on your brand and market standing, in conjunction with time lost trying to battle with your current clunky digital platforms.
A skilled staff’s potential then becomes underutilized and their ineffectiveness in performing their tasks can add to an overall sense of frustration and long term job dissatisfaction.
Faster Response to Market Demands
When you own a legacy system, the pool of talent available for feature implementation is also much smaller. This limits your business’s ability to pivot to market demand, making you slow to adapt to the needs of your customers.
It also means that you are slow to leverage new technologies, limiting the potentially impacting strategies that can contribute towards achieving your business’s vision.
Not only that, adding to a legacy system, rather than migration out, can negatively impact your investments as you are essentially adding to a sunk cost that’s potentially running past it’s used by date. When you’re adding to an old system that’s no longer effective, it’s like doing upgrades on a car that’s already got high mileage.
Legacy software and systems don’t impact just the business. It impacts the people using the system, including, but not limited to staff, external users, report consumers and the customers.
While software and systems don’t have an explicit expiry date, this can still be felt through its performance, ability to fulfill your business’s needs and support your company’s ongoing strategies and vision effectively.
When one or more of these areas are not met, it’s usually a sign for an upgrade. Startups often have the advantage of speed and ability to pivot their strategies because they are not tied down by legacy systems and software. Established businesses, however, face a different and potentially crippling issue that needs to be addressed.
Dave Wesley ~ President, SRG
Aphinya Dechalert ~ Marketing Communications, SRG