In many scenarios, the migration of old systems is delayed because the operation may be too costly for the business. Some may also infer that it is too lengthy and uncomfortable to move forward with. Despite these palpable feelings of “certainty” among business owners, the risks of using legacy software are far too high to ignore. 

What is legacy software?

A legacy system is a piece of hardware or software that was previously used, but has since been replaced with a newer iteration. Age does not necessarily constitute a solution as legacy. It could be viewed as outdated since a newer version has been released and the vendor no longer supports the older version. 

#1- Your company is too reliant on legacy platforms

It is not at all uncommon for legacy software to only function in a legacy environment. A majority of legacy products for businesses that still use them do no work on the latest versions of windows. In this case, the risks of using legacy software do not stem from the software itself but rather from the outdated platform. 

#2- Few opportunities for scalability and flexibility

The functionalities that a company needs from software will change as the company continues to scale. Moreover, that software should be able to grow and develop at the same rate. Another setback from using legacy software is that the products may not adapt to the needs of the business. The case for this is with large companies who need to make their legacy software compatible with e-commerce solutions and applications. 

The solution for these incompatibility dilemmas is through migration, yet many businesses will make the unsound mistake of applying patches or emergency solutions for their software. It may patch the systems up in the short-term, but as your business continues to evolve, it only makes sense to employ solutions that will evolve with it.

#3- Issues with legality

One of the huge risks of using legacy software is that it is not compliant with regulations from the General Data Protection Regulation. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and in other cases, legacy software could be breaking other laws. In order to wipe the slate clean, all the risks need to be eliminated from your organization. Migrating legacy software quickly and with help from application modernization services, will guarantee that the processes are done correctly.

#4- Missing out on amazing features

New software has many innovative and imperative features. New features are introduced because they provide more value than their predecessors. Every business has a responsibility to keep up with the latest software, or they risk losing work productivity. If the writing is on the wall, why would someone still opt to use a weaker, outdated system? If the only reason is to save money, the hesitation to invest will begin to impact your business systems on all fronts. If your goal is to have more consumer loyalty, brand awareness and big revenue, using the latest features is undeniably a prerequisite.

#5- Higher costs and downtime

Antiquated systems are difficult to maintain. They were created based on older requirements and compatibilities. Since the world of IT is now much more advanced, these systems feel even more outdated. The field evolves so quickly that the outdated systems come off as relics of the past. Additionally, other risks of using legacy software are the high maintenance costs, and the need to update settings every 6-12 months. The high price point would be justifiable if it were useful, but quite the opposite occurs. The old software will increase the downtime of your entire system. For as long as a system is down, it will render the business as inoperable and put all operations on immediate hold until systems are up and running again. 

#6- More vulnerable to security threats

Online security threats are increasing with each passing day, and the hackers responsible for these threats use more brute force, every time. Businesses remain the favorite target since they have everything to lose. Data is the real asset of any company, and it can be easily obtained when it’s not adequately protected. Suppose you have the latest in antivirus and security systems. Even if the intentions are there, the efforts may be futile since the software is running on a legacy system. New systems are developed with the latest threats in mind. They have a stronger foundation that is much harder to break into. These newer systems will also allow the users to monitor all activities occurring. 

#7- Your competition will run past you

Every industry has a thriving pool of competitors. The problem that manifests from this is the dense saturation of the market. If you have a unique idea, it best be a one in a million idea because chances are, someone else is already curating the same thing. At such a difficult time, you are basically surrendering your business’ potential to competitors when running on a legacy system. Edging out your competition is the name of the game to beat the fierce competition. Your customer base will be less inclined to commit to your brand if you cannot provide them with the basics in quality, fast, and efficient service. Software is meant to facilitate these ongoing relationships.

Avoid the risks of using legacy software

Every business in some way, is dealing with the ever-changing landscape of accelerated technology that changes the way business proceedings occur. The risks of using legacy software will hinder scalability, growth, and stance within your respective industry. With increased scale and demand, organizations will benefit from new software and help from modern IT infrastructure like what our team at RHYNO Networks provides. If you are in need of comprehensive IT oversight to ensure that you remain on the path of success, contact us today!

woman on legacy computer - 7 Risks of Using Legacy Software