Though the word “legacy” can have a positive connotation in many industries, it isn’t great to hear in the world of technology.
Though it may be tempting to use a system with which you are familiar, even if it is outdated, this can leave you at risk for cyberattacks and ends up costing your company more in the long run. If you’re still using a legacy system, it is probably time for you to upgrade and consider transitioning to the cloud.
What Are Legacy Systems?
Legacy systems are hardware or software that are outdated but continue to be used. Age doesn’t necessarily play a role in determining whether a system is considered legacy. It primarily refers to systems that are now obsolete because there is a newer version available, making the old system difficult to maintain and use. Often, vendors won’t offer fixes for these old versions because they want you to use the new system. Examples of legacy systems include an outdated computer application, an older piece of computer hardware, or an outdated process.
How Does Using a Legacy System Cost Me Extra Money?
Many companies that still use a legacy system do so because it still works well enough for them and seems safer than taking the risk of modernization. However, this can end up hurting your business in the end because legacy systems slow down your company’s ability to grow and adapt. It is better to have systems that can keep up with your evolving business than trying to fit your business needs to a legacy system.
Legacy systems tend to hinder businesses in slowing down their operations. This is because “old” and “new” technology are rarely able to work together. Most legacy systems are incompatible with newer systems, which means they prevent a company from competing effectively against those with modern systems that provide sufficient agility and flexibility. The inability to use new, advanced capabilities and compete with other businesses can then lead to loss of revenue and market share.
Because legacy systems are outdated, they are prone to frequent failure, which means the costs of keeping the system in working condition will continue to add up over time. Old hardware parts are often hard to find and are more expensive to replace. Finding someone with the expertise to patch old software will also require extra expenses. And the time it takes to accomplish both tasks will take away from the time you could have spent making revenue.
Building your company’s business processes around old systems sets you up for inefficiencies and problems with your performance. Waiting several minutes for a report to load may not seem like a serious issue, but if several of your employees are regularly losing this time every day, that idle time adds up.
Additionally, legacy systems often can’t be accessed efficiently from mobile devices, which prohibits your employees from being able to access your network, or other systems remotely. This means you’ll continue to fall behind your competitors and lose revenue. The future of the modern workplace highlights the need to have a system that is accessible from anywhere, so upgrading yours now should be a priority.
Why Shouldn’t I Use a Legacy System?
Higher Security Risk
Using a legacy system for too long often means it will eventually stop receiving security patches, leaving you extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can take advantage of your outdated system to cause a data breach or use this vulnerability as a path to access other parts of your network.
Additionally, backup and disaster recovery are extra difficult for legacy systems, and data loss is a constant worry because you’ll never be able to properly safeguard your work. These increased security concerns place a greater burden on your IT security team as they will now have to spend more time and resources monitoring your systems for unusual activity and signs of an attack.
Increased Compliance Issues
The cost of outdated technology can have serious repercussions if your business follows strict regulatory compliance requirements. Compliance standards usually require that your technology be supported, and outdated systems can result in fees and penalties because they often have security holes that can lead to a data breach.
You don’t have to try to update your legacy systems yourself. Experts like those at ATSG can help you transition to modern solutions that meet your company’s needs. ATSG’s holistic services portfolio spans the complete IT lifecycle, offering everything from reliable, elastic, dynamic infrastructure, collaboration, applications, as well as world-class IT operations.
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