Innovation moves at a rapid pace. What was state-of-the-art last year might be borderline irrelevant by the next. No matter if you’re a small start-up or a global corporation, you should be constantly analysing, tweaking and improving your tech stack to ensure its driving you forward.
Think about the systems your team currently rely on day-to-day. Are they as beneficial as they used to be, or could they be doing more?
Why too many legacy systems could be bad for business
Progress moves at lightning speed and modern cloud services offer the ability to keep the benefits of legacy systems while tapping into the power of today’s evolving tech. Modern tech is agile and scalable, but many legacy systems are still used to do the heavy lifting. This can sometimes create problems.
1. Lost staff productivity
The older technology gets, the less efficiently it runs. It affects the way your team members work. Hardware tends to break down, even if it’s well-maintained and devices wear out after five to seven years. But the productivity issues that come with aging hardware only worsen when you bring aging software into the mix. Software becomes full of bugs or incompatible with new technology.
2. Growing security risks
Many legacy systems are no longer supported by their developers. Therefore, a single unpatched weakness can allow attackers to access databases and applications. Likewise, because of the lack of modern backup solutions and services, organisations often cannot prevent serious data losses.
3. Compatibility issues with other systems
Older apps lose integration with companion apps. For example, your CRM system may have worked flawlessly with your billing software in the past. But as developers focus on newer versions of their apps, they stop updating past versions. The result is more errors and you risk losing data.
4. Increased maintenance costs
Legacy systems can take longer to update or maintain. This can lead to increased downtime and impact the revenue make as staff can’t carry out their normal work. This also impacts the time needed to address issues and emergency situations.
The benefits of making a change
Upgrading vital systems can be a daunting prospect. However, the benefits far outweigh any worries you might have.
- New systems are packed with advanced features that can help your team to work quickly and productively. At a certain point, developers stop updating older systems so you’re at risk of missing out on vital new advancements.
- Just as developers might stop adding new features to older systems, they might also bring an end to security patches. Cyber criminals are always looking for ways to breach systems so if you’re using a tool that’s less secure, your business is more at risk. Major breaches can cause major reputational damage and cost huge amounts to rectify.
- The most successful businesses are the ones that are agile and ready to adapt. Sudden market changes and growth opportunities need to be seized upon and that’s often harder to do without the right tech stack at your fingertips. Modern, cloud-based alternatives are reliable, scalable and ready for whatever comes next.
- The more integrated your tech stack is, the more seamlessly your teams work. Legacy systems often bring compatibility issues which often make simple tasks more time-consuming. Staff can grow frustrated which can also cause productivity levels drop. Making the change to a more modern system means using a tool that easily integrates with the other components of your stack.
Is upgrading to newer systems a challenge?
There’s a common misconception that upgrading to a new system is a serious headache. With the right support in place, that’s simply not true.
Even if you’ve relied on a system or tool for years, the process of making a change doesn’t have to be complicated. There might be challenges to face, so here are some useful tips that can make the change more straightforward.
1. Be open with your team
Communicate why you’re making the change and what that means for them. If they’re going to be the ones using the system each day, they should understand the reason for the change. User acceptance is key for a seamless transition, so make sure the whole team is on board. Collate feedback on the legacy system and identify areas of improvement that a newer alternative can support with.
2. Consider downtime
It might be that at stages during the upgrade there is a need for unavoidable downtime. Don’t panic. Plan around this downtime to ensure that work can continue as close as possible to normal. What that means in practice will differ from business to business. However, the key principle of planning doesn’t change.
3. Make the right choice
There’s no point going through an entire upgrading process if you’re left with a worse system than when you started. Before making any major decisions, try and run a trial period with the system you intend to use. See how staff take to it and if it works cohesively with the other systems that are already in use.
One legacy system that can slow down productivity and lead to staff frustration is the phone system your business uses. To see what a difference a cloud-based phone system can make, sign up to our completely free trial now.