In these times of economic uncertainty, many organisations are choosing to stick to legacy software systems instead of releasing budget to purchase new platforms. Outdated operating systems, even those that support the most critical operations in many businesses, still very much have their place.
For instance, in the financial sector, legacy server operating systems from well-known suppliers such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, still play a vital role every time a customer makes a transfer.
Risks involved in upgrading to new IT systems
There are a number of risks in replacing effective legacy systems:
- The cost of new systems
- Time involved both in terms of researching replacement platforms and the actual migration
- Training required for new platforms
- Concern that the new system may not suit the business
- Fear of change and employee resistance
- Compatibility issues with other software or systems
Issues relating to legacy software systems
Whilst we wouldn’t necessarily recommend sticking with a legacy system as opposed to investing in upgrades or replacements, we understand that this may not be an option for everyone. We also understand the issues that businesses using legacy software systems face.
These may include:
- Security – creating patches for legacy systems are not high on software suppliers’ agendas. It is often more difficult to build extra security into outdated software and many suppliers may completely cease support altogether.
- Most B2C customers will not have legacy systems and will not understand the complexity of why they are still being used. They will have no patience with issues relating to speed or confusion caused by outdated systems.
- Compatibility problems and file types. Legacy software systems will usually support newer file types up to a point but many will struggle at some stage as suppliers stop supporting the software. This means that they may be stuck with file types that customers, suppliers and other stakeholders are unwilling to use.
- IT workers and departments do not enjoy working with old, outdated systems. They are not exciting and are difficult to change and customise. If IT employees do leave, finding new employees that are fully trained in, and willing to work with, older systems is not always easy.
- Legacy systems don’t follow the patterns of continuous improvement and regular updates to which we are now accustomed. They work on a stop-start basis, dealing with change in big chunks, followed by a period of no updates.
We can help
PSP-IT has vast experience with taking over complicated legacy software systems and managing them under a maintenance contract. Our legacy system support service is provided by our IT Outsourcing team with a combined experience of over twenty five years working with complex IT systems. They are experienced and adept at working with systems and software that have been written by others and work with integrity to support your unique business needs.
Many of our customers struggle with legacy systems where developers have ceased support, with freelancers that are no longer available or with IT staff that have moved on, leaving a severe skills shortage in terms of specific system knowledge.
We can help in a variety of ways to suit all budgets from documenting procedures and training staff to complete ongoing system support services to ensure the continued smooth running of your business.
Alternatively, if you have decided to upgrade or replace your legacy software system, we can assist with any migration or compatibility requirements. We are extremely adept at making systems communicate with one another and will be happy to help.
If you have a legacy systems integration issue or concern that you think needs an external team to rectify, talk to PSP-IT today about our Legacy System Support requirements to see if we can help.