21st June 2023

Why Is There a Legacy Skills Shortage in 2023?

Why Is There a Legacy Skills Shortage in 2023?

Despite the rapid advancement of cloud computing and companies accelerating their digital transformation projects, many businesses still rely heavily on legacy IT, particularly in industries such as finance, law, membership, education and government. In fact, 31% of an organisation’s IT is made up of legacy systems.

Because of this, the need for legacy IT skills is in high demand as businesses look for the specialist skills and knowledge required for supporting these systems.

For a lot of businesses, the cost and complexity of replacing a legacy system means that keeping their legacy system is a more viable endeavor.


Unsupported Legacy is a Huge Risk


Even with the rapid advancement of digital transformation, legacy systems are still common in 2023. As the saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”, which is what a lot of businesses stick to. However, leaving a legacy system unsupported for any length of time is a cause for concern. Here are some of the major risks of leaving your legacy system unsupported:

  1. Cybersecurity is not up to date,
  2. Long-term costs and developers' time spent fixing could outweigh the cost of replacing or modernising the system,
  3. Extreme risk of inadequate, non-compliant, or lost data,
  4. Hard to integrate new technologies with the unsupported legacy system,
  5. Skills shortage makes it hard to find the right support.


Why Is There a Skills Shortage?


While the need for new talent with skills in modern applications emerges, the need for trained legacy developers doesn’t go away. However, many businesses are quickly losing the talent they need to work on their critical legacy IT.


1. Ageing Workforce

Retirement is a large factor in legacy skills shortages. Older developers who worked on an IT system 10/15 years ago have perhaps moved on or even retired, without leaving detailed handover documentation. This means the knowledge of legacy systems leaves the company with the developer.

Organisations replacing their legacy experts often find new developers are unfamiliar with legacy technology, which makes it hard to find professionals with the confidence or ability to manage their systems.


2. Eagerness to Work With Latest Tech

With the emergence of new technologies, a lot of developers naturally lean towards focusing on the new over the old, which then causes a skills gap between understanding older technology and being able to work with the latest frameworks.

It isn’t just developers who are at fault. Organisations tend to prioritise newer technologies such as cloud computing over maintaining their older systems. As a result, training is focused on developing their team’s skills in newer technologies, and legacy training gets left behind.

This then creates a huge gap between legacy developers and modern tech developers. When in reality, a full-stack developer should have these two sets of skills intertwined.


3. Limited Supply of Specialised Training

Higher education is more focused on modern application development and cloud computing. This means new graduates have had little focus on legacy systems and how to both maintain and modernise them.

When this is combined with the other two factors above, it creates a perfect storm of a declining legacy system talent pool.


Business Disruption Is a Hige Risk


For businesses whose legacy technology is critical to their day-to-day operations, disruptions to a legacy system can have huge consequences, including downtime, data loss and financial implications.

Therefore, it’s important to seek professionals who can provide the right support and ensure the reliability, security and performance of your critical system.


Outsource Your Legacy System Support



Through a managed legacy system support contract, you can have instant access to an IT support team who will be able to diagnose and start fixing your problem straight away. You never have to worry about a shortage in skills gap either.

At PSP, we have a team of full-stack developers who are all trained on every one of our clients’ systems. So there is always a developer on-hand who understands your system inside-out.

Whether you’re looking for reliable support to keep your systems running, or you want to modernise your legacy system without it costing the earth, PSP has 15 years of experience taking over legacy systems, improving their functionality and giving the interface a modern facelift.

For impartial advice, or to book a free legacy system audit, lets talk.

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