If you’re just beginning your research on ERP software solutions, then you may have come across the term “legacy systems”. In this blog, we look at what legacy systems are and why it’s important to consider alternative long-term options, even if you don’t think you’re ready to upgrade just yet.
Legacy software refers to old computer software which was revolutionary back in the day, but has now become outdated. Typically, this term is used when talking about systems that may run into difficulties when moving data into newer formats, or is run on an operating system or hardware that is no longer supported.
Why do people stick with legacy software?
We come across a lot of people who are still using legacy systems. While we never attempt to shoehorn a company into a software solution, we believe new technology and long-term business security should be high on your list of priorities. Some of the most common reasons for not updating a legacy system have included:
- it is an expensive undertaking to replace existing software, and the system in place hasn’t failed yet
- retraining staff on a new system would take away valuable time and money
- the current system meets the requirements of the business, therefore there is no urgent need to change it
- the users expect that all systems can be easily replaced when it becomes necessary to do so.
While these points are valid concerns, our team have experience working with these systems both supporting and upgrading them. If left, these concerns could escalate into problems which are both costly and difficult to resolve.
Why should you consider modernising your solution?
There are some important factors to consider if you recognise any of the points listed above as answer to a question about software.
If the hardware you’re using to run your legacy system was installed at the same time as the software, it is probably outdated. This might mean that your security is compromised and security patches are no longer released. The cost of maintaining the legacy system and hardware could quickly become more than a replacement project, or in the worst-case scenario leave you worse off and without key business data if your hardware fails without proper backup in place. You might also find yourself in the scenario that the parts required to fix your system are no longer produced by the company, or are difficult and expensive to get hold of.
Lack of knowledge
How long has it been since anyone made major improvements to your existing system? Another problem we see with legacy systems is that often the people who first set them up move on to pastures new, retire or (due to the age of the product) have died and left your solution unsupported. This could mean you find yourself with a lack of knowledge around the software which holds the data needed to run and analyse your business.
New tech vs old tech
Another potential issue is new technology is not always designed to be backwards compatible with older technology. While in some cases these links may be created, as technology moves further away from legacy systems it becomes increasingly difficult to move data to more modern solutions and may require a tremendous amount of work (which could incur huge costs).
Our background with legacy systems
Our team have been working with ERP software for years and a few of them come from the original team at XKO who supported legacy systems. We have a selection of customers who have come on board with us during the upgrade from a legacy system, or who have upgraded whilst we currently supported them on their existing legacy system. We have the skills and experience necessary to implement both instances.
We understand that installing new ERP software comes with the expectation of being a huge upheaval for your business, but it doesn’t have to be that way. After working within a vast number of vertical marketplaces and over 350 customers in our 12 years of business as Blue Rock (and a good few years before that) we know that there are unique challenges in every project.
Our exceptional planning and implementation program, ethos of strong training and encouragement for all departments to understand the objectives of the project can be the foundation to help you to create a very positive change within your workforce – which means better visibility and usability for everyone in your business.