Should you Continue to Support your Legacy Software?
October 23, 2015
Companies often wonder if they should keep supporting an older software; and also wonder, when is the right time to move on? There are several reasons companies stick with their legacy software:
- One is that they simply have no idea what to do. You may have several options. The vendor may have a newer product, or a competitor may be able to upgrade and convert your data. If your software was developed in-house or is a custom product, then you may be able to have it redesigned or cloud-enabled.
- Another reason that companies will continue using older software is due to fear of change. Often these fears are justified. Even if everything goes smoothly, there can still be errors in data migration or a need to retrain employees to use a new product; which slows down productivity for a time, and introduces a chance for additional errors.
- Cost is another reason companies stick with their legacy software. The cost to train employees, the cost of an upgrade or new package, the cost to migrate data and bring it onto a new platform.
All of these factors weigh into the decision, but conversely, there are numerous good reasons to update your software too:
- Enhanced security is often a high-priority driving factor. Older software often ignores basic tenants of good security, like separation of duties and data encryption.
- Maintainability and functionality are other concerns that can be addressed with a redesign and upgrade. With a legacy system something may break that you simply can’t fix. Or, you decide to add a product line and can’t support it in the system. Maybe you need a new feature or function and get stuck with no way to add it.
- Performance can be enhanced by upgrading your software too. A new platform may allow the software to scale out better and be moved on to faster hardware at a minimal cost.
How to Bridge the Gap
By choosing a web or cloud-based framework for your legacy application, mobility, flexibility, and expandability can be enhanced as well. If your legacy line of business software has a lot of tables, grids or forms, (and most of them do) chances are it is an excellent candidate for updating to a new web-enabled version.
Even if your application has lots of graphics, charts, and reporting, there are fantastic options for bringing those to a web-based framework. And although an application is designed as a cloud or web-based system, it can still work on all your devices.
At Cii Technology Solutions, we can help you navigate all of these issues, and build custom applications and software that will meet your needs. We are experienced in taking legacy applications that are built on unsupported frameworks and migrating them to the latest standards. We can analyze your current situation and make a plan to get you where you want need to be. We specialize in developing solutions that you can run synchronized side-by-side with your legacy application and make the transition painless.
Gray Anthony, Software Engineer