Technology can give any business a competitive edge, but it isn’t without an Achilles’ heel. IT departments, for all the benefits they provide, can be weighed down by the burden of legacy systems. Outdated tech can hamstring innovation and leave a company lagging behind the market and out of touch with the consumers’ demands, which is a recipe for long-term, irrevocable damage to any company.
Old technology and legacy systems put organisations at risk for several reasons, including:
- Security Risks
Threats such as malware and viruses are constantly evolving, and older security measures often struggle to keep up with countering these threats. Not patching your systems only endangers the entire business.
- Internal Apps are Exposed
Apps developed for internal use are rarely held to the same security standards as external-facing apps. Over time, as the business grows, changes and takes on new challenges, those internal applications become more exposed to compromise.
- Wasting Resources
In general, the majority of IT budgets are tied up maintaining legacy systems. Gartner’s 2015 CIO survey shows legacy modernisation is an IT managers’ eleventh priority out of twelve. Dumping money into an area that only puts the company at risk seems counter intuitive.
Save yourself the headache
Companies shouldn’t concern themselves only with the cost and complexity of updating legacy systems. Instead, they should focus on the long-term damage legacy systems can cause to their organisation. Businesses could face complete failure as demand overwhelms the organisation’s technological capabilities.
Overhauling the infrastructure and software might seem daunting, however following these three key steps can help businesses on their way to a brighter, more innovative future:
- From a strategic perspective, identify those in the business who need to be involved in the overhaul, including third parties, and get buy-in from them all. On a cultural level, educate all employees on the importance of the change and what is expected of everyone throughout the process.
- Set up the processes to facilitate the change and purchase the best products available to your business (those people involved in step one will help here). These processes will establish the building blocks of change.
- Execute your overhaul and conduct quality assurance checks at every possible juncture. Ensure staff are embracing the new technology and are comfortable using it so any kinks can be ironed out early on.