A legacy system is one that was created for specific use and often has one or more of the following issues:
1. Older software was created before RESTful APIs (how we get data from and to other systems). It becomes very difficult to make upgrades and to integrate with essential programmes such as accounting packages.
2. Non-supported languages whose usage has dramatically fallen off puts a stress load on resources, extends response times and requires development teams who are familiar with older languages.
3. Efficiency and sophistication are two words that don’t sum up a legacy system. Your software should work hard to reflect your business operations and shouldn’t insist that you bend your processes to fit old and clunky ways of interacting with historic software.
4. If your software is no longer supported, it will have security flaws and is unlikely to pass current GDPR and government regulations. Legally and ethically, businesses can’t exploit their communications and marketing.
These are points which undoubtedly put a burden on the business but if you consider your workforce to be the most important aspect to your business (we do), then the burden is clear to them on a daily basis.
These old systems are not meeting their needs. It causes frustration and is often divisive, leading to work that is inconsistent and incomplete. Businesses need to offer a robust solution that guides, not prohibits a person from doing their job and encourages adaptation of devices that suit the individual (smart phones/iPads/tracking/satnav).
Becoming a digital organisation is transformative but it takes a longer-term view to evolve and could take 3 – 5 years in total but core software can be built and integrated in a much shorter time frame to begin the transition and to mitigate against further damage.
It’s worth considering the losses that are already occurring through poor software and understanding how that will impact the commercial future of your business.