10 years ago

On Legacy Software: When It Makes Sense Not to Update

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 It will be good if you have two or more people working on the same legacy software.

With more and more cloud software services being launched every week and with the fact that software companies are making it much more attractive, simpler and easier to upgrade, you would think that legacy software would be very rare.  Because, really, who would want to use an outdated software that is no longer fit for your business needs when a new, fully supported software is out there?

You would be amazed that the use of legacy software (ak.a. “legacy system”) is more prevalent than what you have previously thought.  According to Computing and MSM Software, more than 60% of companies in the United Kingdom are using IT systems and software that are over 20 years old.  The study was conducted among 160 IT professionals from companies of different sizes in that country.

The reasons

There are many reasons for this.  For one, there is inertia.  A lot of IT professionals subscribe to the idea that if it ain’t broke, there is no need to fix it.  If you have an application that runs on SQL written in an earlier version, and it works fast enough, then chances are you really do not want to upgrade to the latest SQL version.  Sometimes, the latest version, new features and new functionality are not that attractive enough to warrant an update.  You might not even have any use for the new functionalities.  And for some, they simply do not want to go through the trouble of updating, learning the new software and its new features, and God forbid, wrestle with new bugs in the update.

That actually makes sense.  Even if software vendors paint a dismal doomsday picture when you use legacy software, sometimes it makes better sense to stay.  As a business owner, you would need to figure out whether replacing or modernizing your legacy software works for your enterprise.  You certainly do not owe it to your software vendor to make sure that their bottom lines are in the black.  Instead, you should determine whether it makes sense for your business to buy updated software.

Another landmine when talking about legacy software is that sooner or later your in-house IT professionals who are responsible for maintaining these legacy software will be leaving.  They might find another company to work in, they might retire or they might seek out greener pastures.  Nobody is going to be employed with you forever.  It will be good if you have two or more people working on the same legacy software, but that kind of redundancy is rare and it never makes sense in today’s tight business environment.

There’s good news!

The good news is, there is help.  There are reputable and reliable organizations out there that you can partner with should you need somebody to step in and maintain your legacy software.  Four Cornerstone has a team of software experts that can help you with legacy systems.  And if you should ever make the decision to move on to updated software — because it makes good business sense — we can help you with that too.

Contact us now!

Photo courtesy of rubenerd.

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