Introduction

Let’s be real! Innovation in technology is not going to stop. As long as companies compete with each other healthily, they will strive to be innovative. They will spend fortunes on research and development and come up with better products and find ways to improve their business processes. However, as time goes by, technology disruptions are getting frequent. Companies find it difficult to catch up to every technological wave and the inability to adopt new technology usually cost them their competition. This is the simple truth that many companies are now waking up to.

The legacy systems owned by most companies are probably strong and suited for their businesses, but their performances will fall short against the performances of the systems of market leaders with high modernization maturity levels. These companies fall under a category which we at Aspire Systems call the “Zone of Complacency”. Most of today’s obsolete systems were once state-of-the-art and today’s “cutting-edge technology” will become obsolete in the future. Companies must stay on the forefront of innovation by either inventing themselves or adopting the right technologies that suits their businesses. While there is enough talk about the advantages of modernization, little has been talked about the detrimental effects of holding on to legacy systems. In this blog we will discuss just that – The detrimental effects of legacy systems on organizations.

Decreased Security

At-risk software is a ticking time bomb and organizations with legacy systems are usually forced to spend a fortune on security updates every now and then. When developers stop their support for the application altogether, they also stop releasing updates and patching vulnerabilities. They lose their ability to protect their data and sometimes their intellectual property. Therefore recovery from cyber-attacks and backups become difficult for the organization. As IT professionals upgrade their skills for state-of-the-art technologies such as microservices, cloud, AI etc., the resources trained to maintain legacy systems shrink and the lack of trained personnel pose a security threat to organizations. Legacy systems are notorious for creating data silos and that makes data accessibility impossible. When organizations lose data deep inside legacy systems, backing up the data and protecting them with security measures will become extremely difficult. The inability of legacy systems to prevent cyber-attacks also discourages them to comply with standards such as GDPR.

Mobility and Scalability Issues

Organizations that can operate their applications from mobile devices have the advantage of being more available and efficient. Legacy systems that are too large and complex cannot be accommodated into mobile devices. Immobility costs organizations their competitive edge due to the revenue loss from unavailability.

A company’s systems must grow along with the business in order to keep up with the escalating demands. Scaling up businesses without the proper upgradation in technology will cause disruption in business operations. With more mobility and increased scalability, organizations can grow multi-fold and increase market share. But without them, the application’s performance and customer experience will take a hit. This will hamper organizations’ ability to compete well with their competitors. Organizations hit rock bottom when they are forced to adapt business strategies that are suited to their legacy systems. This is undesirable because technology must be the means to achieve business goals, not the other way around.

Technical Debt and Maintenance Issues

When you choose an easy solution over a better one, you will be faced with the task of reworking the solution in the future. Legacy systems hinder your company’s competitive streak and innovation. This is because the competitive nature of businesses requires the right technology to succeed. When your competitors are using state-of-the-art technologies such as microservices architecture, containers, AI etc., your market position is on the line. Organizations must implement the best practices and technologies for their organizational success in order to avoid the situation in the future where they are forced to rework on their solution. When organizations are forced to pay technical debt, they lose resources, time, energy, and their ability to innovate. This is something companies with legacy systems must look out for.

Another issue with outdated technology is the maintenance costs. On-premise applications often have maintenance issues and force organizations to a halt. These maintenance issues usually take a long time and companies might lose business during that time. This is in contrast to systems with high modernization maturity levels. Developers can add features without any disruption to business operations.

Conclusion

Legacy systems are one of the main reasons a large number of organizations are not doing well in the market. The detrimental effects are well observed and companies would do well to modernize their legacy systems. Microservices with best practices, cloud-matured with high level of security, test automation in agile framework and devops pipeline will allow organizations to release high quality software frequently and whenever they want. But legacy systems are holding them back from achieving their potential.

Are you ready to eliminate the detrimental effects of legacy systems from your organization? Learn about Aspire’s Modernization capabilities.Webinar

Sriram Sundaresan