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To modernise or not, that is the question. A difficult decision for any company, upgrades can be costly and are not always considered necessary if the legacy software is fully functioning. However, there are many factors to address when assessing whether a company should opt for a modern software package over its existing legacy model. Below are five things to consider when choosing whether or not to modernise legacy software, and how it would improve a number of company functionalities and processes.

Improved functionality

New software has updated features, which help optimise processes within the business. It uses virtual and cloud computing which means that data can be accessed conveniently and remotely by mobile devices. These innovative features do not exist within legacy systems. However, they are pretty much essential in the running of a business in today’s society.

Business practice development

The evolution of business may mean that an organisation has different goals and ambitions since the initial integration of the software. If the legacy system is un-scalable, it will be difficult to upgrade the software to suit the changing requirements of the business. As clients and competitors upgrade their systems, it becomes increasingly difficult for the legacy system to link with others or compete with contending businesses. Therefore, modernisation is essential.

The cloud

The in-house functionality of legacy software prevents it from working efficiently in broader terms. Whereas modern software is designed to take advantage of internet and cloud facilities. Data can be accessed remotely, across a number of platforms and devices. This is especially useful for companies whose staff are situated in more than one office, in several locations. 

Security

The older the software, the longer the period of use, making it more susceptible to hackers as they have more time to find loopholes in the systems. It enables them to identify weaknesses and problem areas which they can target. Legacy software tends to prioritise functionality over security, whereas modern software is built with the importance of security paramount. Data remains protected, but can be accessed efficiently.

User experience

Lastly, modernising legacy software will improve the user experience, whether it’s used by employees or customers. More focus on the usability and effectiveness of the interface makes modern software a good option for companies looking to improve the company’s digital functions.

“Whilst software code doesn’t go rusty or smelly, unfortunately, it can become outdated. Code is created in a programming “language”, and programming languages can evolve and newer versions can supersede older versions. Some languages become obsolete altogether. And often, sadly, software that is very old becomes a spaghetti mess where functions were once introduced and are no longer relevant, yet their “legacy” remains, leaving code that is incredibly difficult – and therefore costly – to maintain. It’s the responsibility of any organisation that has software created to keep it up to date and have a budget set aside to do so” said Nick Thompson, managing director of DCSL Software Ltd.

Are you ready to upgrade? Ask yourself the following questions;

  • Are you reluctant to enforce changes just in case it damages the software?
  • Are there new features that you’d like to add, but can’t due to the existing code base?
  • Do you have current features which are outdated or broken which have been left as they are too complicated to fix?
  • Every time you fix one thing, do numerous other issues arise?
  • Are you working around existing code rather than coding true enhancements?

If you can relate to any of these, it is worth considering modernising your legacy software. The initial cost of upgrading can be high, however, expenditure will be redeemed when systems are performing optimally.

 

By Hannah Richards, Amplified Business Content