Moving On From Legacy Software

Why Relying on Legacy Software is More Harmful Than Ever Before

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Is Outdated Software Holding Your Business Back?

Many industries are making great waves towards smarter worker with digital-first solutions which provide service continuity, better data insights and to pave the way for the implementation of hybrid working strategies. While this embracing of IoT and the latest AI and VR technologies is enabling some organisations to work smarter, on the flip side of the coin is the high percentage of UK businesses who still rely on old software to carry out daily operations.

Covid-19 accelerated digital transformations throughout the business world. Yet a surprising amount of companies are still not off the starting block. 

We discuss the increasing importance of moving away from legacy software, the benefits of transitioning to a custom-made digital solution and how you can take the first steps in the right direction. 

Download our guide to legacy software here.

What is Legacy Software?

In a nutshell, legacy software is software that is past its expiry date - no longer really fit for purpose. Legacy software systems are those which were built using old, outdated applications and operating systems which are no longer supported or in use. When they were originally built, legacy software systems would have been designed to fit current hardware technologies and business processes. 

  • Software that was created for an operating system which is no longer supported such as Windows 8 or earlier
  • Software which is incompatible with new operating systems and devices
  • Software that was written in an archaic language such as COBOL
  • Software which is no longer updated or improved
  • Software which is unable to meet the needs of your business
  • Software that is not internet enabled

How Will Running Legacy Software Affect Your Business?

Running a rigid, outdated software solution may be presenting your business with multiple challenges, leaving you vulnerable to major risks and hindering growth. 

Businesses using legacy software will no doubt experience:

  • Performance issues which impact productivity
  • Limited functionality to support processes
  • Little to no mobility
  • No security updates or patches 
  • Lack of support or ability to make any modifications
  • Incompatible with your other business systems
  • Dissatisfied employees

Outdated software systems which significantly underperform and carry excessive maintenance costs are surprisingly prevalent. As a result of the pandemic, more IT professionals have recognised vulnerabilities in both their systems and digital strategies. Although operating with inadequate technologies in place may have once been an irritation, it is now becoming a business-critical issue.

'Keeping the Lights On' is Hugely Costly 

Many businesses across the UK still rely on legacy software to run their daily operations from insurance and retail to manufacturing and energy companies. 92% of the UK’s financial services still rely on legacy technology and last year it was revealed that £2.3 billion of the £4.7 billion UK government spent on technology was to keep outdated legacy systems running. The report by the Modernisation and Reform group, published in July 2021, forecast that up to £22 billion could be wasted in the next five years just 'keeping the lights on'. 

Maintenance costs for legacy software are considerably high compared to modern software solutions as specialist software developers with a particular skill set are needed, and expensive licensing or specialist security updates need to be created. Moving to the cloud can also produce more energy efficient software, which in turn saves costs and reduces environmental impact. If your competitors are using modern technologies to run their services then you could also be losing out on securing new opportunities. 

Increased Risk of Cyberattacks

Recently, the UK National Cyber Security Centre revealed that there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 as there were in the whole of 2019. Businesses are being encouraged to develop robust cybersecurity strategies and security cultures to prevent critical disruption. 

Outdated software can be alarmingly easy for hackers to crack, as they often don't support the latest security updates. Most malware targets older versions of software, leaving enterprise data extremely vulnerable and exposed to a cyberattack. Support for Windows 7 ended in 2020, yet an estimated 20% of all PCs are thought to still run the legacy application, leaving them more susceptible to attacks. Business disruptions and leaking of sensitive information issues can harm the reputation and integrity of any business, no matter the size. 

Low Productivity and Job Satisfaction

Slow running systems which are difficult to use can undoubtedly affect productivity and also lead to job satisfaction amongst employees being low. Staff can be stuck administering repetitive, time-consuming tasks, leading to a deficiency in time and resources. With a greater need than ever before for companies to offer remote and hybrid working, employees using old systems are unable to work effectively outside of the physical office environment. 

As businesses plan their route to post-Covid recovery, we have seen an uplift in companies needing systems which are built with change and scalability in mind. Off the shelf solutions can rarely provide the functionality and agility needed by each individual business need, which is why developing a bespoke software solution can prove to be a very wise investment.  

So, what’s stopping companies from making a change?

The cost of investment, business disruption, and a lack of time are all contributing factors. Some businesses are very mindful that a change is needed but simply are unsure where to start. However, with the right planning and expert team in place, a phased, smooth and effective move away from legacy systems can be achieved.  

Benefits of a Bespoke Software System

A custom-made software solution is designed to encompass your company’s unique needs and processes while also supporting smarter, agile working. Scalable, secure, powerful and accessible anywhere, a bespoke cloud-based software system can enable business process automation; driving greater efficiencies. Software developers design modern software for continuous scalability, enhancement and easy maintenance, which in turn can lead to improved compliance and detailed data insights will reduce maintenance costs and allow businesses to make more informed decisions. 

Effective data migration is one of the key success factors of modernising your software. Our team of specialist database developers design, integrate and upgrade enterprise database solutions to revolutionise your business data capture and reporting capabilities. Premium data security is at the forefront of any new software build to ensure companies are protected and can offer safe and reliable systems for their employees in and out of the physical office.

How our Software Developers can Help

We have great experience in rescuing systems that have come to the end of their life cycle. Breathing new life into a software system can take many forms, and we can help you decide on the best route. Whether it's a rebuild, replatform, rearchitecture or restore, we can provide consultation on the best legacy modernisation for your business. Here's some of the ways our specialist software developers can handle the transition from old to new as seamlessly as possible:

After an extensive review of your current systems and business processes, we can provide guidance on the optimum technology stack to improve how you work. We can design new system architecture that best fits your processes, focusing on how to create enhanced efficiencies and accessibility. Our expert software developers at Clever Software Group can fully customise and architect a digital solution which most benefits your business need, providing a fully integrated system which encompasses all the cornerstones of your organisation. Our Hampshire based team take care of everything from building a new system architecture and creating new streamlined workflows to the safe migration of your data and training of employees. 

Our software developers can restructure and rebuild your system into a native cloud environment, which centralises your system, reduces maintenance costs and provides a fast, reliable service. For some companies, their biggest concern about modernising their software system is how it will impact on their data capture and management. During the early planning stages of the development, our team devise a data migration strategy. With a migration strategy and plan at hand, the technical team take care to implement seamless data migration to mitigate risks.

At the heart of what we do is creating simplified digital experiences. We look at how we can help you to move all your processes into a digital environment as well as using automation techniques to create more streamlined workflows. Our clever software solutions are designed for people in business. To accomplish this, we ensure the users of the software, typically employees, are involved throughout the design of the new software. Creating wireframes and prototypes which map out user behaviours, we aim to make the user's lives easier and to help them love their shiny new software. 

We also work extremely closely with your designated project team to ensure your new software system is a perfect business fit. You know your business, we know software. Together, we aim to make the software development process collaborative and enjoyable. Personalised, knowledgeable support from the system creators is also on hand once the system is live to ensure optimum performance. 

How to Get Started with Modernising your Software

Perhaps you know that your legacy system is letting your business down and are keen to make a change. But you're not quite ready to engage with a software development company. Here are some ways that you can get the ball rolling internally:

1. Asses your current software - conduct a comprehensive review of the system's strengths and weaknesses. Determine the biggest risks as well as how your software fits within your IT infrastructure and with other applications.

2. Conduct user research amongst staff - it's really important that you have a clear picture of how the software is impacting on employee's job roles and the functionality and automation they need to work more efficiently.

3. Identify business needs and goals - innovating and transforming are no mean feats so it's important to have a clear strategy of what you're trying to achieve, which will help to drive the project forward.

4. Evaluate resources and costs - working out the project team and budgeting will help a software development company understand your project requirements and produce a clearer proposal solution.

5. Develop an action plan - having a delivery date and dates for key milestones that can be planned around will help to drive decision making amongst stakeholders.

6. Find a software company who is the right fit - you will be working closely with the software development team you appoint. So, it's really crucial that you select a team who has a proven track record, understands what you are trying to achieve and provides you with clear and concise communications from the outset.

The Best Move You Ever Make

There are so many amazing advantages of modernising your software and building a new software system that reflects your business goals. Not only is a bespoke business application built using the latest technologies to enhance performance and security, it is built with future scalability in mind. A bespoke business solution will become a valuable business asset while enabling your company to make great strides towards all the opportunities opened up by digital transformation. 

Our software developers would love to help you move away from your legacy software. It can feel like a big step, and a daunting process, so feel free to get in touch with any queries you may have and we can help to guide the way. 

Stanley and Strong

Stanley and Strong

Client Stanley and Strong is a London based firm of Party Wall Surveyors with experience in residential and commercial surveying. Together we developed a clever web based workflow and project management tool to manage the complex administrative Party Wall procedures.

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