We give you some guidance on how to address the problems associated with legacy systems. Let's see about the most effective modernization strategies to enhance business value and agility.
Maintaining the technological health of our businesses is paramount. While innovation continues to drive progress, many organizations are held back by the grip of legacy systems. These outdated software and hardware tools are not only causing headaches but could also be opening the door to far-reaching business risks.
Understanding Legacy Systems
At the most basic level, a legacy system refers to outdated software and other technological tools that businesses continue to use despite their shortcomings. Often, these tools become deeply integrated into an organization's operational structure, making it difficult for employees and management to consider replacing them with updated models.
Why Are Legacy Systems Still in Use?
Despite the problems that these older systems present, many businesses continue to use them for various reasons. They may have invested considerable time and resources in maintaining these systems, or there may be a fear of learning and using unfamiliar tools. Sometimes, the system might simply seem irreplaceable.
But these factors should not discourage the adoption of new software. Relying on legacy systems exposes organizations to a host of problems, including increased security risks, higher maintenance costs, inefficiency, and non-compliance with regulatory standards.
The Problems with Legacy Systems
One of the greatest risks associated with legacy systems is cybersecurity. As cybercrime rates surge, businesses using old systems are at a higher risk of falling victim to data breaches and ransomware attacks. Vendors prioritize upgrades and updates for their latest models, leaving old systems vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Legacy systems often lack advanced features like firewalls and encryption protocols, leaving them open to cybercriminals' exploitation. In addition, they may not be compatible with up-to-date security tools and protocols, leading to a further weakening of an organization's cybersecurity defenses.
High Maintenance Costs
The belief that upgrading software is too expensive is a misconception. In reality, the cost of maintaining legacy systems often exceeds that of updating to more recent models. Throwing money at older systems won't bring them to the quality level of newer models, meaning resources spent on maintaining legacy systems could be wasted.
Legacy systems are notorious for their sluggish performance. Employees across departments can become frustrated due to long load times, lags, and other inefficiencies that impede productivity. Software slows down over time, and manufacturers no longer release updates for legacy systems, which means these issues cannot be effectively mitigated.
Another significant issue is the inability of legacy systems to integrate with newer technologies. Mixing older systems with more advanced ones often leads to compatibility issues. These can result in an increased reliance on multiple systems, which can be avoided if modern models are used.
Data silos emerge when outdated systems are used in isolation from one another due to their lack of integration. This creates a situation where information is isolated within specific systems, leading to a significant waste of time for employees who need to navigate through different systems to find the information they need.
Lack of Support
Many legacy systems are no longer supported by their manufacturers, meaning businesses are on their own when it comes to troubleshooting issues. While third-party vendors may offer some support, this becomes increasingly rare as the technology becomes more outdated.
Legacy systems often struggle to adhere to new regulatory standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Businesses using older technology risk non-compliance, which can result in penalties and loss of trust among stakeholders.
Modernizing Your Systems: A Roadmap
The solution to these issues lies in the adoption of modern technologies, but it's easier said than done. Here's a roadmap for modernizing your systems.
- 1Take inventory: Start by taking a thorough inventory of your technology, both hardware, and software. Look at how long you've had your systems and how many times you've needed to repair them.
- 2Gather feedback: Seek input from your employees on how they use these systems and what their pain points are. Encourage candor in discussing any concerns they have.
- 3Prioritize: Create a list of priorities, identifying which systems are causing the most trouble and could be replaced with more up-to-date technology.
- 4Consider newer technologies: Look at how newer technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can aid in overcoming challenges associated with legacy systems.
- 5Seek Expertise: Consider engaging an expert to help usher your technology into the modern age. There are qualified outsourcing firms that can assist in this transition.
By upgrading your legacy systems, you're investing in your organization's future. Lower costs, better security, greater efficiency, the ability to integrate your software, and more support are just a few of the benefits you'll experience. It's critical to take action before these legacy system challenges do even more damage.
Modernizing your business technology is a best practice that can give your organization a competitive edge and improve customer service. Addressing your legacy systems is the crucial first step in this journey.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In 2020, the American multinational investment bank and financial services holding company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced a five-year, multi-billion dollar deal with Thought Machine, a fintech company. The objective was to overhaul the bank's legacy systems and replace them with Thought Machine's cloud-native core banking system, Vault.
Vault is designed to process transactions in real-time, provide a flexible product configuration, and allow the bank to react quickly to changing market dynamics. In the past, JPMorgan struggled with their legacy systems' inefficiencies, which held back their digital banking ambitions. But with this transition, they aimed to enhance their banking services and boost their digital footprint. This is a prime example of a financial institution turning to cloud-based solutions to replace legacy systems.
Our IT Experts: the Help you need to Resolve Legacy System Challenges
IT Managers and Leads
IT Managers and Leads are vital in spearheading the transition from legacy systems to modern technologies. They are responsible for creating the overall strategy, setting budgets, and overseeing the transition's implementation. From IT Leads and Development Managers to IT Security Managers, these roles are critical in setting the roadmap and managing teams working on the modernization process.
IT Architects are the designers of the new system. They create a comprehensive plan for the software and hardware that will replace the legacy systems. Software Architects, Solution Architects, and Infrastructure Architects play pivotal roles in shaping the new system, ensuring it meets the business's current and future needs.
Analysts & Consultants
Business and System Analysts assist in understanding the current systems, how they are used, and how the business processes function with these systems. IT Consultants, Product Owners, and IT Security Consultants provide insights into the business's needs and how the new system can address these requirements while maintaining high standards of security and efficiency.
Software Developers and Software Engineers
These professionals are the builders of the new system. Java Developers, Full Stack Developers, Python Developers, and others use their expertise to develop the new system based on the architects' plans. They ensure the new system is robust, efficient, and secure.
DevOps Engineers are responsible for setting up and managing the environment where the new system is built, tested, and deployed. They ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new one without interrupting the business processes.
QA/Testers ensure that the new system works as expected. They conduct various tests to check the functionality, performance, security, and user-friendliness of the new system. They play a crucial role in ensuring the quality of the new system.
UX/UI Designers work on the new system's user interface, ensuring it's user-friendly and provides a good user experience. They design the system to be intuitive and easy to use, increasing its acceptance among the users.
IT Operations and System Engineers
These professionals are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the new system. System Administrators, System Engineers, Database Administrators, Application Administrators, and Security Engineers ensure the new system is up and running, secure, and performing well.
In 2021, Volkswagen Group, the German multinational automotive manufacturing company, partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. Their goal was to digitize their production and logistics processes, which relied heavily on legacy systems.
The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud aimed to consolidate data from all machines, plants, and systems from their 124 manufacturing plants into a single cloud solution. Before this transition, much of their data was siloed due to legacy systems, which impeded efficiency and slowed decision-making processes. By modernizing their legacy systems, they intended to increase operational efficiency, flexibility, and vehicle quality.
Leveraging Staff Augmentation for Legacy System Upgrade
Legacy system upgrades require a wide range of skills, from high-level management and strategic thinking to technical implementation. Not every company has these experts on hand, but staff augmentation companies like Bluebird do. By leveraging a staff augmentation service, your company can acquire the necessary skills and expertise on-demand without the hassle of a full-time hire.
We are able to give you a wealth of IT professionals specializing in various fields, from IT management to software development, architecture, and consulting. With a robust record of successful IT placements, we can effectively and efficiently augment your staff, ensuring you have the right people on board to handle the challenge of legacy system modernization.