If you’re still holding onto legacy systems, you’re doing your business a great disservice. Lethargic and notoriously inflexible, legacy systems are a sure catalyst for disaster and a major obstacle for growth. Legacy systems prevent your business from being competitive, scalable, and agile. And that’s just for starters.
Most entrepreneurs and business managers are persevering with legacy systems because they were custom-built and tailored for specific tasks and operations. Most entrepreneurs are scared of migrating to new systems because of the time and resources involved. Others are afraid of disrupting business operations and others are troubled about losing their data.
However, when done properly with the right professionals, migrating to a new IT infrastructure can be the best investment for your business. Here are signs that your IT systems are holding you back and preventing business growth and sustainability.
Ways to know your systems are holding you back:
1. Diminished Productivity Levels
Legacy technology is inefficient, redundant, outdated, and overly complicated. In most cases, the software is programmed and custom-built for specific purposes – accounting, enterprise planning, marketing, or supply chain management.
Failure to update custom-built software makes it sluggish. With manual processes, there’s a lack of counter-intuitive and interoperable interfaces, making interfaces difficult and time-consuming to use. This leads to staff losing significant amounts of time.
Instead of working on tasks that are significant to them or advancing business goals, employees find themselves handling routine administrative tasks. Employees jump from system to system which leads to substantial impacts on their performance and productivity.
2. Failure to Optimize Data
Failing to make the most of your data is a sign that your IT systems are holding you back. You’re most likely storing your data inefficiently if you’re using outdated systems– papers, cabinets, hard discs, and files. Using legacy data storage equipment means that you’re not accessing this data easily and quickly, and you’re also risking storing it inaccurately.
In addition, you can be storing your data in multiple systems that don’t interact with one another. This means that data cannot be conveyed across departments, leading to siloed work cultures. Storing data in multiple systems that don’t communicate and interact with each other means:
- You cannot extract valuable insight that gives you the bigger picture of your operations and allow you to make data-driven decisions.
- It takes a long time to collect analytics and generate important reports.
- You lack access to real-time dashboard analytics.
- Your end-of-year reporting is much more time-consuming and stressful.
Failing to optimize your data leads to countless missed opportunities, and paves way for competitors who know how to draw maximum insight with data analytics.
3. Expensive or Non-existent Support
The older a system becomes, the more vulnerable it becomes. This implies increased maintenance costs as machines need regular repair. Your IT systems experience countless glitches, and even the slightest updates become time-consuming and expensive. Vendors and suppliers know that you’re reliant on them when your internal knowledge diminishes and your systems become outdated. Vendors start charging you more and, with time, their support reduces and may stop.
4. Failure to Adapt to Competition and Market Dynamics
Today’s business environment is constantly changing and being disrupted at every turn. New customer expectations continue to emerge, and we’re now seeing market trends and innovative solutions. If you’re using systems that cannot adapt to these changes, you’re inhibiting your growth and expansion, and you’ll be left behind. You’ll also fail to leverage new market trends that allow you to reach new heights.
5. You’re Wasting Money
Businesses in the UK and US are losing approximately $150 billion annually because of old, legacy IT systems. One report documents that the South Australian Government alone spends $20 million annually on vendors due to legacy systems.
When you weigh the cost of old systems, you’ll realize that you too will spend unnecessary amounts of money and waste many earning opportunities. The costs of old systems are obvious like ongoing technical support. Other costs are hidden including wasted time, duplication of effort, and loss of opportunities you cannot see or optimize.
6. You Use Workarounds to Operate
This is an obvious sign that your business systems are ripe for an upgrade. Sometimes your business processes need to change before your technology can change. In many cases, however, outdated systems and obsolete technologies force you to make tough decisions and take extra steps to achieve your results.
Experts advise that when you need the results quickly, the path you take and the problems you encounter along the way aren’t as important as the outcomes you desire. So, while a workaround is critical in achieving results, it masks issues and creates messy operational processes.
In addition, be warned that workarounds can transcend from being temporary fixes to emerging problems and unofficially new business processes. If a new tool or a new vendor could eliminate a workaround, don’t wait, go for it!
Other Signs Your IT Systems Are Holding You Back:
- Increased downtime. Legacy IT systems suffer the greatest risk of downtime even from simple operations such as installing new hardware or updating software. And since most old systems do not perform a routine backup, you’re at risk of losing your data during these downtimes.
- Non-compliance. Legacy systems are generally non-compliant with new regulations. For instance, the EU General Data Protection Regulation GDPR framework safeguards protected health information PHI from unauthorized access and compromise.
- Reliance on Legacy Skills. Legacy systems require internal skills and internal knowledge. This means your business depends on the staff who know how these machines work. Overdependence on internal knowledge causes unnecessary problems and stress if these people retire or resign.
- Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks. Rising cases of cyberattacks are calling for more and better cybersecurity safeguards by enterprises and organizations. Legacy systems are vulnerable as they’re obsolete and lack patches to protect against malware, breaches, and hackers.
Bastionpoint – Shaping Your Digital Transformation Strategy
Eliminating issues associated with outdated business systems can be easier than you think. With the right partner, you can integrate your business operations into your digital transformation strategy; and reap lasting benefits. And while the initial investment may seem like a lot, it won’t be long before you reap the rewards.
Contact Bastionpoint for all your business system upgrades.