A lot of businesses don’t realize until it’s far too late that legacy IT systems, applications and operating systems are more than just a ‘minor inconvenience.’ Everyone knows that older computer systems are naturally slower than newer ones, or that they likely lack advanced capabilities that are quickly becoming impossible to operate without. But what isn’t so obvious is that they’re also harming your ability to communicate, collaborate, compete and be productive on a daily basis – which means that sooner or later, an update becomes no longer a matter of “if” but “when.”
At the same time, that begs the question – how do you know WHEN the time is right to finally ditch that legacy system and move onto something more advanced, like the type of cloud computing infrastructure that could potentially take your business to the next level? Thankfully, it’s a lot more straightforward than you might think – you just have to keep an eye out for a few key signs along the way.
Signs It’s Time to Update that Legacy IT System
Let’s break down the warning signs…
1. End of Support
By far, the most important sign to be aware of in terms of when the time is right for an update is when hardware or software are no longer supported by their original vendor.
Take software, for example. Vendors regularly release updates that contain not only new features, but also bug fixes and security vulnerability patches. These updates are designed to keep the program, and the data created with it, secure and functioning as intended. If the vendor is no longer providing updates, it means that security vulnerabilities and software performance degradation go unresolved. Every day you continue to use unsupported applications and/or hardware is a day you’re putting the entire enterprise at risk.
2. Not Mobile-Friendly
Another clear sign that it’s time to update legacy equipment is that that it either has no mobile capabilities, or that it is entirely device-dependent.
These days, more people than ever work from home and on the go. They need to be able to be just as productive in the comfort of their own home and while traveling, as they are in the office. If a legacy IT system lacks these capabilities – or limits them to a few devices – it doesn’t offer the flexibility your team needs to truly perform anywhere, at any time.
This is something you don’t have to worry about with a cloud computing environment. With Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or Platform as a Service the assets you’re dealing with – a piece of software or even an entire computing environment – can be delivered in an on-demand capacity over the Internet. At that point, the hardware itself becomes irrelevant.
3. Software Incompatibility
One of the most pressing signs that it’s time to move on from a legacy IT system has to do with resources that are incompatible with modern software systems. It’s essential to make sure that all the software – regardless of age – works with the other tools and applications in the environment. If data is created on software that doesn’t integrate with your new CRM, for example, it can create big inefficiencies, loss of productivity and will likely adversely impact the bottom line.
Sure, your employees may be able to come up with their own workaround to get data from one app into another. Every minute spent looking and using that workaround, however, is a minute of lost opportunity.
4. Loss of Competitive Advantage
Finally, relying on a legacy system that is outdated forces your company to forgo the advanced capabilities and benefits that properly designed modern systems have to offer. This essentially negates any type of competitive advantage you thought you were gaining by saving money hanging on to legacy IT resources.
Related article: 8 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Be in the Cloud Now.
Embracing the Future of IT with Outer Edge Technology
If you’d like more information on how to know when the time is right to let go of your legacy IT system, contact Outer Edge. Direct your questions to our passionate team of cloud technology experts today. Call Outer Edge Technology at 844-OET-EDGE or fill out the contact form below to set a no obligation consultation.