What is the real cost of maintaining legacy systems?

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In today’s world, when digital disruption has become the norm, leveraging the latest technology has become ever more critical for companies. Legacy system modernization often directly translates to higher productivity, greater efficiency and ultimately, increased revenues.

Sticking to a legacy software system, on the other hand, can mean the exact opposite. So, with all the advantages that updating to newer technology offers, why do some companies still resist the change? The reason often boils down to an increase in investment of time and money. Legacy system modernization often comes at a price and can take a significant time for teams to understand and implement correctly. But does this short-term investment lead to long-term rewards? Here’s how continuing to use a legacy system can put your company at a serious disadvantage.

1. Legacy systems might cost more in the long run

While many companies stave off legacy system modernization because of the cost associated with them, ironically, the cost of maintaining legacy systems can actually be higher. Legacy systems usually require more maintenance and might require more frequent changes of hardware. All of this can add up to an increased spending on IT hours, vendors and suppliers. Weighed side-by-side, new technological systems can work out to be a lot more cost-effective than their antiquated counterparts.

2. They are more vulnerable to security threats

These days, there is an increased focus on cybersecurity. New legislation such as GDPR have placed huge penalties in case of cybersecurity breaches and data leaks. Most legacy systems are simply not equipped to provide adequate protection against malicious attacks. There are two major reasons for this. First, older legacy systems often carry decades-worth of data which are a treasure trove for any hacker. This makes these systems more likely to be a target for attacks. Second, the security of software is maintained through continuous security updates. When a legacy software system becomes outdated, the software developer will stop creating and sending updates. This can leave legacy systems wide open for a cyberattack.

3. They are often incompatible with mobile technology

Most legacy systems were developed during a time when desktops were still the primary way to access the internet and mobiles contributed to a significant (in some cases, non-existent) portion. Today, of course, this scenario has completely reversed. A huge majority of consumers are now accessing the internet through their phone. The extent to which their experience with a company’s online presence is positive, largely depends upon how seamless the mobile interface is

Most legacy systems are ill-equipped to cater to the mobile-first consumer. As a result,