Six risks that legacy technology has on a business


Six risks that legacy technology has on a business

IT leaders across all industries are frustrated with legacy technology. It is reported around 97% are unhappy with their organisation’s continued reliance on old technology. Legacy technology over time will slowly become a hindrance and a risk to a business, as they reach the tipping point of no longer providing value as an efficient asset. Here are 6 of the most common risks that outdated technology posed to businesses.

1. Increased Operational Cost

An outdated legacy system often crashes and requires regular maintenance. Not only can this make a business extremely inefficient, it will affect the resources of an IT department by taking IT personnel away from other projects. Maintaining Legacy Technology over time will generally always exceed the initial investment needed for a replacement or upgrade on current technology.

2. System Downtime

If a system breaks or has an increasing failure rate it will require replacement parts. As legacy technology are discontinued, replacement parts supply slowly stop. Tracking down these parts become very difficult to find. The risk that comes with downtime is that employees cease to be productive or able to work at all, this has a knock-on effect on customers as the business struggles to operate.

3. Security Liability

The phasing out of legacy technology will help strengthen the security of a business. Legacy technology is at very high risk from cyber-attacks as an entry point to an IT network. A cyber-attack on any size business can leave permanent damage which will have a long-lasting effect on a business. As outdated systems cease manufacturer support and updates, they create vulnerabilities. IT infrastructure that is updated regularly will help to ensure a business can maintain a secure IT environment. Security breaches are not only costly but damageable to the reputation of a business, which ultimately will reduce customers trust in the business.

4. System Incompatibility

Customers are often choosing companies that provide a service offering speed, convenience, and security. In the digital age, disparate systems lead to a variety of problems that will affect the operation of a business. Disparate systems struggle to integrate with each other, they are commonly technology that has been in place a long time. Heavy reliance on these systems is common and there is often a reluctance to invest in replacing them. As businesses take the next steps of their digital transformation and systems are upgraded, old legacy systems become incompatible with the newer systems.

5. Shrinking knowledge on legacy technology

Legacy technology will get to a point where it will no longer be supported by the manufactured. Over time, fewer IT professionals will know how to support these systems internally and externally. The pool of experts on certain technology will continue to decline as they retire or leave the business, leaving few people with the knowledge and skills to keep them operating.

6. Inability to compete

In the digital age of cloud services, virtualisation and as-as-Service defined models are expected. A sign that a business has failed to invest in their digital transformation is legacy technology still in place across their operations. This can often leave a business challenged with keeping a competitive edge in their industry. In a report by Gartner, it was discovered a rising priority for CEO’s was gaining a competitive advantage through improving IT technology.

Upgrading legacy systems tends to be a strenuous project that is put to one side or reluctant to be carried out due to the cost that is incurred. Failure to upgrade legacy systems affect businesses in many different ways. Ultimately, this will have a knock-on effect on a business through a cost to fix or maintain, security breaches or how your customers view your business.