Identifying & Modernizing Legacy Systems | Legacy systems are useful. After all, who doesn’t like software and technology that they understand and are comfortable with using? However, legacy systems can create a host of problems for any business.
By definition, a legacy system isn’t just outdated but it inhibits the possibility of growth in a digital world. For example, cloud computing is all the rage these days, and its impact will take businesses across industries into the future. But older software simply isn’t built for cloud compatibility.
A legacy system puts a business at risk of being left behind in the dust. To mitigate this risk, you must first learn to identify and then modernize your systems to create a thriving business.
Identifying a legacy system is your first step on the path towards a modernized, thriving business. And it starts by exploring the definition of a legacy system.
A legacy system can be any piece of hardware or software that is no longer supported by its developer or vendor. Often, these systems are still entirely functional. After all, there’s a reason you’re still using them. However, outdated tech won’t scale and, as a result, puts barriers in your path to the success you might otherwise achieve.
In a world of rapidly advancing technology, identifying legacy systems is key to keeping your company safe, growing, and efficient. Here are some of the questions that you can ask to help you identify where you’re using such a system:
- Does the vendor still support your system?
- What costs are going into maintaining or coordinating your system with new tech?
- Do you have to customize your system to connect with new platforms or trade partners?
- What kind of downtime or data processing errors are you experiencing?
- Can your system accommodate cloud or mobile functionality?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may identify one or more areas of your business process in which your assistant tools aren’t quite helping the way they could. In invoicing and payroll, this can especially be a problem. Poor invoicing habits can harm the cash flow of any small business through errors generated in late, incomplete, or unclear payroll systems.
Modern technology helps mitigate the chances of problems like these. With a cloud system or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, for example, you can allow employees to input their own timekeeping and tax withholding information to minimize the chance of payroll errors. This is just one of the many ways modernizing a legacy system is possible.
Keeping your tech and hardware approach up-to-date is essential for any business’s survivability. The modern world depends on digital solutions. From virtual hiring platforms to mobile applications for managing all kinds of employee information, the right tools lend transparency and efficiency to a company’s processes.
A wide variety of applications and tools you use every day should be assessed when modernizing your overall process. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Operating systems
- Internal software applications
It should go without saying that if your company is running Windows 98 on its computers, it’s time to update. From there, it’s a matter of exploring what technology is obsolete, what’s taking too much time and money, and what’s failing to adapt to modern technological solutions.
The best aspect of modern technology is that it allows for all kinds of improvements and automation potential without removing the need for human expertise. For example, the accounting field is set to grow 6% between 2018 and 2028 despite modernized payroll systems making accounting and auditing simpler. This leaves essential accounting staff more time to focus on growth and scalability for a thriving business.
To modernize your payroll and any other system, you need to on the lookout for the following features:
- Compatibility with cloud networks and mobile devices
- Supported software with cybersecurity updates
- Data management and scalability tools
- Adaptability to other industry tools
- Automation potential for tedious tasks
Fortunately, developing technology powered by AI and machine learning makes all kinds of solutions possible. With the added benefit of a cloud database, you can keep business information secure and backed up without having to handle all the expensive, time-consuming IT and server maintenance work in-house. As a result, you can free up all kinds of resources for your business.
Businesses have proved the value of legacy updates time and time again through the cost- and labor-saving features they bring. For example, one healthcare company reduced its operational expenses by 30% after moving its legacy software to a new CRM platform. In an economy still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an edge like this might mean the difference between surviving and thriving.
To thrive in the modern world, you need tech that scales with your business. Legacy systems might be functional, but in today’s data-reliant marketplace you need the kind of systems that can manage the kinds of customer information needed for a competitive edge.
Start by assessing your entire business process for outdated legacy systems that lack support. From there, you can explore modern solutions to make the most of your tech upgrades.