The decision to upgrade enterprise software, or not, can be a difficult for a company. Upgrades can be costly and are not always deemed necessary while the software is still fully functioning. Unfortunately, the old adage “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” does not apply to software upgrades. The decision to upgrade is not so black and white; there are many factors to consider.
Software, web applications, and enterprise systems are faster, leaner, and easier to use than ever before. They can crunch more data, can be backed up on the fly and be housed in the cloud. An organization can easily fall behind a competitor using a newer system that allows them to run faster and more efficiently.
When is the best time to start planning for software upgrades? Why go through the upgrade process when your old software is still working? The below reasons will help clarify why modernizing your software is a solid business decision.
- Improved functionality – New software has amazing features that legacy systems do not. There is tremendous ability to take advantage of improvements in hardware and networking. Modern systems utilize virtual and cloud computing, big data processing tools, and can be accessed and manipulated remotely via mobile devices.
- Newer software = better user experience – Modern software is becoming more intuitive while containing increased functionality. Modern systems are more focused on user interface and usability than legacy systems, which were designed to get the job done regardless of keystroke and click counts.
- Ability to migrate – The longer a company waits to modernize legacy software, the more difficult it can be to find a solution that will match the current system. Finding the correct time to modernize is a challenge; which grows exponentially based on the number of users and how essential the software is to everyday business. It can come down to a balancing act between cost to upgrade a system and buy-in from end users, versus the cost of maintaining the legacy system. The old system will slowly become less and less useful to the point where it must be replaced anyway.
- Changing business practices – The organization may be moving towards business functions that were unforeseen when the original software was set in place. If the original legacy system is not scalable, then it may be difficult to upgrade or add-on for coverage of the changing needs. In addition, you may have vendors or partners that have upgraded their systems, making it difficult or even impossible for your legacy system to link with theirs.
- Shareability – Modern software is designed to take advantage of the internet and foster interactions between devices seamlessly. Legacy software was built with the focus of keeping functions in-house. The ability to access and share data across multiple devices and platforms can be a huge advantage and something to work towards if it’s not already set in place.
- Security – The longer a piece of software has been around, the more time hackers have had to find security holes. Legacy software was initially focused on functionality more than security, with security measures being implemented after the fact. Modern software is built securely from the ground up, utilizing the latest features that are designed to protect data while still allowing access to those who need it.
Upgrading your legacy software becomes a more strategically viable idea when factoring in the above considerations. The initial cost of upgrading can be high, but those costs will quickly be re-cooped when the systems are performing at their very best. As part of our custom software development services, GlowTouch can provide a first class team to assist you with your legacy modernization process.
Learn more about our custom software development services here.