BSPOKE Software | Digital Transformation Partners

What is the lifespan of legacy software?

If your company is still using old legacy software, you may be resistant to let go of it for several reasons. Whether it’s monetary concerns or you still find it to be a working solution for your needs, consider whether it would be better to make the leap to upgrade to better software.

Legacy systems refer to software systems that were created using a third-generation tool and often have an older graphic interface and file structures. While you may find they function for everything you need for your day-to-day work, it may be limiting your potential and is likely to cause more issues down the line.

Herew we look at the lifespan of legacy software and the signs that it’s time for a change in your company.

When is it time for change?

The lifespan of legacy software can be much longer than that of hardware, which generally needs replacing sooner. Legacy software refers to older software that is still able to fulfil an individual’s or company’s needs. However, it is critical to look at your legacy software objectively if it’s working with an operating system or piece of hardware than is no longer being produced.

You’ll find that by replacing your legacy software before it’s too late, you can save yourself a lot of time or trouble in the future. Hardware can be incredibly expensive or complex to replace further down the line which will make your legacy software unusable. While there’s no set time-frame for its end-of-life, there are certain signs that it’s time to upgrade.

If your hardware and legacy software can no longer be supported by the creators, it’s certainly the first sign that something needs to change. You’ll find there is minimal assistance available if something goes wrong, which could result in disaster for companies.

Legacy software often begins to become more challenging to use, and if you find that it no longer meets your business needs for reporting or other functions, it is no longer serving the purpose it is designed for. When staff begin to be frustrated with its limitations and their working hours are increased as a result of this, you should put your staff’s needs first and consider the alternatives.

With so many newer systems available on the market today, the benefits these offer may be enough to make you consider switching systems. Especially when legacy software no longer provides everything you need, and you are constantly looking elsewhere for information, you’ll find you’ll save time and resources in the long run by switching over now.

Finally, many companies get to a point where they realise their legacy software is what is holding them back from their potential. Upgrading your software is certainly a huge investment and will require time, resources, and training, but it will help with reporting and increase productivity, resulting in long-term success for your company.

Making the switch

Whether you decide now is the time to move away from your legacy software, or you are eventually forced to switch over, there are certain considerations for this move to make the process simpler. Most software changes will require upgrades to your hardware, so you’ll need to be prepared for the additional expense this may add to your company.

Companies who assume that their current software will be okay are usually incorrect, and you’ll likely need to consider cloud hosting or dedicated servers to assist with new software. When changing over software, it’s not just about your work computers, and your personal computer and monitor may need looking at as well.

Finally, and most importantly, make sure any new software you do invest in meets all of your needs. There’s no point spending a fortune on something that will frustrate your team even more than the legacy software or that may need replacing in just a few years.

Don’t just opt for the cheapest or easiest solution, because as with anything in life, you’ll find this isn’t always the best long-term fix. Companies need to remember that they won’t move over to new software and keep working in the same manner as before. You’ll need to invest time and resources into training your staff members so that they feel confident and secure in their jobs. This won’t happen overnight, and the larger your team, the more planning you’ll need to make this transition smooth.

Moving into the future

Regardless of whether you think you can stretch a few more years out of your legacy software, ultimately, you must realise there will be a day where it has reached its maximum lifespan. Most companies are moving over to modern systems, and it’s harder now to buy older software. As soon as your business can afford both time-wise and financially to make the change, it’s time to consider making the move.

Companies and employees are becoming more demanding and expecting quicker and accurate reporting and software. Your legacy software may be delaying processes and making your company’s system much less efficient. Legacy software isn’t always able to keep up with demanding workloads placed on them by companies today. If you are already paying for upgrades to help your legacy software to function, that’s a clear sign it’s time to make the shift.

With so many options available to replace your legacy software, you’ll have no difficulty finding a solution to fit your needs. You may want to look for guidance to help you find the right fit for your company and to ensure you don’t waste precious time and resources for you and your employees.

Legacy software is slowly but surely being retired by companies around the world, and if you’re still hanging on to the hope that you can use yours a while longer, you’ll want to consider the key reasons to replace it today. Keeping up to date with modern software solutions can help bring your company into the modern age and make you more productive and efficient in the long run.

If you’re thinking about getting a new software upgrade for your business, speak to BSPOKE Software.

White Dell laptop stands open on a pine desk alongside potplant in living room
White Dell laptop stands open on a pine desk alongside potplant in living room

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