Legacy systems: what are they and can you afford not to upgrade?

Legacy systems: what are they and can you afford not to upgrade?

John PhillipsProduct Updates

In the everchanging world of business software, it’s vital that your organisation is not being held back by legacy systems. We outline the impact these systems could be having on your business.

What are legacy systems?

Legacy systems are out-dated technology and software that are continuing to be used because they are perceived to be ‘still getting the job done’. The problem with legacy systems is that they are usually no longer maintained, and any support has been discontinued.

An End-of-Life (EOL) legacy system is where a product is no longer sold and has no more support available. Sometimes there may have been security flaws identified, or it’s just not possible to continue the development and support of them.

Technology moves at an incredibly fast pace, so businesses still relying upon legacy IT systems risk getting in their own way of growth, as well as increased security risks, high staff turnover, and overspending on IT budgets.

If your business has been operating over many years, there’s a good chance that different IT managers have struggled to keep track of all the updates and adaptations over time, leading to things being overlooked.

IT departments, and their budgets, are being stretched thinner than ever. In fact, research has revealed that 66% of IT budgets are spent maintaining legacy systems!1 Why waste money on maintaining a product which will never provide innovative services and become obsolete?

The legacy systems within your business are likely still performing important operations, so legacy systems migration must be thoroughly assessed and planned to ensure a smooth upgrade.

How can migrating legacy systems to the cloud save your business money?

Moving to the cloud and digitally transforming your business will improve productivity, allowing staff to spend more time on what really matters to the business, and becoming more efficient – saving costs in the long run.

Some businesses might question if they can afford to upgrade from legacy systems to a cloud solution, but the real question is: can you afford not to?

For example, by utilising Power Apps over Dynamics 365 Sales (both are Microsoft cloud solutions), our team was able to save the UK’s leading automotive Aftersales Partner, EMaC, over £15,000 annually, meaning the ROI on the project was realised within year one.

Helen Hitchmough, Strategic Change & Programme Manager for the company, said: “Building upon on existing capabilities, Strategy 365 supported the design, build and implementation of an efficient lead generation solution. It has enabled users to manage and prioritise their consumer contact more effectively than ever before, resulting in increased consumer retention and satisfaction.”

Switching from legacy systems to a cloud solution will not only save your business some serious cash, it will also improve your customer satisfaction – after all, it’s a lot easier to retain customers than find new ones.

In another example, by eliminating the need for paper-based solutions, we were able to increase speed of processes and accuracy for Drayton Beaumont Services – saving the company approximately £100,000 per year.

Stephen Beaumont, Managing Director of Drayton Beaumont Services, said: “By working with Strategy 365, building a system that is highly automated and tailored to our business needs, we have significantly increased our turnover without the need to bring on additional staff.

“Data quality issues have dropped by over 90%, process completion time has improved by over 50% and we now have the technology to allow us to achieve our long-term goals far more quickly than expected.”

Implementing a new CRM system doesn’t have to be expensive. Our Quick Start packages start from as little as £395, or you could talk to us about a custom Power Apps solution, with licensing starting from as little as £3.80 per user, per month.

Further problems with legacy systems

Legacy systems often have poor cybersecurity

According to the British Assessment Bureau (which, among other things, provides Cyber Essentials certification), using legacy systems will often breach regulatory and compliance rules, such as GDPR. The organisation points out that legacy IT systems need more support beyond their EOL and additional security mitigations, making them more expensive to manage.

The Bureau recommends investing in software-as-a-service, which is managed by the service provider, such as Microsoft.

Fortunately, Microsoft 365 provides robust security solutions with comprehensive external threat protection and internal data leak prevention, along with many other security features.

Legacy systems waste a lot of time

In the average UK business, just under half of employees (48%)2 are wasting at least three hours a day working with inefficient, outdated systems. So, if there are 250 working days in a year, and you’ve got 100 staff (48% of which are wasting three hours a day), that’s 36,000 hours a year! How much is an hour worth to your business?

Slow technology can lead to higher staff turnover

Aside from the financial savings, employees benefit from updated technology in the workplace. According to research by Freshworks, nine in 10 employees feel frustrated with their work software. Over half (57%) of disgruntled employees surveyed said their current software made them less productive. Over 40% said software which was easier to use would help to reduce burnout. In a time where recruitment and talent retention is a major challenge, it has never been more important to keep your team happy and productive.

Closing thoughts on upgrading from legacy systems

So many businesses fall into the trap of being constrained by their own internal red tape when it comes to IT budgets that they can miss sight of the bigger picture. If a project can produce ROI within six months, it’s worth looking at sooner, even if this year’s budget doesn’t cover it, because it’s going to save a significant amount of money in the longer term.

Strategy 365 helps companies migrate their data and processes to the cloud seamlessly. We work with your company to analyse your current systems and IT infrastructure and identify the most efficient, cost-effective solution.

Give our experts a call on 01782 916920 to migrate from your legacy systems.

1. Eric Garton, Harvard Business Review, “Is Your Company Actually Set Up to Support Your Strategy?,” (November, 2017)
2. The Facilities Management Journal (March, 2015)

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