What’s the problem with legacy software?

What’s the problem with legacy software?

Technology advances at a breakneck pace and businesses have never had so many options when it comes to software. There’s an enterprise app for accounting, marketing, business intelligence, and more. But despite the plethora of fast, feature-rich apps on the market, there are still people who use horribly outdated “legacy” software like Windows XP and Microsoft Office 97.

“I'll never trade my trusty VisiCalc for Excel 2019. Never!”

One reason for this is that people believe they have all the features they need and don’t want to spend more money on a modern application. However, sticking with legacy software is risky, and here’s why.

It’s not flexible

The major issue with legacy software is it’s usually not optimized for customization and doesn’t have the capacity to work well with other software. For example, your old accounting database software may not be able to share data seamlessly with modern inventory management and/or sales software, which means you’ll have to input data manually.

Even if you were to hire an IT professional, the integration process for legacy systems can be extremely expensive. Ultimately, you and your staff are forced to adapt to how the legacy system operates, not the other way around.

Maintenance and support are expensive

Although continuing to run legacy software may seem cost-effective, they’re often more expensive in the long run. Developers usually don’t provide support and patches for obsolete software, so you’ll have to hire an IT support company to constantly fix bugs and errors for you. Also, technicians who maintain and support legacy systems are few and far between, and if you do find one, they often charge high rates for their services.

“I’m sorry, did you miss a decimal point somewhere? I just asked you to fix our old MacOS.”

Security is unreliable

Unlike cutting-edge programs, legacy software aren’t built to defend against the latest threats. Security updates for these apps are often delayed and only fix a few glaring issues because developers are busy working on other higher-priority projects.

Certain vulnerabilities are also difficult to fix on legacy systems because they’re incompatible with modern security software. So, the longer you use legacy software, the longer your company will be exposed to easily preventable cyberattacks.

Features are lacking

You miss out on so many amazing features when you stick to legacy software. The latest cloud-based version of Microsoft Word, for example, lets teams collaborate on the document in real time, call each other using Skype integrations, and use advanced research features to work smarter and more efficiently.

The older Microsoft Word 97 version doesn’t have these features. The only exciting features you get is WordArt and ClipArt, which are two of the tackiest features you should avoid using at all costs.

The only thing WordArt is good for is writing ransom notes.

It’s not user-friendly

While the graphical interface is only a small part of the software, a terribly designed, dated-looking one can severely impact productivity. Software from a decade ago featured cluttered interfaces that made it difficult to find where things were. On the other hand, modern software have more features, but are laid out intuitively for both new and experienced users.

So, what should you do?

If your software no longer has the capacity or the features to support your day-to-day processes, you’re overdue for an upgrade. You need to search for a new system that fits your needs and budget, which will be fairly difficult to find if you have limited experience in IT.

Another option is to pay a small monthly subscription fee for cloud-based software. These apps run just like locally installed software, but the difference is you can access them on any internet-connected device. Cloud apps also get automatic updates directly from the provider, which means you get to enjoy the latest features without having to install updates yourself or purchase a more recent version of the software.

Need more reasons to ditch your legacy systems? Red Key Solutions has a dozen more of them. Call us today to get cutting-edge software that aligns with your needs and budget.