Your legacy software solution — whether it was custom created or an off-the-shelf option — has become a critical component in the fabric of your business operations. You rely on it and your team has grown accustomed to it … despite its faults. Which seem to be piling up these days.
If your current solution falls within any of the following scenarios it may be time to consider an alternative option.
1. It Hangs With an Older Crowd
Software systems — new and old — naturally interact with other software or even hardware solutions and the company your solution keeps can help determine whether it’s time for it to go. Look at your legacy solution and ask yourself this: Are there other software or hardware components that your business keeps around solely to keep your legacy solution running? If so, it’s probably time to get rid of all of them.
2. Special Training is Required
Does your legacy solution require its own training manual? As systems age, the number of people who naturally know how to run them diminishes. If your off-the-shelf solution is something new hires have never used before — or even heard of — then it’s probably time to go. In addition, you can make this same judgment for a custom software solution based on how intuitive it is. Because newer solutions are more intuitive, a solution that requires a lot of training should be left behind.
3. Slow and Unstable Loses the Race
The pace of business never stops, it only seems to increase. Every delay in operations costs you money. How many of those delays are the product of your legacy software solution’s lagging operation time or frequent crashes? It’s good to know because while a new solution means a new expense, the time wasted by your legacy choice means it’s costing you money all the same.
4. Mobile is not an Option
We’re not dwelling on speed here, we’ve moved on and focused on an issue that should be at the forefront of any software solution discussion — mobile capabilities. While not essential in every case, a solution that can be used properly from a mobile phone is vital in so many situations nowadays that it bears consideration. If your current solution isn’t mobile friendly, seek one that is.
5. It Doesn’t Play Nice With Others
Some legacy solutions require specific hardware/software to keep running — as we discussed above — and some simply won’t integrate with any of your software solutions. An increase in compatibility problems is common as solutions grow older. As this problem continues to grow, you need to ask yourself if limiting the potential of your newer systems is worth it simply to preserve the place of your antiquated solution.
6. No More Vendor Support
If you invested in a custom software solution, the longevity of your vendor’s support can depend on the project, your contract and your partner. In short, you’ll have more control and a partner more willing to work with you. For off-the-shelf options, ongoing support largely depends on the company’s willingness to provide it and as a solution ages, that willingness wanes. If you’re finding it tough to get the support you need for your solution, it only figures that it will get more difficult in the future.
7. It’s Become a Security Risk
The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing in response to new threats, but can your software solution keep up? As security needs change, your software solutions need to be able to adapt to these changes. Particularly if they are customer-facing solutions or tasked with housing customer data. The impact of a potential security breach should be motivation enough for you to upgrade if necessary.
8. Your System Encourages Staff Creativity … in the Wrong Way
An innovative staff is a good thing for your company. Unless they’re spending their time inventing workarounds to compensate for the shortcomings of your software solution. Fortunately, this problem can be easy to identify. Look at your team’s processes or ask team members what they like least about their jobs or the specific solution. If they see you’re trying to make their lives easier, you’re sure to get honest answers from them.
9. You’ve Simply Outgrown Your Solution
After so many problems, let’s end with a problem that’s good to have. Your software solution is no longer applicable because you’ve simply outgrown it. Maybe your business needs have changed, or you’ve entered a new market. Whatever the case, you originally invested in the solution to fulfill a specific need and if that answer no longer lives up to what you need, you should move on to the next solution capable of bolstering your company’s future growth.
Your Better Software Solution is Out There
Moving on from a legacy software solution can be hard to do, but in some cases, it makes good business sense for the future growth of your company. Determining when to make this change lies in deciding whether your solution can still be considered a helper or has moved into hindrance territory. Monitor your processes and don’t be afraid to move on if the latter is true. Your company and your employees will be better for it.