How many bandaids have you got holding your software together?

September 13, 2021

Anupriya Karmakar

Technology needs to move with time. In business, if your technology is not scalable, reliable and secure, it’ll get tough for you to stay relevant in the long run.

Many businesses rely heavily on legacy systems or applications for day-to-day operations. These were built years ago running on obsolete technology. If they no longer serve the evolving needs of your business, it can be frustrating or even worse, crippling. We are often faced with projects where technology used in a company has reached its end of life and there is no time to fix it. Certain parts of the business are not able to operate because of the broken system. The reason some businesses get into such situations stems from a common mindset that “when a system fine-tuned over the years is able to serve specific functionalities, why bother to modernize it?”

The result of waiting too long? Panic mode sets in and, in most cases, you start throwing money to fix the old tech to keep going. You get into rabbit hole where it just gets tougher for you come out. This is avoidable.

At some point or another all technology needs modernization. Taking the decision to modernize legacy applications can be difficult. At times, business owners don’t know where to start. It might seem like a time consuming, daunting and an expensive task but the cost of maintaining an old technology adds up over time, so does inefficiencies. An outdated technology full of band aids (read patchwork) and workarounds can expose your software to security breaches.

Are you willing to take that risk to wait until the system fails?

Bandaids are expensive

Whether you invest now in new software/tech or wait, you are going to have to spend the money to stay in business. If you wait too long, you will end up spending more money. If your system starts to fail you, you will have no choice but to keep adding more bandaids to make sure you don’t lose customers. Why waste more money at fixing something that ultimately must be trashed and rebuilt?

Spending money to patch work is an expense, spending it on upgrading your technology is an investment to ensure your business not only continues to run but grow.

Competitors may outperform you

Maintaining and supporting your old technology doesn’t leave you with much scope for innovations. Instead of focussing on improving your business, you are stuck with repairing an ageing software, letting new opportunities in your industry go unnoticed.

Your competitors will catch up and soon you might be elbowed out of the industry.

Not everyone will understand your legacy system

Developers who’ve been with you since the start of your business may know your software in and out but they’ll either retire or move on to their next opportunity. The new developers you’d hire will have little-to-no knowledge of legacy coding languages, and they often don’t want to learn legacy languages that are no more relevant. You are always going to be faced with the issue that your systems are built using ancient technology that no one knows how to fix.  

You are left with what you have – not being able to add new functionalities that might help grow your business.

Outdated technology = Outgoing employees

The new crop of employees are mostly Millennials and Gen Zs who have either been surrounded by technology since birth or have grown up using computers and mobile phones. They prefer to work in organizations that are ahead in their technology game. These tech savvy people have little patience dealing with systems that don’t work properly. Adopting a modern technology would not only increase productivity but also allow employees to work in a hybrid environment and carry out their responsibilities more efficiently.

If you fail to set up streamlined and automated processes, you will face a tough time retaining and attracting top talent.

Final thoughts

Modernizing legacy applications is no longer an initiative but an imperative. It isn’t just about driving new digital projects but holding on to your business before things quickly spiral out of control. With a thought-through strategy, planning and a reliable tech partner, you can take the first steps to mitigate the possible risks and move ahead in your digital transformation journey.

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