Software Modernization: Invest in your Business

Times are changing, and with them, the way businesses are run. Here’s how to ride the wave of change.

Technologies that are essential to business functions but are outdated are called legacy systems. They do not meet today’s standards or expectations, even if they still work. Newer, better functioning systems are available, and they are compatible with newer technologies. Updating or changing these systems is what we call software modernization.

  • Is it hard to fix issues within your software or hardware?
  • Do your employees and customers complain about how slow your system is?
  • Are you paying extra for security?
  • Does your system seem to need more and more patching?
  • Is there a newer version of the system you use available?
  • Do you have a hard time finding specialists to fix issues?
  • Are you still using this software because it is essential to business function?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, it’s probably time to look into modernizing your system.

So, what is software modernization? In short, it’s updating old systems to meet business needs within economic standards.

Why are so many legacy systems are still around, even though it is better to replace them? Most legacy systems are still used because they are customized and used for daily affairs. Updating or changing them is a daunting, long-term, costly project that many companies are afraid to invest in.

When such a transition is impossible to complete overnight, it might seem like the best and least expensive decision is to continue maintaining the current system — but this can often be a disruptive and costly move.

An unexpected shutdown, attack, or loss of data hurts the bottom line of any business, regardless of industry. The return on investment in upgrading your business software is far greater than any risks associated with taking on such a big project. After all, isn’t it much easier to justify a spend that accomplishes real goals instead of one that fixes an avoidable oops?

Why should you invest in modernizing your company’s systems?

  • It keeps you in competition with other, newer businesses
  • It lowers security risks
  • It costs less to maintain
  • It’s easier to use
  • It makes you compliant with government mandates around data security

One of the most important reasons for software modernization is security. There are standards put in place by the government that companies are required to meet, and not only do some legacy systems don’t meet these standards, many are incapable of doing so.

What might modernizing your software look like? There are so many different ways to update your system, here are some common methods:

ERP Upgrade or Replacement
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is quite literally the backbone of a company. Upgrades can be done when there are relatively minor issues or the issues are more user than functionality related. Replacement is needed when software is on servers that are too old, or if the business or industry has outgrown what is currently in place.

This is likely one of the most common methods for legacy systems, and the least disruptive. It is great for incorporating a new library or for finding bugs (or both!), and can make your system run better and more efficiently without having to replace the entire thing.

Application Modernization 
Rebuilding or redesigning software allows for smaller changes and adjustments to bring your legacy system up to date. It’s kind of like detangling wires or cleaning up your garage. Rebuilding your software may take longer, but you’ll maintain all the best qualities of your legacy software with a new and improved system.

Hardware/Software Replacement
This is often done when there are no better or possible alternatives. It’s pretty self-explanatory, as it’s a complete overhaul of systems. It is important to be cautious here, as you can miss out on your needs by focusing on just getting the latest and greatest. An example of a company that did this is Five Below. After careful consideration, this company decided to replace faulty hardware and updated their software. This decision resulted in tremendous growth without integrity issues. Now they have satisfied customers and happier employees.

When the foundation is the problem you’ll need to change or update your operating system. This can be something as simple as needing to transition from a mobile app to a web-based app, or a little more complicated, like refactoring.

Modernizing your software doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A trustworthy team can help you understand what you need and how to make the process easier. That’s what we’re here for —  getting the best for your company with minimal impact to your business functions.

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