The Disadvantages of Legacy Systems and How to Avoid Them

The Disadvantages of Legacy Systems and How to Avoid Them

Legacy systems are universally common throughout business environments. They support business processes, communication and enable day-to-day tasks. But they can be based on outdated technology and may no longer receive support or maintenance. However, more often than not, the only issue with legacy systems is that they’re inflexible. 

It's likely legacy systems have been used for many years; therefore, it can be quite difficult to replace them. They're still highly valuable, but are usually so ingrained within a business' setup that any change may create unwanted delays. 

So what kind of disadvantages do legacy systems present to businesses? More importantly, how are businesses supposed to avoid them? In this blog, we’ll answer those questions.

How does a legacy system impact a business?

Legacy systems still inhabit core processes in a business usually because any change would result in a big hit to the status quo. While it may be more cost-efficient over time to replace or update them, the initial jump needed can be very off-putting.

Legacy systems can seem like that safe, unchanging island in a sea of seemingly non-stop IT technology evolutions. It’s an unease that makes sense - there are countless apps and IT solutions on the market today, so sticking with the one you and your employees know is logical. However, the issues begin to occur when that legacy system solution no longer provides the efficiency or flexibility it once did when first installed. 

One prevalent issue that arises is incompatibility. Typically, legacy systems don’t have the same integration capabilities as modern systems. With the constant updates of web-based applications, platforms and services, it makes sense to utilise modern apps to connect and communicate with these business-critical digital environments. 

For example, any system that doesn’t have cloud capabilities seems redundant within an enterprise business, which could have hundreds, if not thousands, of employees who need to access a shared space.

So you may find people can’t truly connect or collaborate on work when using legacy system applications, which means projects will take longer to complete and suffer from a lack of visibility, potentially producing more mistakes.

Furthermore, because legacy systems lack support and maintenance, they require patches and fixes to be carried out internally, taking time away from your developers that they would rather spend on fruitful, meaningful work. Over time, a legacy system can become a bloated system of patches, inefficiencies and even security issues. The bigger, heavier and more complex a legacy system is, the lower its performance will be, severely affecting productivity.

How to avoid legacy system disadvantages

First of all, you can determine whether your organisation utilises a legacy system and whether it still provides a good service to users. To identify a legacy system, consider the following:

  • What year was it created or implemented? The older it is, the less valuable and integrated it’s likely to be.
  • What’s the performance like? How much is being done through it? Are there common, repeated issues and frustrations experienced with it?
  • On the wider market, are updates and vendor support still available for the system?
  • How compatible is it with other business-critical systems?
  • How limited is it in terms of functionality? Can additional features be added?

Once you’ve identified a legacy system, you can begin replacing it. Now, this will represent an investment of both time and money. However, it needn’t require significant resources to accomplish. 

So how does an enterprise business replace or redesign its legacy systems and functionalities? The answer lies in the advantages and development capabilities of Low-Code.

What is Low-Code?

Low-Code is a streamlined visual coding automation process designed to allow users to create applications both quickly and cost-effectively. It differs from traditional coding in being more accessible, less-reliant on years of coding experience and quicker in the time it takes getting from first concept to final design. 

So what can be done with Low-Code? Here’s an example. 

Imagine an enterprise business finds its own development platform no longer provides the competitive edge it once did. The platform may lack a modern user interface and could also be difficult to add additional functionality to. 

Upon noticing this, that business can turn to Low-Code. The platform could be designed to be a mobile-ready, cloud-based solution designed to meet the evolving needs of the customer base.

The benefits of Low-Code for enterprise businesses

From avoiding the problems of shadow IT to streamlining app development processes, Low-Code provides many key advantages for enterprise-level business.

To find out the true benefits of Low-Code development platforms for enterprise businesses, we’ve got the perfect blog for you. Click the link below.

Find out more about the benefits of Low-Code

Meeting the challenges caused by legacy systems

In the example case, using Low-Code would mean the enterprise business could begin developing faster than their competitors, reclaiming that edge they began to lose over time. 

Low-Code meets challenges such as inefficiency by guaranteeing several technical, advantageous capabilities. For starters, development teams have full visibility over what they’re creating, meaning apps can be built to set specifications. They can be built to integrate, to be mobile-native, to work offline - in fact, there are countless realms of possibility that are possible when using Low-Code. 

Similarly, Low-Code application development provides:

  • Speedier delivery of projects.
  • Increased accessibility and ease of use.
  • Far-improved functionality, delivered by the ability to add features when they’re needed.
  • Much lower development costs.

In the current business market, without speed, agility, visibility and creative control, enterprise businesses can lose out to competitors who are willing to onboard new technology. Legacy systems shouldn’t be a cause for concern, but this is only the case when they can be effectively retired. This can be done through a Low-Code development platform.

The flexibility of Low-Code solutions

At the end of the day, legacy software is simply software that’s still valuable and useful, but inflexible. Now, simply using Low-Code to upgrade legacy systems or design new applications that do the job doesn’t guarantee that flexibility is captured. In fact, without flexibility, a Low-Code solution becomes the next lump of legacy software. 

Any solution needs to be adapted over time to suit the ever-changing needs of a business or industry, which means a Low-Code development platform that allows for those adaptations also needs to be utilised. Without those capabilities for change, you’ll soon find yourselves back at square one with inflexible software.

It’s very fast building software with Low-Code - one of its greatest strengths - however, no one should assume that using Low-Code is a short game. In short, businesses need to have the ability to continuously update their digital infrastructure and applications by using Low-Code in the way it was intended, as an ever-present supportive tool. This means choosing the right Low-Code development platform and even choosing the right Low-Code development partner.

Now, there are many Low-Code development platforms on the market today. But which one offers the most versatility and cost-effectiveness for enterprise businesses? To answer that question, we’ve created a comparison guide to compare some of the top-performing platforms available. 

The Low-Code comparison guide for enterprise businesses

In this guide, we compare Low-Code development platforms and app development methods, such as No-Code and Hand-Code, to determine which development style is best for you.

The guide compares notable development platforms such as Mendix, Appian, Salesforce, Powerapps and OutSystems to determine the most compatible with your needs

To see for yourself, just click the button below to get access to your free guide.

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