Friday, 18th February 2022

Legacy software: Is it time to upgrade your software system?

Technology moves incredibly fast – you only have to look what was considered a mobile phone in 2001 to what we consider a mobile phone now, to see that, eventually, the systems that are piggy backing your internal commercial processes are going to need to be retired.

So what is ­legacy software as opposed to just software? Legacy software is software that has been a part of any business for a long period of time, is no longer supported by the developers of that software, but still plays an essential role in the continuity of commercial operations. Hardware can become much harder to maintain overtime compared to software overtime and, if the software is built and tied to a specific OS (operating system) or hardware model, the users of the software may be forced to continue using it, no matter how dated the software may be – resulting in endless frustration as it begins to cough and splutter.

One of the main factors deterring businesses from changing or upgrading their commercial software systems are fears related to downtime, but the reality is, downtime for any software system is inevitable if it is no longer supported – whether that would be the system breaking entirely or you undergoing a much needed upgrade. There is no better time to upgrade your system, but here are a few indicators to let you know that you should do it sooner rather than later.

You are paying an extortionate amount of money for a server

These days, everything is online. Shoothill’s subsidiary company and software package for new home builders, Housebuilder Pro, like most SaaS (software as a service) packages, work utilising a vendor such as Microsoft. The days of paying for your own servers are long gone for most businesses. If you find yourself paying eyewatering server hosting and maintenance costs still, it may be time for a change.

Different day, same frustrations

If you spend large amounts of time using the system every day, you will get to know the software inside out – and its many potential problems. If these problems are becoming more frequent or more severe, the problem is unlikely to solve itself without any professional intervention. If your system is no longer supported, you will have to live with these problems, and either inevitably buckle and upgrade, or wait for the day the system breaks entirely and becomes unusable.

Portability hurdles

In a world where working from home is now widely adopted even after the removal of pandemic-related restrictions, your workforce are going to need easy access to internal systems to maximise their productivity. If you find that your systems perform poorly (or fail to work entirely) on portable devices such as tablets and smartphones, your workforce are going to be restricted, and their productivity could be impacted. Even using a laptop or a computer remotely may have boundaries if the correct technical infrastructure is not put in place, such as the ability to access files using cloud technology. Without this technology in place, files can be easily lost.

Functionality restrictions

Like we have mentioned previously, if your company is growing, your systems must grow in parallel. As your company grows, you will find that you will demand much more from your software – such as integrations with your favourite CRM systems and websites. Software companies such as Shoothill in fact make this easier, where ‘digital transformation’ is sold as a service, ensuring that all your platforms and systems are cross-compatible – if you have purchased an off-the-shelf standalone software package off a previous company in the past however, integrating all of your other existing systems may be a difficult task.

Whatever stage you are at with your current system, it is never too late to go bespoke, for the future scalability, productivity and profitability of your growing business. Get in touch to find out how we can help by clicking here.