Why Won't Everything Work Together? The Problems of Legacy Systems
Migrating from an old system to a newer version or even a different system can be a major headache, especially when old programmes and software refuse to work with the new system.
However, keeping old legacy systems in operation may seem like the easiest option but this is only a short-term solution and can end up having a negative effect on your business.
1) Security - Keeping legacy systems in place is potentially a security risk – especially if the programmes are connected to a network.
Legacy systems, like Windows 7, for example, are no longer supported once they have been retired. This means there are very few or no updates or patches and are therefore more susceptible to viruses, malware and ransomware. You can sometimes pay extra to keep these systems in use but this can be financially burdensome.
2) Customer Relations - Whilst you may be able to run your business using out of date and retired systems this could potentially cause problems if you need to collaborate or share material with other businesses or clients. Associates with more up to date systems may not be able to open or interact with your documents.
This could end up costing you money. Imagine if one of your clients didn’t use email, only faxes – could you continue to work with them?
When changing systems, you can prevent a lot of legacy related problems through careful preparation and research.
1) Compatibility – If you are using old versions of software you need to find out if they are compatible with the new system you are migrating to. Finding out about compatibility issues in advance gives you time to upgrade these prior to the migration making the move smoother.
2) Discontinued Software – If your business relies on a specific programme which won’t be compatible with the new system, research gives you time to find an alternative.
3) No Choice – If your business has no choice but to maintain a legacy system, for legal reasons or the need to access older data you need to have an enclave processes in place.
- Reserve one PC for the legacy software.
- Do not have this PC connected to the internet or to other networked machines. Often businesses run legacy systems, not out of necessity but out of apathy.
Migrating to new software or operating systems can be an upheaval. Depending on the complexity of the IT systems it can take from a few days to a few weeks to complete, and there will be inevitable teething troubles. Many businesses may wish to avoid upheaval and stick with what they have, for as long as possible.
Thank you for reading. Check out our other blog posts to find more helpful tips.
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