It’s now 2020 — is your business still using legacy hardware and software? In technology parlance, “legacy” refers to anything that’s outdated or obsolete. If so, you’re in trouble.
In New Jersey, competition is stiff for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Small businesses make up 99.6% of all enterprises in the state. After weathering the economic crises of the late 2000s, small businesses are now expanding and increasing their borrowing activities. If you're still stuck with legacy, you need to update your hardware and software, or your competition will leave you far behind.
But making that big switch is a challenge for most SMBs. To transition from legacy with ease, you need to be mindful of the following considerations.
There is a tendency to justify your already considerable investment in your legacy system; resist that urge. Do your homework and compare costs first. When the benefits of getting a new system outweigh the costs of maintaining your legacy technologies, then it’s easier to justify changing systems. The challenge is to accurately assess the return on investment of the transition.
For most SMBs that don’t have deep pockets, it’s almost impossible to toss out the old system completely and replace it with a totally new one. The transition will most likely happen in stages. This will necessitate incorporating new systems into current legacy technologies. You’ll need to carefully map out the systems integration to make sure that they function throughout the transition.
#3 User acceptance
"Users" refer to both your internal staff and your external customers and/or partners. Legacy users are already comfortable with “as is,” and may already have shortcuts around your current system. Any disruption causes discomfort. To overcome resistance from users, ask them for feedback about the new system, taking note of the users’ pain points and addressing them.
#4 Workflow issues
This is related to user acceptance. When changes are made to a system, the existing workflow is affected. Your employees may find it hard to adapt to the changes, resulting in apprehension, resistance, and delays. If left unaddressed, this will lead to a decrease in productivity. Offer your employees training on their new workflows so that they have a better grasp of the changes in your system.
#5 Disruption and downtime
When you remove a legacy system, it will entail downtime. The challenge is to keep downtime to a minimum. Proper scheduling of changes and compatibility of systems are important, too. That's because if your new system disrupts your employees’ regular processes significantly, your staff will suffer from much discomfort and dissatisfaction.
#6 Possible data loss
When migrating from one system to the next, it’s possible that the new system cannot access information from the legacy system. You lose data as a result. When that happens, it'll be costly to compare documents in the legacy system with the documents in the new system to check for missing data. Worse, if the missing data is essential to your business, then you’ll have bigger problems to worry about.
#7 Not planning ahead
In the future, your new system will become legacy. It’s best to embrace that eventuality and plan for it. Don’t get too attached to certain hardware or software. Think of them as tools to conduct your business. If the tools don’t fit your needs anymore, then you should let go of them.
Your business should always be looking to the future. That means always adapting, changing, and growing. Change isn’t always easy; you’ll need a managed services provider (MSP) like Online Computers to help you with your technology needs as you grow your business.
Do you want to leap ahead of your competition? Are you ready to take your SMB to the next level? Then you’ll want to partner with us at Online Computers. Our IT experts can help you shift from legacy and transform your business from a day-to-day survivor to a forward-looking challenger. If your business is in or around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison, then contact us today.
Still uncertain about the benefits of partnering with an MSP? Then download our eBook, “5 Big Ways IT Outsourcing Can Boost Your Company’s Productivity” — go ahead, it’s free, no strings attached.