Legacy applications – The problems – The operational challenges

Legacy applications – The problems – The operational challenges

In our last article we explored Legacy applications, what they are, and how your apps become legacy. We will now look at the challenges they pose in the modern world of work, both operationally and technically.

The operational challenges
A lack of modern practice
The world of technology is constantly evolving, and the modern workplace changes along with it – compliance regulations are always updating, operational practices change daily and the way in which we work is continually becoming easier and far more efficient. When using Legacy applications, you are living in the past, - by not installing updates gaps are left which limit the opportunities for your team to work at the absolute top of their game, which in turn leads to an increase in mistakes in the work process.

Lack of knowledge around the app
Presumably, implementation of the Legacy app took place quite some time ago – this means that experience and knowledge surrounding it will be hard or at least very difficult to come by. The average age of your team is likely to become younger as time goes on, and some of those younger staff members won't even know what the app is let alone how to use it effectively. There is a risk that choosing to stick with the Legacy application could be a disaster – it’s a real possibility that the day will come when you have no one at hand to teach it to new staff or to use it to its full potential.

A lack of support
Legacy apps – as we explained – are often no longer supported and therefore won’t reap the benefits of updates. Updates don’t just bring you the latest tools to make the app better but they also fix stability issues, bugs, and the security vulnerabilities which the app has developed over time. This protection is all that stands between you and cyber criminals – without it you will not only be a potential victim of a cyber crime but you and your team will also lack efficiency when navigating the system.

Lack of integration
Legacy apps will lack process automation completely - with it being such a pivotal part of operations in the modern world of work, you could be left behind your competition and remain stuck with dated manually-driven processes.

Lack of compliance
Using Legacy applications makes it impossible to guarantee legal compliance. One of the main governing bodies (GDPR) states that you must use the current supported software when storing and processing personal identifiable information, for example – but with Legacy apps that isn’t possible. Your organisation will be subject to the full extent of the law should you choose to leave sensitive data in apps that aren’t to the latest model.

Lack of remote access
In recent times more and more organisations are allowing a remote working team, and what used to be a benefit specifically for just the top executives of a company has now become normal service for all. Getting access for those remote working team members to the Legacy apps you rely on in the workplace can be an extremely difficult task to undertake – not to mention how costly it can be. This can all make for a very time-consuming and unproductive experience for the team.

The technical challenges
Lack of infrastructural support
The IT infrastructure in which your legacy applications reside can leave you feeling a little trapped. There will inevitably be a time when your IT infrastructure needs to be renewed – this could be due to a hardware failure, the end of life of your operating systems, or something positive like the need for more IT assets. Whatever the reason, this can leave you stuck. You have apps that are integral to your system but what will you do with IT that can’t run them?

Lack of security
The withdrawal of support means that patches are stopping! The risk of a cyber attack rises to unimaginable levels once this happens, because the app will be unable to defend itself – this is the equivalent of taking all your armour off in a battle; it won’t end well. Your data is at risk, and that can mean a whole new array of problems operationally, legally, and reputationally, all of which can jeopardise the very survival of your business.

Lack of backup
Your legacy applications could damage your ability to effectively backup, restore data, and maintain continuity of operations. If a problem arose that stopped you working, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be malicious but could be an environmental problem, or weather related.

Whatever it may be, you will have no way of accessing backups of your data elsewhere, meaning that you will have to cease operations.

Legacy applications simply aren’t worth the problems that come with them, so always use updated versions!

Ensuring the effective use of technology
BCNS make business easier and more cost-effective in guaranteeing that you and your team are always connected to each other and your clients. Our team of experts will assist you throughout the transition to be sure you achieve exactly what you desire – at the same time we can reduce your expenses and improve your security as well as performance! Contact us now and find out how we can help you with your business communications and move into a more productive future.