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Business Risks of using Legacy IT Infrastructure

Owning a retro car can be considered as a luxury while running your business on an outdated IT system might not be considered the same! Businesses that don't modernize their infrastructure don't stay relevant for long. If you fail to keep pace with the technology advancements and utilize them to streamline and catalyze your internal processes, you will be elbowed out of the market by the competitors. In brief, you could be at the helm of your business, but relying on an aging IT infrastructure could easily sink your business ship.

The Business Risks of Legacy IT

1. Technology never gets better with Age

It is common knowledge that new IT systems can be regularly updated to guard them against emerging cyber threats. New versions are designed to increase the security as well as add new functionalities. In contrast, the legacy systems cease to evolve and are riskier to use as they have not been designed to stay resilient to today's sophisticated forms of attacks. When a certain system has been around for years, the hackers and attackers get more time to poke around and discover its various vulnerabilities

Obsolescence poses a serious business risk. You are sure to feel reluctant to fly in an aircraft that is 3 years outside its maintenance cycle and yet you operate your business on an IT system that has reached or approaching its end of life.

2. Increased Operational Costs and System Downtime

According to a recent report, large enterprises spend about 80 percent of their total IT budget on maintaining their legacy systems. Although most businesses are hesitant to invest in new technology, the true cost of maintaining the legacy systems far outweighs the costs of new system implementation. As the outdated systems incur a high maintenance cost, so they lead to inefficient OPEX.

Legacy systems are slow, prone to crashes and require constant attention from IT departments, creating high dependency on IT personnel who could be utilized in projects that increase operational efficiency and business opportunities. The constant threat of downtime negatively impacts employee productivity, causes customer frustrations, and creates a ripple effect on every aspect of the operation.

3. High Regulatory Compliance Risks

Legacy technology can have serious repercussions upon businesses that need to meet stringent regulatory compliance standards. Industry compliance standards such as HIPAA, PCI, and SOX require your technology to be supported and safe. Audits become more difficult when a business operates on legacy infrastructure. Additionally, there is always a lingering chance of breach that sets the business up for expensive penalties. Consequentially, there is a loss of reputation and customer trust that could have a far-fetching negative impact upon your business.

4. Mobility is Impaired

Mobility is the new age imperative for enterprise collaboration. However, most legacy systems are device-dependent with a lack of mobile versions. This has a direct bearing on the efficiency, agility, and productivity of an enterprise. Mobile-friendly systems help enterprises to move beyond the physical restraints, as a result, they consistently outperform their on-premise, legacy versions.

5. Incompatibility with other IT Solutions

Businesses that remain tethered to legacy systems often end up limiting their growth. They fail to meet the modern-day demands of their customers which can be easily attained with the utilization of new technologies. Legacy systems are not compatible with newer solutions and hence limits the growth of the business. In the long run, this leads to financial losses as the competitors reap the benefits of incorporating emerging technologies to grow their customer base and meet the industry requirements for speed, convenience, and security.

6. Limited Talent Pool

Apart from the high maintenance costs, it is also difficult to find the right talent to manage your legacy infrastructure. As a system grows old there are fewer and fewer IT experts available to support your legacy infrastructure. As your existing technology experts retire or leave, the organization is faced with the challenge of finding new talents from a limited talent pool. This situation is further aggravated when the vendor discontinues its support.

The technology world is moving at a fast and often dizzying pace. Modern-day businesses need to adopt helpful innovations to change the way business is conducted. Legacy systems pose barriers in business growth and scalability in the rapidly evolving digital business landscape. To meet the present-day demands, businesses need to equip themselves with better resources. And this can be capacitated by a modern IT infrastructure.