When does it make sense to replace long-standing legacy systems?

When does it make sense to replace long-standing legacy systems?

  • Long-term tools can limit work efficiency
  • The systems stagnate and do not develop their portfolio of functions anymore.
  • Corporate strategy is no longer supported
  • In case of system gaps or other problems there is no reliable maintenance or support any more


As so often in life, companies are constantly faced with change. The market and the associated demand are constantly changing, the products or services to satisfy the demand must be adapted and so the requirements and necessities of the companies must be aligned accordingly to be able to provide these products or services. However, changes often are negatively afflicted. Innovation managers are constantly confronted with statements such as “Why should the well-tried be replaced” or “This is how things work well”. But the crucial questions should be: “Can we perform better?” or “Has the efficiency quota already been reached?

The software life cycle can be used as a rough guide. The systems are provided with updates, such as feature updates or new security updates, for a certain period of time. If this is no longer carried out, some problems lurk on companies due to system gaps.

Obsolete systems mean a lack of efficiency and security gaps!

Working with spreadsheets and endlessly long lists is no longer state-of-the-art. This is no secret. It costs time and money to work with outdated methods, although the market provides enough alternatives. Likewise, companies always rely on well-tried systems, although these do not meet the requirements anymore. Many applications are simply outdated: even self-developed architectures and obsolete technologies no longer meet today’s criteria and increase the work time and maintenance costs. Modernisation and a new coordination of the criterias are becoming more and more important – and rightly so.
In addition, outdated software can be a real invitation for cyber attackers to take advantage of the system’s security vulnerabilities, and that can pitch companies into the abyss. So to make it clear: if you don’t update your software you leave the gate wide open for cyber-felonies.


Outdated software in the enterprise can mean an easy game for attackers

Wanna Cry will still be a formative term for many people. Last May, the blackmail Trojan paralyzed more than 200,000 companies and over 300,000 computers and demanded ransom payments. At the latest, this event should be a wake-up call for companies to take the topic of cyber security seriously and to ensure sustainable and reliable protection measures.

Lack of maintenance and unreliable support!

Even with extensive and widespread softwares, faulty functions can occur again and again despite ongoing control – this is hardly avoidable. This makes it even more important to have a trustworthy partner or manufacturer at your side who closes these barriers and offers support in case of questions or problems.

As already mentioned, ongoing updates and continuous maintenance are a must when legal updates, such as security precautions or data backups, suddenly come into force. Without these criterias, no further use should be considered. Cyber security is and will become even more important in the upcoming years – therefore companies should start now and take precautions.

Systems do not grow with you!

Requirements evolve and change continuously. Be it agile project management or lean management, these functions are often no longer supported by outdated systems, although it can mean a great added value for companies. Also the inadequate security requirements of the systems can mean big risks especially in times of the DSGVO regulation. In addition, outdated user interfaces or ongoing and time-consuming and costly maintenance can make day-to-day work considerably more difficult. Software must be as flexible as the company needs it to be. It must grow with requirements and new regulations. However, it’s clear that small businesses don’t need the same functionality as large ones. Companies need to make sure which features are needed and whether they are supported by the system. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile to invest in more comprehensive systems at first and then grow into them – according to the motto: Strive for more!

The corporate strategy can no longer be supported!

Of course the age is not always the problem of the systems. Companies often have to react to external or internal changes or developments in such a way that the strategy must inevitably adapt to the organization and the systems used can no longer keep up. Unfortunately, this happens very often, especially if the long-term corporate strategy is not defined in advance and this is usually simply not possible or predictable every time. These changes can be triggered by sudden changes in legislation, security regulations or technological developments.
On the other hand, it can also happen that systems are in use for so long that the corporate strategy simply develops over time and it is not noticed until you come up against a glass ceiling and can’t move forward.

If you have outdated systems in place and are unsure whether they still meet your business needs and provide the capabilities you need, let us think this through together. We would be happy to support you.

Contact us