It’s quite usual for technologies to get better as time passes. They become either more powerful, more efficient, or both!

Therefore, it is pertinent that businesses would want to utilize better tech to speed up their services and their quality, thanks to the superior, more powerful tools at their disposal.

Besides, a more efficient system not only improves the overall productivity of the business’s own employees but also ensures that their customers have the best experience on their platform.

Well, it is sort of a “carrot and the stick situation” – either businesses utilize the modern tech or be left in the dust by those that do… How? Here’s a quick overview of why is there a need for modernizing legacy systems, and a case study on how it can save tremendous costs (in a competitive business environment, every single penny counts!).

Why Is There A Need For Modernizing Legacy Software Systems?

Starting with a simple example, don’t you agree that your current computer is more powerful, faster even, than the one you owned 10 years ago?

While SSDs weren’t as common back then, today they have almost completely replaced Hard Drives as primary storage devices; bringing down boot times from at least a minute and a half to a speedy 10 sec!

Flexera’s 2018 report found that a majority of products have a five-year lifecycle. Businesses, however, can sometimes go decades before deciding to update their legacy systems.

The code in their software has clever workarounds for problems or bugs, that mostly incites writing additional code instead of writing clean code from scratch.

Consider that process recurring repeatedly, over and over, for decades! Hence, a need for modernizing legacy systems to gain benefits such as:

  • Faster Software,
  • Better Computational Capabilities,
  • Better Productivity,
  • More Efficiency,
  • Better Scalability,
  • More Security,
  • Reduced Downtimes,
  • And Much More!

Case Study – US Air Force Systems

(Modernizing Legacy Systems Saves Tremendously in Costs!)

The golden rule within software development is (don’t tell anyone we told you that): if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.

Granted, updating legacy systems invites cost but it isn’t more than the yearly maintenance costs; it is actually a lot less!

The US federal government, according to the official 2019 report, found that the operation and maintenance of GAO (Government Accountability Office) legacy systems costs the taxpayers $337 million yearly.

By updating the 14-year-old Air Force systems the government saved $34 million annually.

Context – the maintenance cost of the legacy system was predicted to rise from $21.8 million in 2018 to $35 million in 2020. By updating the system, the $34 million out of $35 million in maintenance costs, turned into annual savings!

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Final Thoughts

While most products have a 5-year lifecycle, it is rarely that we get to see an update within the timeframe. The consequences are the loss of customer-base, reduced quality or speed of work (as compared to the expectations of modern times), and guiding millions of dollars right down the drain!

We have only considered the costs in this article, there are a few other penalties of not modernizing legacy systems timely, stay tuned for that.

And if you’re ready right now, consider outsourcing software development to update your legacy systems. With outsourcing, you can modernize according to the latest trends in software development including Machine Learning, Automation, Cloud Computing, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and much more!

Do you consider updating legacy systems very important in the software development industry?

We would love to know your thoughts on this; reach out to us through our Contact Form or let us know in the comments below!

The article was written in cooperation with the experts of SoftKraft – Outsourcing Software Development for Startups


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