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Seamless I.T. Upgrades: Letting Go of Legacy Systems

To save time and money and boost your competitive edge, you might decide to modernize your legacy system. Here’s how to do it with a minimum of disruption

Key Takeaways:

How do I know if it’s time to modernize our legacy system?
How do you plan an upgrade to minimize disruption?
Who should be involved in creating the modernization strategy?
What are the key considerations in implementation?

Every organization must ask themselves at some point: Is it time to modernize our legacy systems?

On the one hand, you may fear the cost and disruption of updating your old I.T. system. On the other hand, you may fear your old technology holding you back, preventing you from being in top-notch competitive shape.

If you weigh the pros and cons, you will probably be swayed by the voice that urges abandoning legacy systems. A University of Oregon tech blog encourages you to answer these questions: “Do you have legacy systems and applications in your business that cost you more than the value they provide? Would it be a prudent investment to finally retire those apps or that hardware and migrate? Would you save money and headaches in the long run? It is something to consider.”

It is, indeed. Outdated technology can make it difficult to keep up with changing business priorities and pose major security and operational risks.

Here’s what you need to know to seamlessly transition from a legacy system to a robust, modernized one that provides all the capabilities you need to be efficient, competitive, and safe. 

Evaluating your current I.T. infrastructure

You need to start by honestly assessing the state of your current I.T. infrastructure and identifying its limitations, risks, and efficiencies.

Typically, you might find:

  • Technology well past its best-before date
  • Major security problems
  • Sub-par performance
  • Skyrocketing maintenance costs
  • Limited scalability
  • Poor adaptability to changing business requirements

While you might be the type to keep a car until its tires fall off, outdated I.T. services are not a good idea. They can lead to significant downtime, lost productivity, and increased costs, including ones for direct labor. 

As part of your assessment of legacy systems modernization, you need to establish performance metrics and perform compatibility checks between the technology you have and the technology you want to upgrade to.

Planning your I.T. upgrade strategy

Plotting out your upgrade strategy should be a comprehensive process involving all stakeholders and I.T. professionals early in the process.

The assessment of your company’s applications and systems should thoroughly examine their current state, including their strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, where improvements can be made. Your upgrade strategy to modernize legacy systems should align with your business goals and budget considerations and pose minimal disruptions to your operations.

Your upgrade plan should tackle compatibility issues and answer questions such as: What systems and technology require upgrading (or does it all need to be modernized)? Does anything new need to be developed and installed? How much time and how many team members are required for the job? What will the costs be? How will things be implemented?

 Some of your strategies might include:

  • Rehosting applications to a new environment with a minimum of changes
  • Refactoring code to optimize performance while keeping its core functionality
  • Moving legacy applications to a different platform or infrastructure
  • Re-architecting applications to meet modern standards
  • Fully replacing all legacy systems

Mitigating risks during transition

When undertaking legacy systems modernization, you may face challenges. These may include a loss of time, money, and even corporate reputation if you suffer much downtime. Problems in the transition process might cause data loss or corruption or make you more vulnerable to security issues.

Mitigating these kinds of threats is possible through a proper risk assessment, which identifies potential threats that may arise during modernization. You should clearly define the security requirements and expectations for the system. 

You should assess potential impacts on your clients, staff, and business and then develop contingency plans and emergency procedures if problems arise. You might reduce risks through phased rollouts, data backups, and, very importantly, proper communication and collaboration. The latter might involve keeping in touch with all stakeholders throughout the process—including team members, clients, and other organization staff—keeping them updated with progress and getting valuable feedback on changes.

Training and support for new systems

Letting go of legacy systems may be made all the more difficult if your staff isn’t fully trained in using the new technology effectively. Without the proper support, they could make human errors that result in lost productivity, security issues, and even financial losses.

Part of the training should include changing the staff’s mindset. They need to know the benefits of the new technology, which will motivate them to use it properly and reduce their resistance to change. Proper training and support will also ensure that the system is used effectively and productively on an ongoing basis. 

And it’s not just staff that can benefit from training. Often, business leaders aren’t fully familiar with I.T. issues. So, a misalignment between executives and I.T. leaders on the objectives of a legacy system modernization specifically, or an I.T. strategy generally, can lead to many avoidable issues.

Partnering with a good, experienced managed services provider (MSP) can provide you with all the training you need for a new I.T. system. For example, cybersecurity training is important since most security issues are due to human error. This can help build awareness, ensure compliance, and improve your I.T. infrastructure.

Ongoing support from an MSP can also help ensure that your modern system continues to run without problems so you can take full advantage of its capabilities.

The right partner makes the transition process seamless

You can realize many benefits by upgrading your legacy system, including:

  • Improved efficiency and performance
  • Better security and compliance
  • Superior user experience
  • Cost savings

At Attentus Technologies, we are driven by the desire to be the answer to your challenges, whether they involve a seamless system upgrade, ongoing I.T. support and helpdesk services, cloud solutions, cybersecurity services, and much more.

At the center of what we do is accountability. We never try to deflect blame or finger-point. Our experienced professionals take ownership of any situation and then find a solution that satisfies our client’s needs. So, our commitment to you, and one of our core values, is to Be The Answer to any I.T. issues you face in your business. We will work with you to find a solution—each and every time, without fail.

If you want to learn more, contact us today for a free consultation and answers to any questions about your technology or how to improve your I.T. infrastructure. 

We’ll work with you so that your legacy system and transition challenges are a thing of the past.