Everything You Need to Know About Legacy Software

Legacy Software For and In Your Business

Depending on the size of your business, a software upgrade can cost you up to $200,000 or more to implement. The alternative is to keep using older software and leave yourself vulnerable to the security issues contained within. In some cases, legacy software can be useful but as the foundation for your company, you must beware of relying on it. To understand more about legacy software, you need to understand these 3 points.

1. It Can Be Device Specific
Legacy software can play an important role in larger enterprises and is often needed to keep a certain system running. Even in institutions as advanced as the U.S.military, we have older systems. In order to control nuclear devices and essential defense technologies.

While certain methodologies become deprecated over time, there’s no telling the ways a given technology might be integrated into an enterprise. If CEOs or CTOs really like a technology when it’s released, it might be irrelevant that there’s a short projected shelf life. Whole departments get formed around technology that isn’t built to last. Think about the number of companies who might rely on videotape for their security systems, when videotape has been on a steep decline since the year 2000.

2. You Might Be Relying on Some Yourself
Believe it or not, there could be people relying on legacy software in your own company. If you’ve got customers who are reliant on an old piece of software, you could be keeping an old computer around with an old OS on it to keep that running.

You need to support customers at whatever level they’re at. Not everyone updates at the same speed. Some companies or enterprises are so big that the task of updating could cost them millions or take them offline for longer than they can afford.

3. Even Huge Companies Deal with It

3Si2 Legacy Software

Some of the biggest companies on the planet are stuck using legacy software. Just a few years ago, it was reported that 95% of the ATMs in the world were using Windows XP. Although Windows had stopped supporting the software and the shelf life had clearly expired, companies were ill-prepared for what to do. Without a plan in mind, companies were forced to either rapidly update or leave themselves open to security vulnerabilities. While it might seem ridiculous, the millions of dollars spent to implement the software in the first place were more or less reliant on XP’s perpetual support.

Legacy Software Is Useful but Not to Be Relied On

While keeping legacy software in service can be useful for research purposes or maintaining relationships with certain customers, it needs to be done sparingly. Relying on legacy software could open you up to all kinds of vulnerabilities. Make sure you understand when it’s appropriate to keep it around and alert your customers of the same. In order to ensure that your future legacy software still retains value, check out our guide on the future of software development.

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