Are Legacy Applications Prohibiting Your Business From Growing?

Over the past few decades, technology has evolved – and rapidly so. Just 20 years ago, we had to choose between talking on the phone or dialing up to access the internet. Now the thought of having to pick just one digital device at a time sounds foreign and horribly outdated. Dial-up was the norm several years ago, but it would be a migraine to use now. Today’s Internet works at real-time speeds and can handle heavy multitasking from multiple devices. Without high speed Internet, we wouldn’t be able to collaborate to the extent that we do using a mix of technologies that live both on premise and in the cloud.

The multitasking age of technology also enables us to work and live across a myriad of time frames. Think of cable television. We used to watch live TV programs, while they were being broadcast. With the appearance of DVR, we can now record not just one program at a time, but three programs, and watch them at our own convenience. It’s even gotten to the point where a physical TV is no longer necessary. Many people just stream directly from their tablet or laptop, and if they have a TV, it’s used for syncing up to these devices.

The advantage of these technological advancements is that now there are more options – faster, sleeker, personalized, portable options. Being able to access all these options for personal use is amazing but for small or midsize businesses this global hyperconnectivity is a game changer. Technologies such as high speed internet and the plethora of mobile devices available to us have made the world our oyster. Accessibility is now an issue of the past and the time has come to evaluate whether your business is still in dial up mode or full on DVR.

Legacy applications are what we know. They are what we’ve always known. But now is the time to address those outdated, cumbersome ‘dial-ups’ of your business model and see if they are holding you back from global growth. The age of the networked economy is here and it is up to you to decide if you will take advantage of the opportunities it has presented.

Pitfalls of legacy applications

GovTech reported that in the arena of government, “because they’re difficult or even impossible to modify, old applications force governments to stick with outmoded procedures.” These applications also “take a heavy financial toll on the institution. Using old methods can slow you down. Period. And that means you’re losing money. “The support cost to maintain all these applications is eating up probably 43 to 54 percent of our total IT operations budget,” admitted Bill Kehoe, CIO of King County. That is no insignificant amount.Because of this high maintenance cost, Computer World states, “Legacy applications are one of the most difficult issues to face within IT. A rip-and-replace approach is expensive, difficult to cost-justify and tends to interrupt business. Meanwhile, the legacy software lingers in accounting’s ledgers, outlives its welcome in sales and causes poor network performance throughout the organization.”

Can you scale? Or should you try something new?

So, what should you do? Well, first you want to consider whether new applications can help you run smarter, faster and simpler. Are your current applications scalable, or have you maxed out? Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be an all or nothing, one step, overhaul. You can make adjustments to your IT needs as your business grows, over time. The networked economy means just that. We are always connected and our businesses should be too. Whether you choose baby steps, or more of an all cards on the table type of renovation, there are plenty of options available to better connect your business with the global marketplace.

If you are a small or midsize business with legacy applications, discover how SAP can help your company build a simpler path to growth.

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