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The Danger of Legacy Software

By Matt Schuval

Legacy Software Danger

10 Pitfalls of Outdated Software

Legacy software isn’t just a little slow or somewhat inconvenient. A lot of manufacturers and distributors that continue to operate on Vista, Vantage and other outdated ERP solutions don’t realize that they’re seriously harming their business. Technology and industry demands change every day. How could outdated software possibly function in line with modern business standards?  

Many organizations drag their feet when it comes to upgrading their ERP systems, but if they understood the real risks of legacy software, they would make the move to a newer, better solution. Below, we outline 10 of the dangers of sticking with your legacy ERP.  

1. Limited Functionality 

ERP vendors constantly strengthen their solutions with new features, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and more intuitive user interfaces. These innovations aren’t just for flashy sales presentations; they support modern customer demands and enable manufacturers and distributors to transform big data into actionable insights. Legacy software simply can’t keep up with the latest ERP advancements and industry best practices. While you take hours to process small datasets on your outdated platform, your competitors are enjoying intelligent predictions and streamlined processes on a modern solution.  

2. Insufficient Security 

Each new release of an ERP solution comes with patches and security protocols designed to protect your sensitive data from the latest threats. Outdated software doesn’t have the strength to keep your information safe from cyberattacks, making it a major liability for your organization. Upgrades are essential for keeping your company’s data out of harm’s way.  

3. Platform Rigidity 

Modern ERP solutions are flexible and modular, making them easily adaptable to changing business needs. Legacy ERP solutions, in contrast, are clunky and rigid. Even the simplest modifications to an outdated platform require expensive customization. Such an inflexible system can’t provide the visibility, agility and efficiency to support business growth. The nimble design of today’s ERP allows your business to expand and take part in the global marketplace.  

4. Complexity Creep 

Legacy platforms might be rigid, but that doesn’t stop IT teams from trying to force the solution to align with new business requirements. This often results in complexity creep. The more custom changes and band-aids cobbled into the software, the more complicated the solution becomes, slowing down your ERP performance and making your system difficult to manage.  

5. Expensive Maintenance 

For IT teams, maintaining legacy infrastructure is one of their biggest headaches. It’s also an expensive challenge, with organizations devoting approximately 70% of their IT budget to legacy software maintenance. An outdated system uses archaic parts, coding languages and data formats. That makes it difficult and time-consuming to fix errors and improve software performance. It’s far more cost-effective to undergo an ERP upgrade than to continue tweaking and patching your old solution.  

6. Lack of Support 

Businesses with legacy solutions have gone off maintenance. That means they aren’t receiving updates and support from their provider. Therefore, whenever something goes wrong, they must scramble to find someone familiar with their outdated technology. IT developers skilled in a legacy platform are hard to come by. Fixing even the smallest issues can create substantial downtime and interrupt daily operations. With an upgrade, you can enjoy quick, responsive support from ERP vendors and consultants and keep your enterprise running smoothly.  

7. Incompatibility 

59% of IT leaders report that their teams struggle to bring new solutions into their enterprise because of legacy software. The architecture of legacy ERP is far too rigid and outdated to integrate with modern platforms. This inhibits your organization from adopting advanced technology to elevate your business performance and solve pain points. Furthermore, you might have trouble interacting with customers and suppliers who use modern applications that aren’t compatible with your legacy solution.  

8. Poor User Experience 

People are accustomed to performing a large array of tasks in an instant from mobile devices. When they don’t have this access or ease on their workplace’s technology, they quickly lose patience. Legacy ERP doesn’t offer the streamlined user interfaces that we see in modern software. Epicor, for example, added fully personalized dashboards to their latest ERP releases, ensuring users have the data they need at their fingertips. The simplified user experience of today’s solutions is critical to increasing productivity.   

9. Reporting Challenges 

Enterprise data should form the foundation of any business strategy, but legacy software doesn’t make it easy to extract insights from your data. Older solutions struggle to manage large datasets and lack the sophisticated business intelligence (BI) and predictive analytics tools to deliver in-depth reports on your company’s trends and performance. With modern ERP, you no longer need to read through pages of weekly or monthly reports; real-time reports and notifications are generated to help you capitalize on opportunities and avoid issues.  

10. Data Silos  

When your ERP isn’t up to par, users will look to other methods. Employees might go back to logging information in Excel spreadsheets. Some departments might implement their own applications to handle their specific data and processes. With users leveraging disparate platforms and methods to keep track of information, your organization will descend into chaos. ERP is designed to maintain data in one place, so you can enjoy total visibility and streamline processes. Storing information across multiple systems creates silos that interrupt the flow of data and prevent interdepartmental collaboration.  

Wrap Up 

If you’re behind on upgrading your ERP software, don’t delay any longer. Enterprise software is intended to be upgraded periodically to introduce new functionality and security features that expand the lifetime of your investment. But if you’re running a system as old as Epicor Enterprise, Vista or Vantage, an upgrade will be too difficult to execute. Instead, you’ll need to completely reimplement your ERP solution. Even though ERP upgrades take some time, it pays off in the long run by protecting your business from critical errors and lapses in performance. 

Datix, an Epicor Gold Partner, has helped manufacturers and distributors enjoy the latest ERP functionality for over 20 years. Our certified consultants have empowered clients to get rid of their legacy solutions and take advantage of Epicor 10. The most recent version of Epicor 10 includes powerful AI and IoT technology as well as collaboration and product configuration tools. No matter which system you are currently using, our ERP experts can smooth over your transition from your legacy software to Epicor 10.  

Outdated technology shouldn’t be getting in the way of your enterprise growth. Contact Datix today to make the switch to an upgraded ERP solution 

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Tags: support legacy erp, Technology Tips & Tricks, upgrade erp, erp security, Epicor® 10, erp consulting firm, erp customization, legacy erp, reporting, vantage, flexibility, legacy software, epicor enterprise, vista, ERP functionality, user experience, data silo

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