How to update old software: 3 ways to get away from legacy enterprise systems

Just as technology and electronic devices rapidly evolve and update to newer versions of themselves, so too should business software systems.

A lot of businesses don’t realise how old their software systems are until they start encountering problems or stop and ask themselves whether an upgrade is required.

We’ve spoken before about how old software is hurting your business and why you should move away from legacy systems.

Hanging on to legacy systems could be detrimental (and costly) to your business and expose it to viruses, faults, hackers and other risks.

By keeping your software systems up to date, you can mitigate these risks, enhance the productivity of your business and gain an edge over your competitors.

But upgrading your systems can be a daunting task. How do you make the transition from legacy systems to new software systems while ensuring the integrity of your data and minimising disruption to your business?

Here are our three tips for moving away from legacy enterprise systems:

1. Do your research

It’s impossible to solve a problem when you have no information on what the problems are. Gather the necessary information so that you can make smart and informed decisions about what will need to be replaced or upgraded.

How many people in your business rely on your software systems? How many times per day are your employees or customers using your software? What functions do they use the most? Without answers to basic questions like these, you won’t have anything to base your decisions on, including how much funding to allocate to upgrading the old software system.

Be sure to research your options for new software thoroughly and try to find a solution that can closely match the new software system to the specific needs of your business. It’s also worth investigating whether there is an off-the-shelf option, before diving into a new and costly custom software development. Consult with software experts to ensure you’re making the best choice.

2. Perform thorough testing

Once you’ve established which software system or application needs to be replaced or updated, it’s time to start compatibility testing. Establish what will and won’t work natively across different operating systems, web browsers or applications. Only then will you truly understand what your business needs to keep moving forward in a productive and profitable manner.

At this stage, it’ll also be important to gather feedback from users. What do the users of your old software system complain about most? Which features would they change? Are there parts of the program that could work more efficiently? Testing the legacy system from the perspective of its users could shed new light on what will be required in the upgrade.

Data Transfer

3. Consider your migration plan

Think about the best approach for your business to move away from the old system and embrace the new. Perhaps you’ll want to switch from your old software system to a new one immediately, where you can adopt the changes instantly.

Often it will be better to work towards gradually merging from your old software systems to the new one over a period of time. This is usually the more common approach, especially when there are lots of users involved, as you can stagger user training, and iron out any issues with implementation before switching to your new system.

In some cases, legacy systems can’t always be completely replaced, due to the complexities of the software. This is where it will be important to determine if it’s best for your business to adopt a life extension plan that can give you a clear path to the future replacement of your legacy components while introducing a current solution to extend the software’s longevity.

It will also be important to consider the risk of data loss when migrating software systems. Be sure to backup all of your old systems and work out how long you should keep them around. It’s beneficial to work with software experts, as they can develop a rollout plan to ensure you reduce the risk of lost data.

Lastly, think about your staff members throughout the migration process. Holding workshops or training sessions will not only get their buy-in but it will also help reduce transition time to a new software system and encourage staff to adopt the new systems faster, which equates to your business saving time and money.

Make it an easy transition with software experts

Inoutput has the expertise and experience to help your business move away from legacy systems and transition to new, integrated software. And it doesn’t have to involve ongoing interruptions or a big headache.

We’ll ensure the transition from your old software system to a new one is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Contact inoutput to find out how we can help your business make the shift to a new software system by phoning (03) 9016 3066 or sending us details via our contact form.