Is your business living in the Stone Age like the Flintstones of Bedrock? While it’s humorous to watch Fred and Barney get into minor scrapes and conflicts, we doubt you want your business to go through similar incidents when it comes to your business technology. The risks of living in the technological “Stone Age” with outdated or legacy systems may be costing you more than you realize, and that’s no joke.

Most businesses these days need technology to run smoothly and efficiently and be competitive. However, with this technology comes the need for ongoing investment of both time and money to maintain your competitive edge and avoid business disruptions. So, what’s the big deal about keeping outdated technology?

Maintaining legacy systems can become both a financial burden and support risk. As time goes on, finding technical support or replacement hardware for older legacy infrastructure can become essentially impossible. There will come a point where you’re spending more money to maintain your legacy systems than you would have had you upgraded them initially.

Upgrades can become more difficult. The longer you wait to upgrade makes moving your data or business critical information from one platform to another more difficult and, in some cases, impossible to transfer. Sometimes, user training requirements are greater too.

Security becomes a huge concern with legacy systems. When a system goes off support, the developer of the system stops creating security patches leaving your business vulnerable. Often things like backup and disaster recovery become huge challenges when legacy systems remain in place. For example, Microsoft has announced the end-of-life for Windows 7 on user desktops and Windows Server 2008 on servers. This mean that security patches will no longer be available for both operating systems. Additionally, backup vendors will stop supporting these older operating systems making it impossible to back up your data.

If your business has any compliance requirements, using outdated technology can have serious repercussions. Compliance standards, like HIPAA, PCI, SOX and more, require that your technology be supported. By continuing to use unsupported technology, you could be subject to fees and penalties if you experience a data breach (which are more likely due to security holes in your legacy system).

When you have older systems, the failure rates tend to increase resulting in downtime. As a reminder, downtime means the following costs:

  • Expenses for IT recovery and data restoration (if even possible!)
  • Dissatisfied customers (who may leave for the competition)
  • Lost sales
  • Brand/loyalty damage
  • Lost employee productivity
  • Potential employee overtime costs to meet deadlines after the failure
  • Low employee morale and turnover due to stress

Another problem with outdated technology is that “old” and “new” technology often don’t work together. By using older technology, you cannot take advantage of new or advanced capabilities. This potentially limits your business’ mobility, scalability and growth. Even if you’re not staying current with technology, it’s likely that your competitors are—this puts your clients and revenue at risk.

So, while Fred Flintstone’s “foot-powered” car is great for driving around Bedrock, we encourage you to review and plan your technology upgrades today. If you need help getting out of the Stone Age, give us a call. We’ll help you stay competitive with peak-performing technology solutions for your business success.

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First published in our January 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter