Feeling the Pressure of Old Technology? The Ins and Outs of Legacy Software Migration

Legacy software includes programs that have often been around before the advent of social media and use of the cloud to share documents, updates, and other forms of communication. Many companies use legacy software today, especially as the software is often extremely reputable and reliable in terms of performance, security, and organization. However, new software, released each year drastically helps business owners and entrepreneurs better manage their work more effectively and efficiently. Understanding the significance of updating legacy software is crucial for any type of business or brand looking to grow with the latest technology. Learning about the types of migrations, timeline, costs, and even preventive measures to take before updating your current legacy software is essential to avoid potential hang-ups and issues throughout the process.


The Ins and Outs of Legacy Software Migration

When is it time to migrate legacy software?

Large companies have now outgrown legacy software, creating lags or unforeseen technical woes due to the software's inability to handle growth at a rapid rate. When legacy software is neglected and never updated, it can prevent growth while interfering with the overall UI/UX of your company. Inefficient and non-intuitive user experience drastically decreases productivity and satisfaction levels in the workplace.

Avoiding legacy software migration creates problems in the future when teams eventually must catch up and learn an entirely new system. To avoid this, maintain steady updates.


The Three Options for Legacy Software Migration

There are currently three top options for legacy software migration. The best option available varies greatly depending on the type of company or business you run and the business model currently in place.

Replace With Another In-House System

Replacing your legacy software with an alternate in-house system can work but can also lead to a complex and impractical operation. Consider this option if your company is losing ground in your market and industry or if the current cost of your software does not make fiscal sense. If you are unable to staff an update or a software migration, this solution may be ideal for you. An alternate in-house software upgrade often provides the most comprehensive results.

Switch to an External Provider

Consider switching to an external provider when you begin your legacy software migration, such as moving to a SaaS provider. An external provider is ideal to decrease IT maintenance efforts. Additionally, working with an external provider is optimal for those who are unsure about trusting their data and information in the cloud in terms of security. At one point, even Larry Ellison of Oracle was a doubter of cloud hosting but has since come around to the idea.

Continue to Enhance Your System

Enhancing your current system is the least pressing form of a legacy update, which is perfect for committing to low-labor costs. While enhancing legacy software helps provide some relief, it is not a long-term solution for any type of business.


How much does it cost to migrate legacy software?

The cost of migrating legacy software varies depending on whether you complete the process in-house or by outsourcing or with an external partner. The more secure, user-friendly, and functional the new software is, the more time and money the update will run. You can expect to invest anything from a couple thousand dollars for smaller migrations, to hundreds of thousands for larger enterprise projects.


How long does it take to update a monolithic system?

Updating legacy software does not happen overnight, and it is difficult to state an exact time required (as each system varies individually). Updating your legacy software is possible in a short period of time depending on the money you have available to hire staff in addition to the type of migration you prefer.


What can be done to prevent large migrations in the future?

One of the most important factors to keep in mind regarding software migration is participating in regular updates each time they become available to you. The more updated your software remains, the easier it is to take advantage of functions and features to better optimize your business practices. When you maintain legacy software over time, it reduces the amount of manpower and long-term spending for when you eventually choose to migrate to an entirely new software solution.

Although legacy software migration often varies in cost and time to complete, doing so allows you to stay ahead of the technological curve and advancements that are extremely beneficial with how businesses manage day-to-day operations. Consulting with outside experts is one way to truly shed light on alternative methods and strategies regarding legacy software migration that you may have otherwise not considered.

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Matt Munson

Matt Munson

As one of two managing partners, Matt Munson oversees the day-to-day operations at AI. With a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, Matt began work as a software developer in the healthcare services industry where he began to hone his technology and business skills. A Wisconsin native, Matt moved to Florida in the spring of 2007 to pursue the dream of building an automated foreign exchange trading platform and spent the next six months learning the markets from leading experts in the field. This platform was a valuable experience that he took into development of Broadlane’s industry-leading analytics platform called Velocity which was one of the contributing factors to Broadlane’s almost billion-dollar sale to MedAssets. After a stint in Europe selling data services, he moved back to Dallas to pursue an MBA at SMU and co-founded Architecting Innovation. Matt returned to Europe to found a mobile game development studio bringing two games to market.