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Avoid These Pitfalls When Upgrading Your Legacy Systems

There is no doubt that staying relevant in today’s ever-changing business world means keeping current with technology. Unfortunately, there are companies that fail miserably in this area, running antiquated hardware and/or obsolete software on their IT infrastructure. There are many challenges to upgrading from a legacy system. However, enterprises that are successful in this endeavor realize great rewards financially. But where they succeed, others fail, resulting in catastrophic results. Let’s take a look at how and why these situations occur.

Lack of Proper Planning

Without taking the steps to properly plan an upgrade, the process can easily fall apart before it even begins. The analysis must be done to review and identify which components are to be eliminated or upgraded. A slip-shod and rushed implementation without the development of an effective project plan can result in a costly misadventure of failed systems across the board.

Assigning a project team to determine goals, modernization approach, as well as the cost and time estimates can greatly improve chances for implementation success. Bringing an IT expert on board can help deliver the results the company needs in this project.

Failure to Take the Incremental Route

Companies are more eager to entertain the idea of an all-in-one rollout day believing it will have less of an impact on the business. This couldn’t be further from the truth when migrating from a legacy system. Changing a live system as a whole can have detrimental effects especially if there are hiccups along the way. Therefore, it is always better to take a step-by-step launch approach over a period of time to avoid major disruptions. Implement small adjustments and tweaks before moving onto the next phase.

Underestimating Legacy Data Importation

Importing legacy data can come with a variety of challenges. With the possibility of duplicated information across the system, conversion to the upgraded system may be more tedious than anticipated. Ineffective legacy systems may also have poor naming conventions. Avoidance of data redundancy, loss, and security compromises are of critical importance.  With this in mind, a good portion of the upgrade budget should be applied to data migration.

Simultaneously Changing Workflow

Upgrading from a legacy system may not be the appropriate time to change the current workflows within the infrastructure. With many end users possibly already resistant to change, adding yet another adjustment can greatly impact the success of the upgrade.

What are other ways to ensure success when upgrading from a legacy system?

  • Consider migrating to a cloud-based solution for reduced costs, faster delivery time, and greater flexibility and scalability. Migrating to the cloud can also allow the company to adapt to the new technology faster.
  • Combine business and IT goals during the planning process. For example, the decreasing customer wait times in a call center combined with upgrading the center’s system efficiently routes the calls.
  • Plan how the modernization project will impact the company including which approach is best. Additionally, decide on a realistic budget that will accommodate the approach.
  • During the testing process, ensure that all software and systems are effectively integrated to avoid any inaccuracies or data loss across the network. This is also where implementation within modules is important rather than executing it all at once.
  • Finally, consider how customers are ultimately affected by the upgrade. Since customers are what drive the business, their experience must be considered throughout the process. An upgrade that complicates the experience can ultimately lead to a loss in revenue when customers move to the competition.

Conclusion

In any business, running legacy hardware and software can be a costly mistake. However, careful planning and implementing to avoid expensive and troublesome issues. Contact us for more information on how we can help you navigate this process with our staff of experienced and knowledgeable IT experts.

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