Legacy Systems and Hardware: The True Costs Revealed
Businesses have become increasingly reliant on technology for handling security, commerce and day-to-day operations, but the necessary software can be expensive and may require updates as often as once a year. In an effort to save time and money, some business owners are tempted to stay with the original software or hardware they invested in, even when an update is recommended.
That may seem like a savvy way to stretch a budget, but in reality, using
legacy systems usually results in expensive, time-consuming problems down the road. A legacy system is defined as any piece of hardware or software that was once widely used but has been rendered obsolete by new models. And the biggest risk legacy systems pose is that they’re no longer supported by their manufacturers.
The Temptation of Old Tech
As all business owners know, technology can be a massive investment. Once the computers have been bought and the software downloaded, many people choose to rely on a
break/fix system instead of purchasing newest versions of tech. Break/fix means that issues are addressed one at a time as they pop up, and nothing is done to prevent potential problems. This strategy may save money in the short term, but eventually, continually putting out fires will cost more than it would to update the systems.
Once your legacy system is no longer supported by the manufacturer, you will begin to face the challenge of finding an IT professional who is familiar with the system and can fix it for you. Once your IT pro decides to hone their skill set to the latest and greatest and you lose their support, it will fall to you and your staff to resolve issues on your own. This will cost you even more time and money.
What a Legacy System Costs You
It won’t be long before your legacy system and break/fix approach stops being a money-saving trick and starts being a financial nightmare. Here are some ways that your legacy system will begin to cost your business:
1. Security Issues: Many small businesses fall victim to security and data breaches because their outdated systems are easily compromised, and fixing the issue isn’t cheap; recovery costs can be upwards of $35,000. You also risk losing customer trust if sensitive information is exposed during a breach.
2. Loss of Professional Knowledge: Over time, your IT staff will retire or move on. New hires may be unfamiliar with your outdated system and may choose to work for a more modern company. If you do hire new talent, you’ll be spending time and money training them on your legacy system instead of taking advantage of their knowledge of the newest technologies.
3. Business Obstacles: With a legacy system, your staff might spend more time trying to fix a downed server or frozen computer than they do interacting with customers. Those same customers might become frustrated and disinterested in working with your company if they find it hard to navigate your outdated tech. This is especially true when eCommerce is involved; any data breach or issue with payment processing has the potential to cost your company customers. If you are hosting your website on an outdated system, you run the very real risk of downtime and performance problems that affect both your search engine rankings and visitors’ experience on your site. These issues can cost you the opportunity to interact with your existing customers via your website and the chance to be discovered by potential new customers. These days, if your website is down or running poorly, you are no longer competitive in your field.
The Modern Tech Solution
In order to avoid the inevitable costs of legacy systems, the best choice is to update your technology as soon as possible. Fortunately, many of the options available are made with your company’s convenience and budget in mind; there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on something that won’t provide any benefit.
Dell & HP Workstations are smart choices when you need both quality and durability. Designed to handle multiple processes and applications at once, you’ll never run into a slow system or computer than continually crashes. These tower workstations are excellent for designers, engineers, developers and anyone else looking for high-quality displays.
When you’re looking for power without sacrificing space, the
Dell Poweredge T130 line of servers is a smart choice. They are affordable and easy to use, with included remote management tools, making them an attractive option for businesses looking for their first server. The Dell Poweredge T330 is the next step up in both power and capability.
Data is one of the most important assets of any business, and the way you protect it can make or break your company’s reputation. Opt for robust storage that provides reliable security features, and you’ll never have to worry about your clients’ sensitive data — or your own — becoming compromised.
Synology Flashstation and the the Synology Rackstation lines are disk-storage options that are designed with small businesses in mind.
Planning for the Future
Once you’ve updated your legacy systems, it’s important not to fall into the same trap of wasting your team’s time on troubleshooting. Using a Managed Services Provider (MSP) such as
Cortavo will provide you with around-the-clock IT support. MSPs offer a wide range of IT services for less than the cost of hiring one IT professional of your own. Not only can an MSP keep your system running smoothly, it can also help support you with updates and big-picture planning so you never run into the problem of a legacy system again.