5 Problems You’ll Face While Using A Legacy Software

Jul 17, 2020

The software industry has taken many strides in countless areas and industries. It’s rapidly growing, with the global software market share being $456 billion in 2018. People are so heavily reliant on software these days, that more and more businesses are now turning to technologies such as AI, blockchain, CRM, etc for their business needs.

What’s more – you can partner up with technology companies to customize your software even more and meet your needs more tightly. Of course, for that to happen, you should choose a software vendor that not only understands you, but also assists you in rollout, training, and support for the software solution – a software development company like BairesDev.

However, and in spite of the many benefits of using custom solutions, many companies are still using their traditional software solutions. These conventional solutions, also called legacy software, are old systems that companies adopted some time ago but that have become outdated – yet the company refuses to update them, for whatever reasons (from costs to habits). Unfortunately, sticking to those old applications can do more harm than good.

There are many problems with legacy software such as:

1. Compatibility problems:

There have been many changes in the way employees use legacy systems. But legacy solutions are unable to catch up. Using legacy solutions is easy out of force of habit, but they can come with compatibility problems. Legacy software only supports certain file and data formats that might be outdated or that may have fallen out of use. Most companies, to keep using the same solution, try for a workaround. This adds complexity to otherwise simple processes.

2. Inflexible systems:

Instead of using a new software solution, some companies keep upgrading the previous legacy software in hopes of keeping up with time. But legacy software is often designed in such a way so that they don’t have to change themselves quite so much. They don’t have the capability required to handle the modern-day workload, such as cloud backups or SaaS functionality.

The needs of the market are to have software that continuously adapts to accommodate market changes. Whether they be data-oriented or digital changes, they should be accommodated into the system.

3. Lack of security:

Old software is very inadequate in securing your data. It has many security problems such as less visibility and no analytics collection. And because of its inflexibility, you can’t fix the issues fast enough to keep up with problems such as cyber-attacks, phishing, and data loss. Even worse – health checks in legacy software are frequently built into  “set and forget” strategies. There is a huge cybersecurity risk in using legacy software.

Data security also takes a big hit as the older systems are not compliant with the latest data security guidelines. Also, the system is only as good as the data fed into it. It doesn’t have predictive analysis, AI, etc. for forecasting.

4. Not Cost-Effective:

Most legacy software is not cost-effective. Even with the licensing contracts, the fee per user is very high. Many systems still charge $1800 per user, compared to the minimal cost of using a SaaS solution.

There is a reason for charging high fees. There are very few experienced developers who can continually provide support and maintenance to the system. Since there are very few left who even know how to handle such a system, their salaries are quite high. Skill gap, diminishing expertise, and fixes requiring more time and brainpower are the reason for an overall increase in usage cost for legacy software.

5. Productivity problems:

Legacy software is prone to problems and failures. Operational disruption is rampant in legacy systems. This software is proprietary. Hence you cannot customize it to your needs. This creates problems for the newer generations that are in the habit of using fast and cutting edge technologies.


There are many challenges you face while migrating from a legacy solution to a newer digital solution. For example, you need to redefine your business processes to fit the new platform. You have to make architectural changes in your system. You have to do data migration without loss. You have to maintain business continuity and accountability. And the most important, you have to provide training to your employees.

But none of these problems compared to the risks of using outdated software. An expired solution has a downstream effect on other processes. The risk is too high, the benefits are too less, and support becomes a challenge. When your legacy system starts creating technical problems instead of solving them, it’s time to ditch it in lieu of a better solution. You may have difficulties in the beginning, but the overall result is vastly better than before.