In October, the federal government announced that by 2020 a large portion of the Social Security Administration’s legacy software would be modernized.
The federal government is notorious for being behind the times when it comes to technology. So when the feds announce, they’re taking steps to update their legacy technology systems, it’s time for private organizations to take notice.
Legacy technology systems aren’t defined by age. They’re those systems that have become outdated either because of a lack of continued vendor support, an incapacity to meet your organization’s needs, or incompatibility with new systems within your organizations. These systems are high maintenance and often involve complex patching and alterations.
Companies and institutions continue to use legacy systems for various reasons. Updating your technology involves a significant financial investment and as a result, organizations often subscribe to a, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mentality. Additionally, updating your organization’s technology systems can be a complex and disruptive process.
While there are certainly challenges to updating your organization’s legacy technology, doing so will lead to greater efficiency and cost savings down the line. Here are three reasons you should update your legacy technology systems in 2019.
New Technology Integration
In December 2017, the MIT Technology Review released a report looking at the challenges organization face when deploying multi-cloud infrastructure. The report included a survey from 1,350 IT leaders. And, according to the report, 62 percent of respondents said integrating legacy systems was their biggest challenge in deploying multi-cloud infrastructure.
Legacy software can be unmanageable and complex which is what often discourages organizations from experimenting with new technology because even small changes can lead to system-wide issues. Integrating new tools with legacy technology systems is a common problem many organizations face. As companies and institutions are embracing digital transformation, they are rapidly bringing new tools into their operations with the goal of increasing efficiency. But when these new tools are incompatible with existing technology infrastructure, it can severely slow down operational processes.
According to the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. That’s an increase of 6.4 percent from 2017 and according to the report breaches are only getting bigger.
Software is constantly being updated to protect against security breaches. In the rapidly changing tech world, developers must constantly create security solutions to thwart hackers and defend against attacks. And as a result, developers regularly release security updates for at-risk software. However, once a software solution reaches a certain point, it may no longer be supported and will stop receiving security updates. This leaves your entire system vulnerable to an attack.
An October 2016 report by the The American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) found that legacy systems across federal agencies consume approximately 75 percent of operations and maintenance funding. The report also indicates that of the $52 billion in federal civilian IT spending planned for 2017, approximately 71 percent or $37 billion was directed to legacy IT spending.
The same report indicates updating legacy technology is worth the investment. According to the report, modernization of legacy systems at the Federal Communications Commission helped reduce IT spending from 85 percent of the agency’s budget to less than 50 percent. Additionally, these efforts helped reduce the time it takes the FCC to launch a new prototype from 6-7 months to less than 48 hours.
At Treehouse Technology Group we know embarking on a new tech project can be a major undertaking. We’ve worked with several groups to update legacy systems and seamlessly bring their organizations into the 21st century. If you’re interested in transforming your operation and want to work with a company with a successful track record, contact TTG for a free consultation. We specialize in helping companies develop robust solutions best suited for their specific business needs.