Many of us have an old piece of software, loaded onto a PC by CD which we have had for years. Every time we get new hardware we simply load the software and do a little happy dance when we realise it is still compatible. However, there is more to working software than compatibility and knowing when it’s time to retire old software or applications can make your business more productive.

In the modern online world, retiring old software is becoming less of a concern as many applications and pieces of software are on a subscription basis meaning as long as your subscription is active you will always have the most up-to-date version.

But, saying that, this is not yet the case for everything you may use within your business.

Spotting the signs:

If it’s time to retire a piece of software or an application there will be signs; symptoms that things are not quite running as they should be.

·        Compatibility – As operating systems develop you may find that some of the apps and software will no longer work on modern machines. In this situation, there is little choice but to retire the software.

·        Functionality – Whilst older software may still work, you could find that the functionality changes, with some tasks taking longer to load or complete. This could be a sign to retire the software or upgrade.

·        Updates – You know that it is time to retire a piece of software when the provider no longer offers updates for it.

Why you should retire old software

Although functionality and compatibility are key factors when using legacy applications there are other implications to using outdated software.

·        Security – If the software or application connects to the internet to function, with no new updates the vulnerabilities in the software potentially leave your machine open to hacking. Cyber criminals target known weaknesses and old software and applications have been the catalyst for some major security breaches (e.g., Wannacry with the NHS).

·        Financial Drain – Outdated software can cost your business financially. Taking into account the lack of productivity when staff are waiting for software to load or working around glitches, modern software subscriptions are generally more cost effective. With hybrid working being common in current times, subscriptions tend to work in the cloud meaning extra licenses aren’t required for home working, therefore saving money.

It also costs more to get IT support on legacy applications as they are often written in obsolete code.

·        Compatibility – Using legacy applications or software and trying to use them alongside modern systems can cause a number of problems, meaning the system may not actually be fit for purpose – the purpose being whatever you would like the software to do.

·        No room for growth – If your business is still using old, outdated software there is no easy path to upgrade to reflect your growing business. The only way to upgrade will be to purchase new software and even hardware, which can be expensive. And, as we saw with compatibility, old software and applications don’t always integrate well with newer software and systems.

·        Reputation Damage – A company which relies on old, outdated software and applications does not set themselves up as a market leader and is unlikely to attract innovative new team members, especially from the younger generation.

If you are still relying on legacy software and applications within your organisation, even if it is still working and doing what you need it to do, it could be more damaging to your brand and your networks to still be using them. There are likely quicker, safer and more functionable applications and software available which could help take your business to the next level.

For an assessment of your in-house systems and processes why not speak to the team at SupportWise today and find out how you can make your business more secure, more efficient and more profitable.