Legacy Systems: To Keep or Not to Keep?
Legacy Systems means anything handed down from previous times. With the speed of change in technology today, almost everything becomes legacy very quickly. In IT, at least according to Google, legacy systems have taken on a more specialized meaning: “software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use”. So the first question to ask is, do you want to replace this technology?
There are many reasons for keeping legacy systems. It could be that replacing the technology is not a priority, or is simply too expensive. It is often the case that replacement would be complex and painful – the technology has been optimized, customized, extended over several years, and all that investment in configuration and applications and processes would be lost. And it may even be impossible to find an exact replacement. At PSS, we believe in helping businesses to keep legacy systems which are doing a good job, at least until an adequate replacement can be found and the transition can be properly planned and managed.
On the other hand, there are many reasons for not keeping legacy systems. In some cases it simply is no longer required: public telephone boxes are a good example, although even some of those still have a use. But more often the reason for not keeping legacy systems is a business or financial pressure.
The pace of business change means that legacy systems may not meet the needs of your business any more. A telephony solution which cannot also handle online transactions, SMS and emails, for example, may not be good enough for today’s retail industry. Compliance and regulation may demand levels of security which are not provided by legacy systems. Most common of all, the solution vendors may no longer provide updates and fixes for older technology, or may simply charge unreasonable amounts to continue support. While these may be valid reasons for moving away from legacy solutions, they do not justify a knee-jerk reaction or a hasty decision to replace or upgrade a solution which is currently working well.
There are many options to upgrade, support, and gracefully retire legacy equipment, even when vendor support is no longer available. PSS can provide 3rd party support for a wide range of contact center systems, keeping them operational until you are ready to transition, or indefinitely in some cases. We can advise you on what to keep and what to replace, and help you understand what to look for in a new solution. If and when you do decide to move away from your legacy technology, we can also provide transition and decommissioning services.
There are three key pillars to business operations with any technology, and legacy systems must be underpinned by all three. The first is support: if your vendor cannot or will not provide adequate support at an affordable price, then consider 3rd party support for as long as you need to maintain your solutions. This is the foundation of PSS business, and we have been supporting some of the world’s best known brands for well over a decade, delivering exceptional quality and performance.
The second pillar is change. No business stands still, and you need to be able to manage change as part of business as usual. Whether it’s new applications, integration to other systems, hardware and software upgrades, or physical relocation of systems, PSS has seen it all and done it all for legacy solutions. We can provide the necessary specialist knowledge, and deliver targeted resources or a full managed service across contact center technologies. There may be limits to how far we can push the legacy envelope, but we will explore those limits for you.
The third pillar, increasingly important in most contact centers, is compliance. With decades of experience in financial services, local and national government, healthcare and emergency services, PSS is familiar with global compliance regulations and has worked to deliver compliant solutions for large and small organizations. Our expertise in legacy solutions is unmatched, and we can also offer new technologies to monitor and assure compliance across any technology.
PSS aims to give your business the confidence to live with its legacy systems for as long as they meet your needs.
Leaving the Legacy Behind
Nothing lasts for ever. Even if you decide to keep your legacy technology indefinitely, you should always have an exit plan. The time will come when there is a compelling reason to change, either because your needs have changed or because you have found a better way to meet them.
As veterans of many transitions to new technology, PSS can help you define your requirements, verify that your new solution meets them, and plan your move from the old world to the new. We can provide services to bridge the gap while you are in transition, whether keeping your legacy systems running or porting your applications to the new environment. When the time comes to turn off the lights on the legacy solution, PSS can offer a trusted, efficient and fully compliant decommissioning service.
You may shed a tear for your old familiar systems, but you should never regret the move. If you have taken the time to choose a replacement carefully, planned the transition, and tested everything before turning off your legacy technology, you should have no need to look back. Fix your eyes on the future, move away from your legacy when you are ready, but do it at your own speed with the help of PSS.
To find out how PSS can help you with legacy and transition:
Third Party support – A very different option click here
7 steps to a successful transition click here
Bridging the gap –How migration can end in tears click here