Technology is evolving rapidly, often outpacing Moore’s Law. And as technology continues down the path of rapid evolution, it can be challenging for enterprises to keep up with the latest and greatest hardware and software for their business. This is one of the main culprits of enterprises using legacy devices.
Further, enterprise workforces grow comfortable with their devices and end up holding on to them much longer than they should. They would rather stick with technology and devices they know rather than deal with the challenges associated with upgrades — especially the time spent, and frustration associated with, learning new enterprise mobile devices.
It’s understandable why enterprises hold fast to their familiar devices. However, the illusion of money saved and headaches avoided is just that — an illusion. In fact, refusing to operate on up-to-date devices increases costs and decreases productivity. Stepping away from legacy devices and investing in new mobile technology is a key component of avoiding and overcoming many operational issues and keeping your business profitable now and down the line.
Overview of Legacy Systems
The term legacy refers to hardware or software that was once widely used, but has long since been replaced with something new, such as windows-based operating systems for enterprise mobile devices. However, age doesn’t necessarily make a solution a legacy. It could be regarded as outdated because a newer version has been released and the vendor no longer supports the system.
When looking to update technologies, one of the biggest concerns most business owners have is how to justify the cost. However, what they should be concerned about instead is the cost of keeping outdated technology.
The Problems of Using Legacy Devices and Operating Systems
Installing hardware and software for an enterprise is much more involved than in your home. In an enterprise, data needs to be successfully moved from platform to platform, employees need to be trained on how to use the new devices, and much more. These are legitimate headaches for companies, but the benefits of replacing obsolete hardware and software far outweigh the risks of keeping legacy devices and operating systems.
One of the many shortcomings of maintaining legacy devices and operating systems is the financial burden. For example, once an operating system reaches its end of life, the cost of maintaining it will be greater than upgrading in a timely manner. And when it’s at its end of life, its security updates and patches are no longer provided, leaving your organization and devices vulnerable to old and new security threats. With the lack of security, the introduction of malware and viruses by adversaries can lead to data breaches of your sensitive data.
In addition to leaving your device at risk, operating on outdated devices makes safeguarding today’s work harder and harder. Backup and recovery efforts on legacy devices can be very difficult, even insurmountable. Without up-to-date technology, total data loss is a very real possibility for enterprises and would cripple operations indefinitely.
For industries with strict regulatory compliance, using outdated devices and operating systems can lead to serious consequences. For instance, Windows 7 devices are no longer receiving security patches and updates, something HIPAA and PCI DSS require when handling protected health information. Storing information on unsecured devices could violate security and privacy safeguards and lead to non-compliance fines. Further, if you experience a data breach on legacy systems that results in the exposure of your partners’ data, more severe penalties and fines will occur.
As devices and operating systems age, using an outdated OS can decrease productivity rates for both end-users and IT teams. Without regularly updated software, devices will fall short of performance requirements, making daily tasks that should be simple, difficult. Hardware and software failures create downtime, which, depending on the size of the business and length of the downtime, could have catastrophic consequences. Without up-to-date devices, your enterprise runs the risk of high IT expenses for recovery, customer satisfaction issues, damage to brand reputation, lost sales, dips in productivity, overtime costs, and low employee morale and turnover.
Some enterprises settle for updating a portion of their mobile devices instead of their whole fleet to try to cut down on costs. Unfortunately, using old and new technology simultaneously can be risky as they often don’t work well together. Most legacy devices and operating systems are incompatible with their newer counterparts. It’s essential that your software integrates with your existing tools and applications to run the business. If your legacy devices aren’t allowing you to run new software, you’re risking losing operational efficiency, and ultimately business to competitors who are.
Legacy devices impair the mobile workforce and your enterprise’s ability to grow by decreasing productivity and boosting downtime. As your enterprise grows, so do the needs and demands of the technology that runs your business — needs that old systems just can’t satisfy. Your business should not adapt to the systems that run it; the systems that run it should adapt to your business.
Needless to say, sticking with outdated devices can cause more financial and operational headaches than upgrading to the latest hardware and software. Peak Technologies has helped many customers move operations from legacy devices to newer, more efficient solutions, providing them with increased functionality, security, and profitability. Peak Technologies can help you find the perfect enterprise mobility solution that will transform your business and deliver ROI. Contact us today.