4 Ways Outdated Business Software Puts Your Business At Risk

Jessica Compton,

October 10th, 2018

5 min read

Technology today is instrumental to business success, and with this evolving at an exponential rate, it is key that your business has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the software it is using.   Outdated business software, also known as legacy software, can often be overlooked within a business. Pushing its replacement to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list or waiting for a critical issue to occur before actions are taken to replace it can often seem like the easier route.  This however comes with risks that can be detrimental to your business if you don’t upgrade to a new system. In this blog, we highlight four of those risks and look into the benefits of upgrading. 

As discussed in an earlier blog post, 4 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade your ERP System, upgrading to a new system isn’t a quick fix or an overnight decision. It comes with its own challenges; migrating data, training staff, etc. However, by the end of this article you will hopefully realise the benefits of replacing your outdated management system, largely outweigh the risks of sticking with it.  

Four Outdated Software Risks

Risk 1: Increased Failure Rates

We live in an ‘on-demand’ society, where customers today expect services to be reliable, uninterrupted and available at their leisure. If you’re using legacy software, downtime can often be unavoidable if a problem occurs, meaning services are unavailable for a period of time. This result of this can have damaging effects on any business, posing a threat of losing customers permanently, if your services are inaccessible or unreliable. One of your competitors is more than likely using new, possibly cloud-based technology.  Therefore, if your clients aren’t getting the level of service they expect, they could be lost to a competitor, able to give them what they want, when they want it, with much less risk involved.  Increased failure rates can also incur extra costs, such as; lost sales, decreased employee productivity as a lot of time is wasted fixing and maintaining legacy software, IT and data recovery costs, and brand damage.

Risk 2: Legal and Regulatory Risks

Outdated systems can make you a prime target for hackers and data thieves. If you’re seen to be relaxed about updating your technology, you are increasingly more vulnerable than if you were to have modern software. Laws around data storage are there to ensure data is kept in a secure and legal way, and if your business is using unsupported, outdated software you could be breaking these regulations, having detrimental consequences for a business.  When GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, it was designed to modernise the laws around data protection, that protect the personal information of individuals. This change only highlights the importance of storing consumer data in the correct way and having the right technology to do so.

Risk 3: Increased Costs

Outdated software can be expensive to maintain, and although a new system will come at a cost, you will have less risk, and will likely save money in the long term. All the risks carried with outdated systems, as stated in this article, are expensive to amend if they occur. Not only this, but old technology also doesn’t integrate well with new, modern technology.  That means the opportunity to leverage this new functionality is missed and business processes are not as efficient as they could be.  

Stats show that companies that engage both their employees and customers, gain a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes, so ensuring staff is armed with the right technology to succeed, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, goes hand-in-hand with employee success and work satisfaction. goes hand-in-hand with employee success and work satisfaction.

Risk 4: Security

A Microsoft study shows that 70-80% of the top malware detected by companies could be avoided with updated technology. Using old technology exposes businesses to a whole realm of security vulnerabilities, putting data at risk at all times. Security updates that are often automatically rolled out with new cloud-based technology, are there to protect your data.  However, if you are using unsupported technology, these critical updates will not be available, and your data is at risk of being breached.   To give a couple of examples, if your business is running Windows XP, you are much more likely to be infected with malware threats in comparison to if you are running Windows 10. For those running applications like Office 2003 and Windows Server 2003, again you will be at a much greater risk of a cyberattack.

Benefits of Upgrading to New Technology

These are a few benefits that customers have found, after upgrading from their legacy software to a new system within their business:   

  • Reduced Costs: 66% of businesses say it has reduced their IT costs 
  • Competitive Advantage: 49% of businesses said it helped them to compete against larger organisations 
  • Improved Security: 94% of companies gain security advantages when using the cloud 
  • Company Growth: 49% of business owners say new technology has been a key factor in allowing them to grow 

Statistics above are sourced from: https://info.microsoft.com/rs/157-GQE-382/images/EN-CNTNT-MS_RiskyBusiness_v14.pdf 

To summarise, the risks involved with using legacy software, are often far outweighed by the benefits of upgrading. As technology continues to develop, it is even more essential that your business has the right software to support its growth. By upgrading your software now, you are taking the first step in ensuring your business is ready for the future and in a good position within your market amongst competitors, who may potentially already be leveraging this technology. Although there is clearly an upfront expense incurred, the long-term cost of a new system will be absorbed by the benefits your company will receive. 

Get in Touch

If this post has inspired you to take action on your outdated business software, we’re on hand to advise on the best solution for you. Using the latest Microsoft technology, you too can discover the power of business software to connect your departments, manage your processes and grow your business. Please get in touch via the contact form, email us at info@pragmatiq.co.uk, or call us on 01908 038110.


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