Invest in New Technology or Legacy? 4 Factors to Consider

If you have a legacy system and you are experiencing issues, you may be trying decide whether to invest in a new system, or patch up what you have and keep it awhile longer. Today, for many reasons - both technical and financial - companies are putting off purchasing new equipment until it becomes absolutely crucial.

In the fast-paced, ever changing world of technology, you must upgrade continually. Whether you are downloading the latest version of software, or replacing your desktops every few years or so, the need for change often challenges the budget.

We know three facts. First, advancement - particularly in technology - is rapid. Second, no system or component is built to last forever. And last, at some point it is no longer possible to update components because existing legacy parts eventually lack the minimum standards. 

Every technology system, including each and every one of the components within it, has a life cycle. Once purchased, your new tech system will follow a life cycle similar to this:

  • Implement and operate: system is installed, tested, and made ready and available for use, and then  put into service. 
  • Support: service, repair and replace components, maintain security, update software, back up data, IT administration, etc.
  • Update: reuse equipment with updates in old software or new software
  • Retire: take old system out of service and replace with new

Your challenge is determining in which part of the cycle you find yourself. The decision to keep an older system may save you money now, but may not in the long run. Here are 4 factors to consider in the debate between whether to invest in new technology or legacy. In other words, should you upgrade to a new system or try to squeeze the last bit of life out of your current one?

1. Do you plan on growing? You’ll want to consider the benefits that new technology will provide:

  • Increased server functionality - more sophisticated data centers with less downtime, greater reliability, increased granularity, greater ability to grow
  • Increased storage - older legacy equipment just doesn’t have the storage capabilities that the new systems have. Some companies with older systems are actually running out of space. This poses a huge challenge to growth
  • Cloud - more easily and cost effectively blend in-house solutions with the cloud

2. Planning & Budget. You’ll need to develop a detailed and careful plan built around your budget to get the right system that will meet your current needs and support your goals for growth through the life cycle of the system.

3. Cost. Analyze cost of supporting legacy equipment vs. the up front and maintenance cost of a new system. Here are just a couple of cost benefits that a new system can provide:

  • Increased automation - this means less overhead because less support is required
  • Increased speed - lengthy log on times, for example, can be significantly reduced which can result in increased productivity

4. Compatibility & Backward Compatibility. You’ll want to make sure that a new system is compatible with both new components and ones that can’t or won’t be replaced soon.

  • Support does not go on forever: for example, Microsoft has announced they are ending supper for windows Server 2003 in July, 2015
  • Access to new software: eventually, older technology won’t let you update to latest versions because of a lack of compatibility

Have you replaced your technology system recently? Let us know how that worked out for you in the comment section below.