How long have you been using your current IT solutions? For many businesses, the answer is likely to be 'a long time'. It's understandable, as looking to modernise an IT system can seem like a daunting task, raising concerns about costs and timelines.
Resistance to the idea of upgrading IT systems typically lies in the old adage of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and in many cases businesses will be very comfortable with the system already in place. One of the biggest hurdles IT leaders must help their colleagues overcome is the fear of change.
Legacy systems leave businesses behind
In today's fast-moving environment, simply doing what you've done before isn't good enough. Both customers and employees recognise that new and exciting innovations make their lives easier. So, if your business is still reliant on old technology then it’ll be difficult to add the capabilities that today's users now expect.
This is especially true if your organisation is using outdated infrastructure as the basis of your systems, as these will struggle to cope with the speed and bandwidth demands of the latest applications. With the huge amounts of data that today's businesses generate, legacy technology will quickly become overwhelmed, slowing down an entire organisation's operations.
Indeed, recent research from Computing shows that legacy infrastructure has been named as the biggest barrier to their digital transformation by IT leaders. In fact, 44 per cent of respondents said this is their biggest challenge, ahead of issues such as managing cultural change, lack of vision or management, along with budget constraints.
Overcoming cultural resistance
As mentioned above, a cultural aversion to change is one of the biggest issues IT leaders may face when trying to convince business units of the need to leave legacy systems behind. Often, this is because IT is still viewed as a cost centre by board members, rather than valued as a source of innovation or revenue.
Therefore, IT leaders need to highlight the benefits to the wider company of migrating to new technology, and how it can help businesses achieve their business goals. For instance, moving to the cloud can give companies the flexibility and agility needed to adapt quickly to changing customer needs, while a stronger, more reliable underlying infrastructure lets companies make the most of trends like big data to better understand their market and user base.
Taking control of the process
With so many sensible reasons to update your systems, having a clear strategy for the process is essential. This needs to spell out exactly what steps will occur and when, as well as who is responsible for each stage of the upgrade. Having someone take ownership of the project, ensuring that deadlines are kept and that others have a point of contact for queries plays an essential role in streamlining the process and making sure any road bumps are tackled effectively.
A good strategy will also help ensure that any downtime as a result of the move is kept to a minimum, so businesses can switch seamlessly from the legacy solution to the replacement without any disruption. Whether you're shifting data storage and processing from on-premises to the cloud, overhauling your networking infrastructure or adopting a more up-to-date suite of key applications, a migration can seem like a complex business - but it's one that's made much easier if everyone is on board and understands what the process will look like.
Ready to move away from your legacy systems? TalkTalk Business offers a range of connectivity and voice solutions which will help you to tomorrow-proof your business. Take a look or get in touch, and the team would be happy to help.