Out With the Old: The Importance of Upgrading Legacy Systems

Posted by Emma Funk 13-06-2024 03:08 PM

There is always something new happening in the IT space, with new products and updates being released at a dizzying pace each year. Hardware and software systems that were once cutting-edge are continuously approaching end-of-life status as they are replaced by newer, faster, and more secure options. 

Although legacy systems often remain functional, they can introduce unnecessary security and integrity threats to a network. Data loss, poor network performance, and malware infiltration are just a few of the potential pitfalls of legacy systems that can cost your business time and money. Moving away from legacy systems, when done correctly, can help protect your business against malicious attacks while enhancing business continuity and end-user performance.

The cloud
Depending on your organization’s current and projected needs, it may be beneficial to migrate on-premises resources to the cloud. The transition to a cloud-based model offers many benefits, including greater security and flexibility when managing hybrid and remote work environments. Similarly, moving resources off-site reduces the cost associated with upgrading and maintaining on-site server hardware. When the time comes to upgrade a legacy system, be sure to determine if cloud-based services are a good fit for your business.

When upgrading is not an option
Suppose your business relies on a legacy operating system to run an expensive piece of machinery or crucial software application. In cases like these, the upfront costs associated with upgrading may outweigh the potential benefits. These situations are certainly not ideal; however, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks associated with maintaining these legacy systems:

  • Isolate the legacy system from the internet and surrounding internal network as much as possible.
  • Disable all unnecessary protocols and ports to reduce the surface area of attack on the system.
  • Maintain an up-to-date backup image of the legacy device(s) that can be used for disaster recovery.

Planning ahead
Technology is a fast-paced industry, and the constant need to update and upgrade can become a daunting task. Considering the future growth and needs of your company is the best way to reduce the frequency of major network upgrades. Hardware and software should always be purchased after thorough research to ensure the upgrade is compatible with the current network, repairable or warrantied, and has sufficient capacity to accommodate growth. Making an investment in quality upgrades now can help mitigate additional costs and headaches in the future.

Emma Funk. myITsource