Legacy Apps – The Problems
We all have tools we use in our workday that have become our favourite, be it because of how easy they are to use or due to the fact they make our jobs easier, we all have them. Unfortunately, those tools we like using that allow us to complete our tasks to the best possible standard will eventually need replacing with a newer more capable version of either; the same tool, or a brand new one that does the same thing.
Using tools that are at – or nearing – end of life is counterproductive. The vendor of the apps are likely in the process of stopping all support and updates for the tool, this means that not only will it become unusable eventually, but also that it instantly becomes the weak link of your system in regard to cyber security.
Only you can remedy this, in the following two articles we are going to take a closer look at Legacy applications, what they are, what makes them go Legacy, and what problems can come from continuing to use them.
Legacy Applications – what are they?
A Legacy Application is a system that is vital to your organisation but is using outdated – and potentially unsafe – technology to do so.
‘Legacy’ in computing terms means something different than you may think – as much as the traditional use of the word does apply, your old vital tools will leave a legacy behind when they reach the end of life, this isn’t what we are referencing when we call something Legacy in computing. In computing, Legacy refers to a dated computer system, application, or IT infrastructure that is still being used and serves purpose, but crucially is outdated and has been superseded.
The most common response to this statement is ‘my apps can’t be Legacy, they all still work as they should’, but that fact alone doesn’t mean they aren’t Legacy.
Apps become legacy when:
The operating system vendor ceases support
Sometimes, a programme is designed to operate on a specific operation system version become Legacy. This could be for many reasons, but predominantly it is due to the fact that the operating system – or the infrastructure which the application resides – is no longer being supported.
You have chosen not to upgrade
You can’t be blamed for wanting to keep things exactly the same when things are going particularly well, money is coming in, and your clients and team are happy – so why change anything? The problem is that when the latest version of an app comes out it will get ignored. Some apps updates are relatively expensive, but you must take into account that the new update will have improved security features and features that justify the price.
There is no newer version available
Sometimes, vendors will simply stop supporting a particular app – perhaps you were one of the few businesses that achieved value from it, it is directed at too niche of a market, or perhaps they are struggling to compete with another vendors offering.
Every app on the market today needs continuous support for the vendor, if it didn’t have that support the app – as we already said – will become a hot bed for cyber attacks. Continuous use of the app could cause serious problems should it be the vessel for an attack, and with the reduced functionality of the outdated app your business growth could be stunted completely.
You may have Legacy apps in your organisation and not even know it. Your team may use an app that they get value from, but most don’t – these apps may be Legacy if they haven’t been updated for some time. You must check your apps often, you need to map out a plan centred around driving your business forward with up to date, modern, supported applications, doing so will give you the power to grow and thrive as a business.
If – after reading this article – you are concerned that apps in your organisation are going Legacy, or maybe you need help with another part of your IT landscape, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our expert team. We will get to know you, your team, and your business – in the process we will learn what drives and motivates your team to success.
In the following article we will explore the operational and technical challenges of using Legacy applications.
Keeping your technology functional and secure
We recognise the challenges that businesses face daily with their technology – and security is one of the most prominent of them all. Our team of experts will work together with you to find a cyber security strategy that compliments the way you do business. We will also educate your team to be sure that they understand the strategy and are prepared for whatever a cyber criminal can throw at them. With our help you can go into the future confident that your systems are secure. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us and find out more.
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