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Maintaining & updating legacy software

Breathing new life into your system

The IT world moves fast and it never stops moving. Your special-purpose, custom-built software is crucial to your business but requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades to ensure it doesn’t get out-dated and leave you vulnerable to attack or stop working altogether…

Unfortunately for many organisations, that hasn’t been an option for one reason or another – perhaps due to resource constraints, or increasingly because the team that developed your software has long since gone and left you stranded.

Vast amounts of legacy custom software that is crucial to the running of businesses was built years ago and is still limping along in the face of constant operating system upgrades, new language and package updates, leaving it more and more insecure and unsupported.

New functionality for old software

Similarly, what happens if you have got to a point where you need to add or change essential functionality on that custom software and there’s now no one around that knows how it was constructed in the first place?

How often have you found the need to make a change to the software or wanted to add something that was never there? As time passes, it can become clear that there are bits that were missing in the original spec but which would save endless staff time and improve productivity if they were included. Or working practices change and so functionality should change to reflect that.

Are the original developers open and willing to make the changes? Are you dissatisfied with the service they have provided and want someone who is going to prioritise your needs and do a more professional job? Are they even around anymore?

What are your options?

If you approach a new developer they are likely to tell you that your only hope is to build a completely new software system from scratch. Not only is the cost quoted eye-watering, but you then have to go through the entire long-winded, frustrating and costly rigmarole (again) of specifying your exact needs, testing, inevitable rewrites and amends, and then staff having to relearn the new system and how to deal with it’s own unique quirks and idiosyncrasies, when all the time you have a perfectly working system in place already! This inevitably impacts productivity and therefore your bottom lines.

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