Software Development Outsourcing Hub

The advantages of outsourcing legacy system maintenance

October 20, 2023

Your legacy system is an outdated yet critical pillar for your business. Even so, keeping up legacy systems can be costly and challenging. 

In fact, businesses today spend 60-80% of their IT budget on maintaining legacy systems. This estimate is confirmed across diverse industries, including government (60%) and retail (58%). 

As you look to reduce the costs of legacy system maintenance, outsourcing is a go-to option. By choosing to outsource, you can keep up vital business activities without disruptions. You'll also reduce costs, get greater efficacy and enjoy flexibility as you build a new system.

Let’s go in-depth into the benefits of legacy systems and how outsourcing is key to planning for the future.

What Are Legacy Systems?

While essential to everyday business activities, legacy systems are out-of-date. Overall, they tend to be:

  • Obsolete or even no longer available for sale
  • Without brand support or maintenance 
  • Incompatible with modern solutions 
  • Suffering slow or faulty performance
  • Limited in terms of future growth

Companies are often reluctant to modernize their systems due to the investment involved. They may also face internal resistance to change and fear the steep learning curve for staff. 

Plus, when you rely on a legacy system, you limit your team's bandwidth to build a modern system. It’s also possible you’ll face complex technical challenges to bring systems up to date.

The Benefits of Legacy Systems

Though legacy systems have limitations, there are good reasons to hold onto yours. (At least until you’re able to build a better one.)

You can count on the following benefits of legacy systems:

  • They get the job done, even if they’re not efficient, attractive, etc. 
  • They’re familiar to your company and users.
  • They offer continuity for your business activities.
  • A new system may offer unknown risks.
  • They’re necessary as you build a new system.

For these reasons, you may need legacy system maintenance into the near future. Below, we’ll discuss why outsourcing is a top choice to meet your legacy system demands. 

Maintaining vs. Replacing Legacy Systems

Legacy systems often seem “irreplaceable” for businesses. But sooner or later, you’ll need to update your systems to meet your evolving business needs.

Outsourcing legacy system maintenance enables you to:

  • Lower the costs of keeping your legacy system up and running.
  • Reduce the risks of your legacy system while you still depend on it.
  • Buy time as you plan for future modernization efforts.
  • Cover your customer demands as you build and scale up a new system.

When outsourcing teams handle your legacy system, you’ll guarantee zero disruptions. You’ll also free up your IT teams to commit to designing and building the new system. 

With your legacy system maintenance covered, you can fully pursue innovation. Focus on building a new solution that integrates top features, security, UX and more. In turn, this will give your business a competitive advantage in the market.

What Outsourced Legacy System Experts Offer

Outsourced legacy system experts give your team an added bonus. Not only are they top specialists, but they also charge lower competitive rates.

When you choose outsourcing, you can expect these legacy system experts to:

  • Focus on reducing bugs and customer tickets
  • Optimize legacy systems for performance, security and user experience (where possible)
  • Carefully evaluate data and compliance within your legacy system
  • Provide ongoing monitoring of legacy system performance 
  • Document key processes for company reference

Overall, this goes above and beyond what a typical in-house team can do on limited resources.

Reasons to Outsource Legacy System Maintenance

Legacy maintenance is key to sustaining your business as you plan for the future. Here’s how outsourcing plays a key role in these efforts. 

1. Focus on Building a New System

To start, outsourcing can relieve you of the burdens of legacy system maintenance. 

Building a new system can be extremely resource-intensive. That’s why outsourcing is ideal for focusing your in-house efforts on modernization.

While you create a new system, outsourced teams will take charge of maintenance. In this way, you can keep up business continuity and seamless customer experiences. At the same time, you'll make progress on your modernization efforts.

2. Save on Maintenance Costs

Outsourcing legacy system maintenance is also the cost-effective choice. Bleeding up to 80% of your IT budget on legacy system maintenance is just too much in the long term.

By outsourcing this task, you can significantly reduce costs. Global specialists have lower salaries, as well as generate efficiencies regarding maintenance tasks.

3. Lock Down Security Issues

One of the greatest risks of legacy systems is security. Outsourced experts can help minimize security vulnerabilities while your legacy system is active. 

Legacy systems are often targeted by hackers because they lack updates, patches and so on. Poor performance and lagging databases can also expose your system to attacks.

Ultimately, your legacy system is vulnerable without the proper support. Outsourced specialists can handle patching and optimizing your security. 

4. Cover Compliance Issues

Another pitfall of legacy systems is staying compliant. Regardless of your IT set-up, you must follow data and security regulations such as GDPR. 

This is especially the case for businesses who rely on big data strategies and/or process lots of user data. 

If you’re using a legacy system with a large data scope, it’s essential to have experts ensuring compliance. Otherwise, your company may incur fines or suffer from an expensive breach. Your brand reputation may also take a hit.

Outsourced experts can guarantee close monitoring of your legacy system. In this way, you can fulfill all your data and security regulatory requirements.

5. Fill in Knowledge Gaps

Over the years, legacy systems can become rife with knowledge gaps. Complex set-ups, team turnover and nonexistent documentation can make maintenance near-impossible.

Ultimately, your teams may struggle to know your system’s quirks and keep it maintained. In these cases, it’s worth hiring outsourced experts who can fill in your knowledge gaps.

6. Maximize Team Performance

When your legacy system is buggy and confusing, it can quickly take up your in-house team’s time. In turn, you’ll have to use more company resources to handle incidents and customer tickets. 

At some point, these issues can bog down your IT team and stop them meeting your business goals. To get your in-house team back on track, try outsourcing legacy system maintenance.

Doing so can restore productivity and enable your teams to focus on more urgent matters. This is especially true for teams that are swamped by too many active incidents.

Outsourced maintenance experts will take care of these incidents and improve efficiency. Overall, this boosts your team productivity and allows for greater staffing flexibility.

7. Leverage Latest Trends

Finally, outsourcing legacy system maintenance enables a renewed focus on innovation.

Choosing to outsource maintenance as you build a new system is ideal. This will allow you to leverage a future-forward system that uses latest trends such as:

  • Advanced UX
  • Business intelligence
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data
  • Blockchain 
  • IoT

What’s more, these latest trends can have a positive impact on your system’s performance and security. Most of all, these modern features will ensure you meet customers’ evolving demands.

Keep Up Legacy System Maintenance With Netcorp

In the end, outsourcing legacy system maintenance can be a huge relief for your in-house team. With it, you can cross off maintenance from your to-dos and enjoy the benefits of legacy systems.

To prevent disruptions to your business, hire outsource experts with Netcorp today. We’re a top-ranked software development partner that specializes in legacy system maintenance. Navigate your IT needs by learning about our wide range of services today!

In the meantime, check out our software outsourcing trends article for expert insights. Staying updated on new industry trends will help you attain long-term outsourcing success.

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member

Paavo Pauklin is a renowned consultant and thought leader in software development outsourcing with a decade of experience. Authoring dozens of insightful blog posts and the guidebook "How to Succeed with Software Development Outsourcing," he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paavo hosts two influential video podcasts: “Everybody needs developers” and “Tech explained to managers in 3 minutes.” Through his extensive training sessions with organizations such as the Finnish Association of Software Companies and Estonian IT Companies Association, he's helped numerous businesses strategize, train internal teams, and find dependable outsourcing partners. His expertise offers a reliable compass for anyone navigating the world of software outsourcing.

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