Posted inContact Centre
Almost every business has legacy technology. It makes perfect sense to extending its life. But it can be a burden managing legacy systems that require specialist knowledge that may not be available from your original vendor or in your organisation.
Legacy means anything handed down from previous times. What’s different today is that technology becomes ‘legacy’ far more quickly. In IT, at least according to Google, legacy has taken on a more specialised meaning: “software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use”. So, the first question to ask is, do you want to replace this technology?
To keep, or not to keep?
There are many reasons for keeping legacy technology. It could be that replacing the technology is not a priority, or is simply too expensive. It’s often the case that a replacement would be complex and painful – the technology has been optimised, customised, extended over several years, and all that investment in configuration, applications and processes would be lost. It may even be impossible to find an exact replacement.
On the other hand, there are many reasons for not keeping legacy technology. Perhaps it’s no longer required or doesn’t meet your business needs any more. More often than not it comes down to business or financial pressure: is there a compelling need for change?
The health and fitness of contact centre technology will depend on different things for different businesses:
- In retail, you will need to be able to handle online interactions, SMS and emails as a minimum.
- For an insurance business the need to meet industry standards or regulation may demand levels of security which are not provided by your legacy systems.
- Most common is that your vendor may not provide updates and fixes for your older technology or may simply charge unreasonable amounts to continue support.
So, you may be thinking that here are three good reasons for moving away from your legacy system. But, hold on: they don’t justify a knee-jerk reaction or any hasty decisions. After all, if it’s not broken why try to fix it?
There are many options available for optimising, supporting and gracefully retiring legacy equipment, even when vendor support is no longer on offer.
Living with legacy
There are three distinct criteria you need to meet to allow you to continue with your legacy systems:
- Support provision: If your vendor cannot or will not provide adequate support at an affordable price, then consider 3rd party support for as long as you need to maintain your solutions.
- Change management: No business stands still, and you need to be able to manage change as part of business as usual. Whether it’s new applications, integration to other systems, hardware and software upgrades, or physical relocation of systems, how will your legacy systems meet this need?
- Compliance: Is your current system still compliant with modern standards and regulations?
Leaving the legacy behind
Nothing lasts for ever. Even if you decide to keep your legacy technology indefinitely, you should always have an exit plan. The time will come when there is a compelling reason to change, either because your needs have changed or because you have found a better way to meet them.
You may shed a tear for your old familiar systems, but you should never regret the move. If you’ve taken the time to choose a replacement carefully, planned the transition and tested everything before turning off your legacy technology, you should have no need to look back. Fix your eyes on the future, move away from your legacy when you are ready, but do it at your own speed.
Eckoh can help you make the decision, make the move in your own time, or make the most of your existing systems for years to come.