Common myths that prevent businesses from replacing their legacy systems

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s a phrase that makes sense in a lot of scenarios.

But in the world of software, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are a lot of myths about what embarking on a legacy system modernisation project looks like.

That’s why we’ve outlined a few myths that we’ve heard before, and why you shouldn’t listen to them.

“It’s going to be too difficult to modernise our legacy system”

The idea of overhauling your systems may seem daunting, but it’s often the best policy for your business in the long run.

6B offers different options to support your modernisation. We can either build a new system to replace your legacy software, or we can update parts of your existing system, so that it works and integrates with new technology.

Other options may include:

  • Replatforming or remodelling your systems
  • Creating microservices to bring information under one system (read more about our work with the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust on what we can do here)
  • Rearchitecting your systems for a better user journey

In most cases, data needs to be migrated to a new system, which is why developing a platform where data is synchronised between systems is such a useful strategy – so that a side-by-side rollout can occur.

Our experienced database engineers are used to carrying out complex data migrations; our systems are architected using modern, open source technologies that support continuous improvement during development.

“It’s going to take too long to modernise my legacy system”

Replacing and modernising entire systems may sound like it will take a long time – but it’s not always the case. The length of a project depends on several factors – build complexity, features and functionality, user priorities and so on.

That’s why it’s important to work with a development partner that does everything possible to speed up the process, whilst maintaining high standards of quality.

For example, we use pre-built modules and systems to deliver modern software and bespoke applications, so that you can get the full benefit of using the latest, up-to-date technology. But, we also pair this with working in an agile way, so we focus on the key parts that need to be modernised, saving time.

Every project we work on is unique. You may need your system to:

  • Find a balance between practicality and technical ability
  • Include functional and technical knowledge so that your entire organisation knows what’s happening
  • Focus on consumer results
  • Find the right KPIs and provide regular feedback from sprint reviews

We analyse the key points you need your system to focus on, and carry out the most important work first.

This means you can benefit from the advantages of a new system quicker than if we used waterfall methodology, where you would only see your new system for the first time at the end of development. This way of working would add time to your build, especially if a lot of changes were required.

Plus, it saves future time wasting too.

While the initial work of modernising your system may take some time, the benefits of your new system in the long term will be huge.

For example, our development may help you gain access to user research data quicker, helping inform your business decisions faster. This way, modernising your legacy system will save you and your employees time, not add to it.

“Modernising my legacy system will cost a fortune”

Cost is a tricky one. The honest answer here is that you will have to allocate a budget if you want a modernisation project where any legacy system is concerned.

But how much that is in reality for your business is entirely dependent on your unique circumstances and build requirements as a company.

The good news? There are solutions to suit most budgets, and the beauty of the discovery phase is that it prioritises the most critical components of your build first. You might have plenty of fancy functionality and innovative ideas planned, but working in this way means you can use your budget to get maximum impact first, then start reaping the benefits post launch while you roadmap the future.

Also, consider the financial impact and alternative of failing to modernise your system.

Programming languages and technologies that are used to support legacy systems can expire or change. The skills required to fix any issues can mean that you’ll need to pay for niche expertise.

This is why it’s important to modernise your systems using the innovative open-source technology that’s available on the market.

Legacy systems also come with outdated security frameworks. This can leave your business open to cybersecurity attacks and any breaches may result in data losses and lost revenue.

“My staff won’t know how to use our new modernised system”

We know that learning a brand new system can be tricky to roll out to your team – which is why getting staff input and buy-in before embarking on any legacy software modernisation project is the way to avoid this potential hurdle.

Legacy software is as much about your people as it is about the technology.

Is your organisation committed to change?
Do you have the right skillset to move your systems on?
Have you thought about the strategic, commercial and cultural challenges that come with changing your systems?

You can tap into our team’s expertise to ensure your staff know how to get the best out of their new system. We’ll share user documentation, provide on-site training and hold technical skills knowledge-sharing sessions to get your team up to speed.

What’s more, modernising your systems will make life easier for new recruits to your business, as well as longer-serving employees.

Training new recruits on a legacy system can be a tedious and time consuming task, especially if you have different programmes for different purposes. It can also indicate to them that your business is reluctant to embrace change, which isn’t a great impression to create if you want to retain and nurture talent.

You shouldn’t just modernise your systems for the sake of it. We always keep your customers in mind and the fact is that these expectations and requirements can change as quickly as they change their minds.

That’s why we don’t focus on technical perfection at the expense of results; we can give you incremental improvements that your organisation can benefit from immediately. Then as strategy comes to fruition and client expectations or market forces change, we can adapt your legacy modernisation to suit your changing landscape.

Do you urgently need to think about legacy system modernisation at your organisation?


6B has modified and replaced legacy systems for dozens of organisations.


Get in touch with us if your systems are out of date and need an urgent revamp.

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