It’s always tempting to be passive rather than proactive when it comes to your network, tech stack, ERP, or other major inbuilt tech systems in your organisation. But there may be some major issues hiding within your network waiting to be uncovered . Part of ensuring you have a roadmap for improvement and development of your IT systems  is understanding the risk factors of, and potential problems with, your legacy systems and network.  

3 legacy network risks you need to be aware of

You may feel that your network is running fine as it is, and ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But legacy networks can have major risks for your organisation. Over time you may have bolted-on new systems and technology, leaving you with a bloated and complex network that is difficult to run, costly to maintain and which leaves you behind the times when it comes to new technology. Outages in your legacy network may have major effects on productivity and revenue, and there are other risks as well.   

Below are three major risks running a legacy network in 2023 can cause for your business: 

 1. Spiralling costs
How old is your legacy system? Ten years? Fifteen? Twenty or older? Many organisations that are continuing to operate systems from the early 2000s are fearful of the cost of disruption, both in terms of the expense of designing and implementing a brand-new system, and of the potential lost revenue caused by losing access to existing systems. 

However, it is important to weigh those costs against the ongoing costs of patching complex aging systems, as well as the potential lost opportunities new technologies could help you realise. The longer you continue to operate a legacy network, the larger these costs grow. 

Other potential problems you can run into when running a legacy network include finding the right equipment to replace failing systems or hiring skilled professionals with the experience to run aging technology. What will you do when your senior IT staff move on or retire, and you are unable to hire replacements who know how to keep propping up your aging network? 

 2. Increased security risks 

The cyber threats that businesses face have changed. Where once the greatest threat came from outside, now businesses are vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks that are designed to manipulate employees into installing malware or giving up vital security information. 83% of the cyber attacks reported by UK businesses in 2022 were phishing attempts.

Most legacy networks and systems were designed to protect from outside attacks, meaning your cyber resilience may no longer be up to scratch. Reliance on a legacy network can leave you vulnerable to financial, data and reputational loss. Modern networks operate on a zero-trust model that emphasises verification and authentication to minimise risk. 

Meeting the increasingly stringent compliance regulations in industries such as finance is made more difficult in complex legacy systems that were simply not designed with these in mind. Advances in network architecture and design make it easy for organisations to accommodate changing legal requirements.

 3. Fewer opportunities for innovation  

Legacy networks severely curtail your ability to adopt new technologies and innovations. Migrating non-native systems and processes to the Cloud is time consuming and can require extensive customisation to meet your business needs. To do so successfully requires extensive planning to avoid creating security and compliance risks. In contrast, Cloud-native processes will give you a greater return on your investment allowing you to get more value from your Cloud migration. 

There are also more opportunities to introduce automation, AI and machine learning technologies to visualise and analyse large amounts of data. Making long and short-term business planning easier and ensuring your business is better able to respond quickly and agilely to changing circumstances. 

Legacy networks prevent you from being proactive when it comes to technology adoption which can make you less efficient and slower to respond to market forces. 

How to implement a modern network efficiently

Modernising your IT systems and infrastructure can be hugely beneficial. Allowing you to: 

  • Implement new technologies and adapt to future trends 
  • Reduce costs and increase productivity 
  • Provide a superior customer experience 
  • Keep data secure and meet compliance regulations 
  • Better meet your wider business goals

But what are the best ways to go about transforming your IT functions and meet your business goals by implementing a modern network? Put simply, you will need to:

  • Leverage your existing in-house knowledge and resources 
  • Expand your resource with targeted hiring 
  • Engage an experienced IT consultant partner 

 Using internal resource to transform your network can increase pressure on your staff and create delays with day-to-day operations. Hiring for new skills can be costly and time consuming, particularly in today’s candidate scarce market where competition for in-demand skills if fierce. 

Engaging an experienced IT consultant partner like Fruition Consulting is the most cost-effective way to access the skills and expertise you need to transform your IT networks whilst keeping your full business and operational requirements in mind.  

Upgrading your legacy networks in 2023?

Fruition Consulting provides the digital expertise you need to help your business thrive. With an extensive associate network of 200+ specialists, we put some of the best technology talent in the country at your disposal, our mission is to help you unlock the power of technology and get set for future growth. We will support and guide you on that journey, find solutions to whatever challenges you face and make the complex straightforward. 

Get in touch to find out more.