Olin Thompson recently wrote an article entitled "Legacy Systems: Weighing the Costs, Benefits and Risks" for Food Engineering magazine. In the article Olin discusses legacy systems replacement versus renovation. He begins the article by saying in the Food and Beverage Industry these systems are often "those that work" and goes onto to discuss pros and cons for these two approaches. Here are a few several points of the article:
- Replacement systems should provide marginal benefits over your legacy system. The fundamental question should be, “Do the marginal benefits outweigh the cost, disruption and risk of implementing a new system?”
- Olin describes two options for replacing legacy software: Single vendor, which historically provided better functionm, or Best-of-Breed, which historically provided better integration. He questions these assertions in today’s software market.
- Renovating a system or updating and re-implementing an existing system may provides additional functionality from newer releases reducing the need for modifications and requiring less time and fewer dollars. Often times companies can maximize the legacy system benefits and focus on generating greater value in other areas.
- Regarding renovating a legacy system, he warns ”If the old system currently gets the blame for business problems, ... your organization may not accept any solution that carries the old name.”
- Olin describes a situation in which a system couldn’t handle transaction volumes impacting customer service, systems crashed interrupting operations, and the complex technology environment resulted in an enormous IT workload just keeping the systems up and running. Their new system supports their quality standards and sustained growth so the replacement was necessary and justifiable.
Nowadays, there is a great deal of focus on the cost-benefit analysis of replacing older systems. While there are certainly "red flags" that make replacement necessary, many companies are working with PSGi today re-implementing their software, implementing previously unused features and modules and developing desired new functionality. These companies are optimizing their business processes and use of their legacy systems, getting more out of their continuing investment in these systems that as described in the article remain "rock solid and stable."
PSGi recently published the whitepaper entitled "5 Characteristics of a Competitive Manufacturing Supply Chain." To see how PSGi enables companies to get more out of their existing systems through what Olin refers to as renovation instead of replacement click below:
Read Olin's complete article at: http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/88768-legacy-systems-weighing-the-costs-benefits-and-risks