Legacy Infrastructure

The term Legacy Infrastructure is open to interpretation but as a general view, refers to systems/software and/or hardware that is deemed to be outdated yet still in use. Here, we take a deeper look at what you might class as legacy infrastructure, why something might be labelled as legacy infrastructure and what you can do with your legacy infrastructure.

What is classed as Legacy Infrastructure?

Legacy infrastructure refers to older systems, hardware and technology implementations that have been used over a long period of time within an organisation/industry and whilst effective and reliable at one point, they have become outdated, inefficient and/or difficult to maintain. However, just because a system is classed as 'legacy' this does not mean that is it nonfunctional. It could simply mean, it is an older system that still functions as originally intended but has been built with obsolete technologies and/or according to outdated software development techniques.

Legacy infrastructure components can still function and are still used in many organisations even though they are outdated. This is generally because these systems have underpinned certain workflows and operational processes for significant periods of time and the perceived cost, time and resource requirements to change outweigh the benefits of change. 

The risks & issues with Legacy Infrastructure

  • Lack of Compatibility - Many legacy systems are not be compatible with newer technologies, software and/or hardware which can make integration and interoperability challenging if not impossible.

  • Maintenance Issues - As technology evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain and support legacy infrastructure due to a lack of vendor support, outdated documentation and an ever shrinking pool of skilled professionals and communities.

  • Security Risks - Legacy infrastructure often contains vulnerabilities that have not been patched or addressed due to discontinued support from vendors or outdated security protocols.

  • Limited Scalability and Flexibility - Legacy systems lack the scalability and flexibility needed to adapt to changing business requirements or accommodate growth.

  • Costly - While legacy infrastructure may have lower upfront costs compared to more modern alternatives, the total cost of ownership over time can easily become higher due to the maintenance and support costs along with operational inefficiencies.

Examples of Legacy Infrastructure

  • Traditional on-premises servers that utilise obsolete operating systems & software.
  • Legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems devoid of modern features, functionalities and integrations.
  • Aging networking equipment including routers, switches and firewalls.
  • Dated telecommunications solutions and the associated infrastructure.
  • Legacy mainframe computers along with their outdated software applications.

Addressing the risks and issues associated with your Legacy Infrastructure

If you are concerned that your legacy infrastructure is already, or on track, to cause issues within your business whether it be through failing to work altogether, preventing clients working with you because of the risks or just causing operational issues through efficiency there are steps you can follow to mitigate the risks in a structured way. The steps below are a guide and based on the methodology we use here at Cool Code Company when moving our clients away from their legacy infrastructure and depending on your current situation, you may choose to reorder or skip some of the steps.

  • Assess & Document - First and foremost, it is imperative to understand what your current environment looks like. A comprehensive assessment of your legacy infrastructure should be undertaken to understand and visualise it's current state, dependencies and limitations. The assessment should include all components, configurations, and integration points and will form the basis of your migration roadmap.

  • Prioritise - Identify critical systems and components that need immediate attention due to security risks, performance issues or business impact - whatever is more important to you. These elements should be prioritised as the starting point for upgrades or replacements.

  • Integration - Determine whether there are ways to integrate some of your infrastructure with newer technologies & platforms as this can extend their lifespan and enhance functionality. 

  • Modernisation - Look at areas you can modernise your infrastructure by gradually replacing or upgrading outdated components with newer, more efficient technologies. This could involve migrating to cloud-based services or virtualising servers for example.
  • Maintenance and Support - For infrastructure that can't be upgraded, integrated or replaced quickly, ensure that you have adequate support and maintenance plans in place. This may involve contracting with third-party vendors for support services or training internal staff to handle maintenance tasks.

  • Security - Implement robust security measures to protect your legacy infrastructure from cyber threats and vulnerabilities which can be done via regular security assessments, patch management (where available) and access controls.

  • Backup and Disaster Recovery - Where possible, implement reliable backup and disaster recovery strategies to mitigate the risk of data loss or downtime in case of system failures or disasters.

  • Legacy System Retirement - Evaluate whether certain legacy systems can be retired or decommissioned if they no longer serve a critical business purpose or if the cost of maintaining them outweighs their benefits.

How Can we Help?

Here at Cool Code Company, we have helped many of our clients upgrade and replace their legacy systems. We can help you move your systems in a way that suits your position - maybe you've got the budget to take a big bang approach or maybe you need to do it gradually - we can evaluate your current environment, help create a migration plan based on a risk reduction approach and undertake the migrations for you.

We can also help you to make your legacy infrastructure more robust if you are not able to upgrade or replace it for whatever reason whether that's via integration with newer technology, undertaking maintenance and debugging or securing the infrastructure in another way.

Get in touch today to discuss any concerns you may have about your legacy infrastructure, our UK based experts will be glad to help.

Prefer to Call or Email Us?

If you dont like filling in these forms, or you would prefer to speak on the phone or via email then please use one of the below:

0115 772 2751
[email protected]

Follow us on Social Media

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to be kept up-to-date with Cool Code Company news and goings-on, or just to have a conversation with us.