A legacy system is an outdated operating system or software platform that is predicated on older programming language. Since technology and software are always updating, ecommerce stores sometimes run on legacy systems. These operating systems are no longer in widespread use since new or updated versions have since been released.

What types of legacy systems are there?

Older operating systems come from the following providers:

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Unisys

These companies have been around for quite some time, so their software falls into the legacy system category. These companies also offer newer software and are not exclusive to legacy operating systems.

Are these systems problematic for ecommerce businesses?

Since legacy software is an outdated version of a particular platform, it's credentials aren't up to date with the latest security measures and program efficiency. Legacy systems are common among ecommerce businesses because they have already spent time, energy and capital investing into rolling out these systems.

Ecommerce businesses run into issues with legacy systems if they're looking to coordinate multichannel integration. Older software doesn't always comply with cutting-edge programming. Legacy systems also require a higher level of maintenance and involve software adjustments or patchwork, which make it more difficult to insure a given online retailer.

Are there benefits to legacy systems?

Legacy systems do provide business critical information for certain ecommerce business owners. These include:

  • Outdated systems save ecommerce companies money in the long run by not having to continually upgrade software
  • Custom legacy software is designed to streamline certain aspects of business for a given ecommerce store
  • Tried-and-tested processes are easier for employees to use

Ecommerce businesses that support legacy operating systems weigh the cost-benefit analysis protecting information and saving money for business growth down the line. It's as much about risk management as it is IT service management.

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