As a follow up to our blog “Breaking Up is (Not) Hard to Do”, I wanted to share some specific questions to help determine if it is time to move on.
Let’s start by asking what is Legacy technology? Simply put, it typically outdated technology that remains in use despite the availability of newer systems. It is “comfortable” and viewed as “reliable” and is still around because you’ve known each other for years (sounds like a description of every bad relationship ever given to continue our breaking up theme). However, I also give a great deal of credence to folks like my grandparents who have lived happily together for 50 years and it really was a match made in heaven. I have seen many companies (and relationships) who have sought out change for the sake of change and have sometimes failed miserably. So, the first step is to decide if you have a legacy system you should consider replacing.
“I have seen many companies (and relationships) who have sought out change for the sake of change and have sometimes failed miserably. So, the first step is to decide if you have a legacy system you should consider replacing.”
So should you stay or should you go?
- Does the system you are using have very specific and deep experience in your industry? There is always the latest, greatest, cool technology that changes at a very rapid pace. Industry knowledge is much harder to find so when you have it, you should be very careful to walk away from it.
- Does your system and vendor have a good strategic roadmap for the product? Sometimes companies thru acquisition decide to stop innovation on a specific product or may determine to change platforms instead of enhancing the current solution. Review your products annual release schedule and if product enhancements are declining, this may be an indication you need to look elsewhere. However, if a company has in place a good strategic roadmap and you have a good history with the company, it may be wise to work with the vendor during their technology transition.
- How does your solution view integration? For years, solutions could be isolated, be the keeper of all of your data and ultimately become very difficult to move away from. In today’s business world however, system integration and data analytics are critical to your business processes. You can no longer survive with a data silo approach. Solutions today need to provide mechanisms to incorporate into the larger technology ecosystem. If your vendor resists or says the solution cannot integrate with other solutions or processes, you should view this as a red flag and consider a move.
As an example to the above insights, LBMC Technology Solutions does a significant amount of work in the Insurance industry across the US. Here, we have seen technology company acquisitions dramatically impact the market. In some cases, those acquisitions have driven innovation, but in other cases we have seen examples where innovation has completely stopped, leaving companies with solutions that no longer have industry knowledge, no future roadmap, and poor customer relationships.
In contrast, we are fortunate to have partnered with OnBase by Hyland Software. Hyland has continued innovation on their OnBase platform for over 25 years. As other insurance industry solutions have gone by the wayside, OnBase has continued to take the discussion past just document management and into the realm of digital transformation, customer self-service, and process automation with renewals and claims.