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Legacy Systems: What you mean it’s not on mobile?

Written by Bruce Howe

March 4, 2019

Why Mobile Matters

Consumer technology moves rapidly, raising customer expectations and driving further demand. More speed, more functionality, more connectivity…

While consumer technology develops at frightening speeds, big business tends to be sluggish, caught in a rut between wanting to modernise and legacy systems that can barely cope with current demands.

It makes sense. Legacy systems were never designed for the demands of mobile, the cloud and ultra-connectivity.

Considering the significant cost, risk and interruptions to businesses caused by implementing new systems, you can understand why corporates are often behind the eight ball when it comes to modernisation and servicing an increasingly mobile market.

Even so, having mobilised systems is no longer optional. It’s an expectation with an even stronger business case.

The current state of business mobility

69% of employees want an engaging mobile-first work experience and 71% of employees spend two-plus hours a week accessing business information on mobile. Businesses must ensure that this information is accessible, functional and easy to use.

In reality, most big business systems are not user-friendly and appear clunky across different devices. Indeed, 75% of employees say they have a hard time accessing information on enterprise systems and applications. And that includes desktop…

IT decision-makers must decide on the best solution and assess whether they have the capabilities in-house or if they should outsource development work. Then there’s the discussion between custom development versus off-the-shelf solutions.

What is a mobilised business?

We’re talking about business functionality across devices and off-site accessibility.

Mobilisation could mean integrating existing systems, building an app, creating a custom interface or a combination of all three.

Regardless of industry, businesses can benefit from employees being able to access internal systems away from the office, on mobile, tablet or desktop.

Businesses that do mobilise their systems can reap the following rewards:

1) Increased efficiency

Mobilisation can help businesses save time and increase efficiency. Forrester found that a whopping 91% of employees agree that using simplified enterprise-level systems would increase their productivity and efficiency.

Hirepool implemented a custom interface that integrated with existing systems to speed up their quotes, bookings and contracts.
This interface was accessible on both desktop and tablets to ensure work continuity. Initial tests proved that the new system increased efficiency by up to 80%.

2) IT savings

Many businesses still have legacy systems with depreciating assets that break regularly and are costly to fix. Not to mention, the frequent disruption to business and the frustration that follows.

Mobilisation can help transition businesses between outdated systems and upgrades. March of Dimes is a not-for-profit who were able to reduce ‘wasteful features’ with a more streamlined platform that helped save the organisation up to 60% on hardware costs.

Systems that have been configured with the future in mind also require less frequent maintenance and pose fewer security threats to the business.

3) Improved communication

An engaged workforce connected by mobilised platforms allows for better communication and flexibility amongst teams.

Effective communication patterns are important for any organisation to be successful – and the technology that businesses use should enhance, not hinder effective communication.

The freedom and flexibility to work across different platforms can also help improve employee morale and performance. Using systems where the user-experience is prioritised, employees are able to work more effectively.

4) More collaboration

Internal systems that enable effective communication promotes more collaboration across the business. It can also lead to new and innovative ways to do business.

For example, Maxxam Analytics used their Intranet to help colleagues effectively share ideas and improve internal processes from anywhere in the world.

Systems that streamline processes and remove unnecessary features encourage employees to use the tools more effectively. Going further, by ensuring logical integrations between ERP, CRM, SCM and other such systems, employees can access information faster and collaboration is made easier.

5) Attracting & keeping talent

81% of Millennials say the technology available in an organisation influences their decision to change roles. They expect systems that work faster, with more functionality and connectivity.

But it isn’t just Millennials; everyone gets frustrated when the tools they have don’t live up to their expectations.

On the flip side, employees equipped with the tools to perform their jobs effectively will have higher job satisfaction and be more likely to stay in the business.

By modernising systems and delivering on employee expectations, businesses can use technology as an instrument to help attract and retain talent in the organisation.

Summing it up

Technology is only accelerating and businesses cannot afford to be left behind. The cost of not modernising includes inefficiencies, business disruptions, rising maintenance costs and increased staff turnover.

In response, IT decision-makers must assess the needs of the business and set technical objectives. Below are a few questions to address:

  • What’s the shelf-life of current systems?
  • Does the business need to update, replace or create something custom?
  • What’s the cost of transformation?

We’ll address these questions in a following article. In the meantime, contact us if you want to discuss your system requirements.

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