Having up-to-date software is essential for the working of many businesses. Not only is it important for interoperability with other business processes, but it is also important for productivity and cost. Without modern, up-to-date software, your company won’t be able to compete.
The lifespan of your software system depends on both internal factors (design, usage, ability to adapt to changing business needs, etc.) as well as external factors (new technologies, disruptions in the sector, etc.). It is difficult to give a precise date for the ‘end of life’ of an application or management software.
So what signs of obsolescence should you look for? How to learn when is the right time to replace your business software? What can you be on the lookout for to pre-empt and prepare for your software programs’ end of life? Here are 4 signs that signify obsolescence.
#1 The Technology Your Software is Built On has Become Obsolete
This situation arises when your application is based on a technology that gets discounted, for one reason or another. The technology’s publisher may decide to stop maintaining the tech, releasing new updates, or issuing security patches for various reasons.
This can quickly become a problem because your application, developed at a certain time on a certain version of the technology used, risks falling behind if you can no longer update it. The risk is even greater if your application handles critical information, which needs constant maintenance and security patches to stay properly secure.
If a business application relies on discontinued tech, you can keep your fingers crossed that your application will last for some time, which may be the case if you want to leave it as is. However, if you have plans to grow your business, evolve, and move forward, it is better to make the decision to quickly replace the software with one using modern, up-to-date tech stacks.
#2 Maintenance is Becoming Too Costly
Several factors have a direct impact on maintenance costs. This can be the consecutive developments and evolutions of the software that make the codebase unmanageable and any maintenance operation laborious, devs familiar with the tech your software uses become scarce (experts who can maintain your application are rare and those you find are expensive), or the accumulated bugs over years of use are too much to work around.
In any case, you should know the concrete costs maintenance requires and, every once in a while, you should ask yourself if it would be better to invest that money in a new software solution.
#3 Your Software Can’t Evolve and isn’t Scalable
Whether it is :
- because of bad software design
- Because your business needs have evolved beyond what could reasonably be answered by years-old software
- Or because of tech limitations of one form or another
There comes a time when your software solution is no longer scalable.
Do you have trouble adapting your software to your business needs? Are there any architectural limitations that make it impossible for the software solution to fulfill some of your demands? Has bad software design tied your hands in regards to what you can do with your business software?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, it means that your software solution isn’t scalable, and it is likely time to contact a software development agency and work with them to design a new solution for your business.
#4 Your Software Can’t Keep Up with the Competition
What are your competitors doing? For software, as for any product, it is necessary to stay aware of the trends of your market. In other words, if you are still using dated traditional software solutions from years ago while your main competitors have switched to SaaS last year, you are probably falling behind. If you don’t want to lose market share, you have to keep up with new developments in the tech world that are relevant to your business.
What do your customers want? In addition to your competitors’ moves, make sure you’re meeting your clients, customers, and consumers’ expectations. If your software solutions don’t serve this end, you might lose market share. Beware, your clients expect you to constantly grow and improve, and if they see your competitors offering better services and products, they won’t think twice about moving over. You need to be vigilant.