Businesses don’t like changing their processes- it’s expensive, time consuming, and can put a (hopefully temporary) strain on daily operations. But there are a lot of risks associated with old or outdated technology, and being proactive about updating and replacing old software and hardware is increasingly important with the rise of the internet.

Legacy systems are computers and programs that remain in use past their expected lifetime- beyond the point where hardware becomes unreliable, or the point where software loses support infrastructure. In some cases this isn’t a problem, provided that the hardware can be repaired or replaced as needed, and the program continues to function as needed. But the new universal status of the internet is challenging this by increasing the importance of security. Any machine connected to the internet has the potential to be targeted by a malicious actor or program, and older programs are not always patched to defend against these attacks.

The biggest problem comes when information or processes get “stuck” on old technology- when a program or hardware arrangement has been used for so long that updating it to current standards is extremely costly, requiring a lot of expertise and time. The best way to avoid making a huge investment later, updating and scrambling to keep old data in a usable format, is straightforward: keep software and hardware up-to-date today.