Enterprises are still hanging onto their legacy systems—and that’s not going to change

There’s no question that SaaS solutions have their benefits—easy deployment, flexibility, more seamless collaboration, environmental sustainability—just to name a few.

Yet, 85 to 95 percent of the Fortune 500 companies we speak with still rely on on-premises solutions to run their business. You’d be surprised, but even solutions we haven’t heard about in years (think Lotus Notes and IBM Domino) have more than 100 million users.

So why are these companies continuing to maintain and run their legacy and on-premises applications in an increasingly SaaS world?

Legacy replacement is a tough call to make

Most large companies have made huge investments in legacy solutions like SAP ERP, Oracle EBS, and IBM Domino that, in many cases, have become the core systems that run the business. Now, under pressure to improve standards by providing new functionality or extending business applications, organizations are faced with the challenge of deciding whether to update, replace, or completely eliminate their legacy systems.

Deploying a new SaaS solution might at first glance seems obvious, but it comes with its own set of challenges. It requires a new annual subscription to get an entire enterprise workforce up and running. It also means that IT will have to spend time on provisioning the solution and retraining all employees. Plus, given the critical business transactions that these systems run, any replacements come at considerable cost and risk.

In addition, most legacy investments have already paid off and are still serving the business. When an IT team has already spent millions of dollars, time, and resources deploying on-premises systems, it’s easy to see why continuing to maintain a stable, albeit outdated, system remains an appealing option. Every day that a system continues to deliver value is basically free. Getting employees to use a platform with processes that have been tested over time is, in many ways, more valuable than deploying something new.

But legacy has its place if you focus on the user

While it’s common to associate bad user experience and clunky UIs with legacy applications, SaaS solutions can also be difficult to access or bloated with unnecessary features. The sad reality is that 62 percent of employees still rely on others to access enterprise data, and 57 percent rely on others to gain insights from that data – and this is users of both legacy and SaaS apps.

At the same time, there are so many systems that employees have to log into that they ultimately end up ignoring applications that aren’t critical to their day-to-day work. On average, 508 applications are used within the average enterprise, but 75 percent of employees have a hard time accessing information in those systems. 

Companies need to find a way to make it easier for employees to engage with all of their systems – whether they are legacy, on-premises, or even SaaS.  In fact, a recent survey conducted by PwC noted the importance of focusing on the human experience for companies who wish to translate digital efforts into results.   

Case in point: what did all the top performers in the survey have in common? They all prioritize the human experience that surrounds digital technology – they focus on the user experience when implementing technology.

Sapho helps companies get more out of both SaaS and legacy systems 

Sapho allows IT to create micro apps, available through a modern portal, that can pull data from different systems, whether they are legacy, on-premises, or SaaS solutions. Micro apps surface personalized and relevant tasks and data, which can be delivered to employees on any device, intranet, or messenger. Sapho helps simplify workflows and data access to help IT teams drive productivity with newer interfaces and software, but still allows them to maximize the value out of the software they have already invested in.

Employees deserve enterprise software that is both engaging and easy-to-use, regardless of whether the solutions are legacy business apps or SaaS tools. Improving experience should be key for all enterprises that wish to remain competitive and realize their business goals in the future.

Ready to learn more about how Sapho helps deliver personalized data and tasks from all your existing business systems? 


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Elle Sidell

Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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