Overcoming legacy software inertia to boost the supply chain

Most companies are trying to get ahead in their industries, but in the supply chain in particular, doing so can be difficult because of how rapidly the sector is evolving. Compounding this issue for many companies is the reality that their operations are based heavily on data stored within or interpreted by legacy software they purchased several years or more earlier.

The fact of the matter is that having old software platforms is a potentially major issue that many companies within the supply chain overlook, according to Manhattan Associates. This entire industry is growing increasingly complex and systems developed a decade-plus in the past just aren't going to be up to the task, especially because you have likely had to customize various aspects of the software, so even if support is still provided by the developer, it's going to be applied in a patchwork at the best of times.

Legacy software could be holding your supply chain business back.Legacy software could be holding your supply chain business back.

Moreover, because you are likely to have several partners or more connecting with you to find success, you need to make sure your systems are compatible with theirs; that becomes more difficult when you're dealing with legacy software, the report said. Consequently, you simply can't afford to go forward relying on legacy software that is increasingly challenging to wrangle.

Getting specific
The problem with legacy software is often that it may seem to be working well enough, but the areas of drag it creates are sometimes difficult to spot, according to Oracle Director of Content Strategy and Implementation Margaret Harrist, writing for Forbes. With that in mind, it's good to think about some of the more common issues you face, and the time you have to spend dealing with them.

If you're like many other companies, these include a lack or shortage of actionable data about the supply or demand you face on either side of your operations, issues related to your ability to pivot off your data to make quicker business decisions, and more, the report said. Furthermore, older software platforms - particularly those that are no longer supported by their developers - tend to be more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

Identifying the benefits
Of course, many companies may see the cost of investing in new software to run their logistics operations as prohibitive - meaning too high to justify, according to CeMAT Insider. But what that concern doesn't take into account is the loss of both efficiency and new opportunities that can cost a business significantly, and over a relatively short period of time. For that reason, it's wiser for you to view investment in a new platform as an investment in your broader business.

No matter where within your operations you're using years-old software, you're always going to have an opportunity to improve and, in doing so, become a more critical part of the supply chain as a whole. By working more closely with partners to share and interpret data, you may all be able to get ahead together.

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