It’s Time To Retire Your Old Software

Outdated Public Sector Technology Should Join the Silver Tsunami

By Matt Novak, VP of Business Development

1.) The Silver Tsunami Is Hitting the Public Sector

Baby Boomers are in an exodus across every sector of the United States, but perhaps none so visibly as the public sector and utilities, where the median age of employees is over 50. Government and utilities, with great pensions and job security, have retained talent for decades. This is great! But it also means that as your staff retires en masse, so goes institutional knowledge about software systems that are less than intuitive.

2.) Old Technology Is Compromising Your Security

Relying on legacy applications and infrastructure dramatically increases the likelihood of a security incident. As technology ages, it becomes increasingly more difficult to manage patches, updates, and general IT hygiene. Proactive security features are a hallmark of newer technology. Best practices like threat hunting and security automation help ensure sensitive personal information is guarded against hackers. As government agencies and utilities increasingly offer residents and businesses more personalized digital experiences, the technology that keeps personal data secure must be at the core of their platform, rather than an add-on.

3.) It’s More Cost Effective to Use Newer Technology

An initiative to replace old systems may seem like a big investment, but it will lower your overall IT spend and make your budget easier to predict. Older technology is written in outdated and often completely obsolete coding languages. This usually requires an organization to look outside their internal IT resources in order to maintain or modify even basic functionality. Specialized consultants that charge hourly rates get pricey fast. These engagements will often lead to many change orders and drawn out processes. As technology continues to age, this problem only gets worse.

4.) Outdated Software Has No Upgrade Path

The technology of the past is often rooted in on-premise hardware with antiquated workflows and user interface. There’s no easy path to upgrade, and you’ll never be migrated to a newer operating system without physically updating hardware, software, and database systems periodically. Older tech may have served your needs 10 or 15 years ago, but both technology and the public sector are evolving. The current trend is driving agencies to migrate from multiple disparate back-end systems to a fully integrated, unified platform. This is a significant cost savings if various agencies don’t have to support multiple websites, vendors, and products. This leads to better overall customer experience (CX), and the costs of a single system can be shared across multiple agencies and departments.

5.) Your Younger Workforce Wants Better UX

As you recruit younger talent to replace retiring staff, it becomes more important than ever to compete with your employees’ private-sector expectations. This means providing a better user experience (UX) for the technology your staff relies on day to day. Technology solutions should empower your team to get their job done more effectively. In contrast, outdated or overly configured technology can lead staff to create workarounds that add confusion and slow processes. The process accommodates the technology rather than the technology optimizing the process.

Thank You, Next

It can be daunting to say goodbye to the familiar, even when you know there’s something better out there. But the benefits of retiring old technology far outweigh the challenges of migrating. Even though you can find ways to extend its life, older technology is ultimately unsustainable. As you take the steps to update your tech stack, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to learn from peer cities and others in your industry to find the solutions that are right for you. And starting the process now will set you up for years to come with smarter technology that can evolve with your needs while reducing your overall spend.

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