Is Your ITSM Solution a Lemon?

Posted by on November 01, 2016


Under pressure to keep costs down, it’s tempting for IT leaders to maintain legacy solutions, upgrading when possible to add functionality. Staying the course with a legacy solution may seem like a smart, sensible sacrifice, but it can easily become a form of self-sabotage: Without a modern ITSM solution, your IT department will struggle to meet user needs, stay current with technology developments, and use its budget effectively.  

Tweet this: Using legacy solutions to keep IT costs down may seem like a sensible choice, but what are the risks? 

A Successful ITSM Solution Serves All Users  

Ever drive a car past its prime? You develop quirky workarounds to keep things functioning. You know that, to open the trunk, you have to tap three times on the license plate, for example, or you have to keep your speed either under 50mph or over 70mph to keep your rearview mirror from falling off. Take a ride in a newer car, though, and you’ll realize these workarounds disguise functionality flaws; newer cars aren’t just prettier—their features make them safer, more fuel efficient, and easier to drive.

Legacy solutions embody a strikingly similar parallel to a car driven beyond its life expectancy—long-term IT staffers develop strategies to work with outdated tools and reduce expectations for the solution's capabilities. These workarounds make it easy to neglect the big picture: Your ITSM solution is forcing your IT department to compromise. Really, your solution should serve users and exceed expectations. Plus, not everyone who interacts with a legacy solution is familiar with its quirks—new IT staffers may feel frustrated by legacy solution limitations, while the people served by the legacy may expect functions and usability that it cannot deliver. Sure, you can avoid sinking money into a broken machine by telling yourself you can learn to live with a radio that only plays music every third Tuesday, or a sun visor that falls off when you go over railroad tracks. But, should you have to? And, what’s more, why would you force your staff and customers to live like that?

Upgrading Legacy Solutions Is Highly Problematic

When you realize your legacy solution is falling behind, you may think upgrades seem like the obvious solution. Not so fast. Hiring engineers or consultants to add features and functionality is ultimately an expensive stopgap. Think again of the example of the old car: At a certain point, you end up spending more money to replace broken parts and make repairs than the car is actually worth.  

By customizing your legacy solution, you build up a technical debt; the next time your software provider has a new version available, you may not be able to implement it, since doing so would destroy your customization. Spend too much on upgrades—whether they come from the software provider or hired on consultants—and the costs can swell beyond the sticker price of a modern, up-to-date ITSM solution.

Tweet this: Your ITSM solution should be flexible to adapt as technology evolves to meet modern user's needs. 

Legacy Solutions Fail to Meet Modern User Needs

Just 10 years ago, the smartphone market did not exist—there were no app stores from Google and Apple, and phones weren't an addictive source of information, entertainment, and communication. Nowadays, it's a rare minority of people who do not have a smartphone—small wonder customers and staff expect phone-friendly functionality, such as the availability of a self-service site with responsive design or a mobile app to assist with questions and issues. Legacy solutions—which can predate modern apps and technology—often can't satisfy these needs.

Ideally, your ITSM should be flexible so it can adapt to serve users even as technology changes in unpredictable ways. An ITSM solution that’s easily customized and configured without the need for developers will keep your budget reasonable even as you make tweaks, adaptations, and improvements.

Sticking with a legacy solution often means pricey upgrades and a difficult working environment. A legacy solution makes it all too easy to fall behind each year, failing to keep pace with technological updates. A modern ITSM allows your IT department to offer users the support required to flourish, while also on-boarding new users with ease.