Goodbye, Legacy Reporting: Walk The Cloud Journey With Modern Products

Narinder Dhillon

Last month, SAP ran its annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Florida.  The latest developments in cloud got me thinking how far businesses have come from their legacy reporting systems as they move into more of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

In the realm of business software and platforms, products can be segmented into two overarching categories: legacy systems and those that offer a more modern look, feel, and user experience. According to BusinessIntelligence, “Legacy systems are looked on as a detriment to an organization when circumstances like cost or compatibility require continued usage. Even if an organization has moved on to more advanced technology, the effect of legacy systems can linger when old data remains in legacy format.”

Despite the fact that new solutions are on the market with advanced features, 70% of current corporate business systems are considered legacy systems. Why? There are a number of reasons why companies of all sizes still rely on technologies built in the 80’s or 90’s:

  • They reflect a huge investment
  • Enhancements or upgrades are a major IT spend
  • Executives and IT fear downtime or knowledge loss if a system is changed
  • System testing and end-user training is a daunting task

While there’s a long list of reasons to ignore upgrades, it’s a reseller’s job to ease customers into future-proofed solutions. Although many companies rely on legacy systems, layering new products on top of old systems and processes offers an easier upgrade. Doing so improves security, simplicity, and access for a mobile workforce.

Read on for three ways resellers can introduce customers to the idea of bringing legacy systems to the future with modern, mobile software.

1. Demonstrate the security and scalability of the cloud

Cloud computing enables on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources. According to Global Workplace Analytics, nearly half of the U.S. workforce performs work remotely by some degree, meaning they aren’t always in the office connected to in-house servers. Legacy systems operate off multiple on-premise servers, which tether individuals to desktops or make it difficult and slow to access critical information from a remote location. On top of that, companies fear compliance and security issues that are difficult for the IT department to address.

The cloud solves this problem, yet businesses still need on-premise capabilities for many reasons, which differ from business to business. Resellers can overcome those issues by communicating the following benefits to make a case for the enterprise cloud:

  • Scalability: Companies never have to worry about expanding the size of storage like they do with on-premise servers, as the cloud allows us to store unlimited information.
  • Mobility: On-the-go access means employees can take information to a business pitch or access it on the road, all with the security of legacy systems.
  • Lowered cost: Companies can reduce the expense of running technology.

2. Present an easy-to-follow plan

To put it simply, legacy system processes are tedious. And when it comes to updates, expect high maintenance costs and a poor user experience.

Resellers can help clients integrate modern solutions with outdated legacy systems when they offer products like:

  • Data visualization apps
  • Mobile POS systems
  • Remote data and file storage, with offline access

Resellers can demonstrate the simplicity of updates with a simple tap of a button to the app store or automatic updates on mobile devices. And many products now offer out-of-the-box integrations for easy updates.

3. Prove benefits within multiple departments

Legacy systems require heavy setup by the IT department, and may fall short when it comes to features for the end-users. Some companies must rely on a different system for every task they complete throughout the day. This means legacy end-users have to toggle between multiple applications, and IT gets very little visibility on performance or control.

Introduce legacy businesses to multi-function products that can be used across departments. Legacy customers will be wowed when they see they can perform many different reporting tasks without closing out of a program every time they switch gears. And, they can layer their outdated systems with these newer products, so they don’t have to fear losing valuable data or completely phasing out the system all at once.

For example, a data visualization tool requires little setup by IT, and can be pulled from a legacy system’s bulky on-premise servers. And, these tools can be used in various ways across multiple departments, like:

  • Sales can track selling efficiencies and goals.
  • Marketing can gauge the effectiveness of campaigns by tracking KPIs.
  • Executives get an in-depth look at overall revenue and company-wide performance at a glance.

I talk daily to my cloud customers, and they tell me they value the benefits of the cloud. We help walk them through this journey in terms of product updates, and how it maps into their business requirements.

Are you ready to walk the cloud journey?

This article, Goodbye, Legacy Reporting: Demonstrate The Value Of Modern Products And Walk The Cloud Journey, originally appeared on the SAP BusinessObjects Analytics blog and is republished by permission.


Narinder Dhillon

About Narinder Dhillon

Narinder Dhillon is a Customer Engagement Executive (CEE) at SAP. He has overall responsibility for the daily management of assigned Cloud customer accounts, including account management strategies as well as engagement and expansion plans.  The focus of this role is twofold, to maximize the value that customers and SAP receive through adoption and use of the SAP Network, and to ensure that the customers deploy and utilize their entitled subscription software.  He is passionate about working with customers to achieve their goals, and has 15 + years of experience in customer engagement roles, in software and subscription based companies.