Why is Your AE Firm Holding on to Old Software?

Posted by Brian Siefkes on July 14, 2015


If you’re still using a legacy software system such as Wind2, Sema4 and Advantage, it’s time to take a look at what a modern system can do for your architecture & engineering firm. These legacy systems were introduced at a time when people were still using green screens and data entry DOS systems. Designed for the Windows operating system back in the 90s, at the time they were introduced they were based on technology that was new and exciting. But since that time technology has advanced significantly. Modern systems have been introduced that are revolutionizing the way AE firms run their businesses – leaving these older systems in the dust.

If you are considering a transition, it’s important to carefully weigh the risk of staying with an older system versus the costs and benefits of upgrading to a more modern one. Making the right choice can increase your firm’s productivity and profitability for the long haul.

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Reasons Some Organizations Stay on a Legacy System

Why do some organizations persist in using outdated, unsupported software for so long?  Often times it is simply a case of indecision or inertia.  Even though there are challenges with an older system, they may rationalize keeping it for the following reasons:

  • “It’s not broken, so let’s not fix it.”
  • We want to avoid the time and cost of migration and retraining….
  • Time is an issue. We don’t have time for activities that result in unbillable time.
  • Our business requires constant availability to the data – the system cannot be taken out of service.
  • We don’t want to pay replacement costs. We’ve already sunk money into this system and want to maximize our ROI.

In cases like this organizations are often focused on upfront costs, rather than long term costs. Decisions based on this type of reasoning can have serious long-term drawbacks.

Risks of Remaining on Legacy

Saving time and money by continuing to use old software might seem like a bonus, but it is often illusory.  The longer your organization remains on a legacy system, the further you will fall behind current technology. When your system breaks, the potential data loss and the cost to fix will be much greater – particularly if your system is no longer supported. A security breach can easily result in a disaster that will be far more time-consuming and potentially more costly to your business than had you replaced it with a new system.

Other risks of remaining on an older system include:

  • If your competition is on a modern system and taking advantage of new technologies, you may be operating at a disadvantage.
  • Any knowledge of how your legacy system works will become more limited over time.  People familiar with the system will leave and it will become more difficult to find people with that knowledge.
  • Old financial systems are more rigid and tend to dictate how you can run your business.  They lack ease of use, ease of access (mobile/browser access), and flexible, real-time tracking and reporting – all impacting your bottom line.
  • Over time, data in an outdated application can become incompatible with newer systems making data conversion a longer, more complicated and more expensive undertaking.

Technology is one of today’s fastest moving industries. Modern financial systems are built taking advantage of recent advancements in mobile, web and cloud technologies. Legacy systems operate on older technology. It is often impossible to adapt an older systems to the needs of the modern marketplace, limiting your ability to compete effectively.  The cost of lost opportunity can impact your firm’s long term profitability.

It’s time to stop putting off your transition to a modern accounting and project management solution and explore all the benefits you’ve been missing out on. Hundreds of A&E firms have realized they were spending too much time maintaining the business value of an inefficient, outdated system and have transitioned to Ajera.

Watch this on-demand webinar, “The Benefits of a Modern Approach to Accounting and Project Management.” You’ll learn why thousands of Wind2, Sema4 and Advantage users have made the switch to Ajera and the benefits you can realize by moving to a new AE accounting system.

Click here to register