Do you remember the Delta Air Lines’ computer glitch that saw passengers stranded and more than 4,000 flights canceled? This was caused by a legacy computer crash. Delta Air Lines had to pay a large price for the outage, approximately a whopping $177 million at the least.
Delta Air Lines’ case is just a snippet of how technological obsolescence is costing companies. In the US, organizations report nearly $1.8 billion in annual productivity losses due to the use of outdated technology. What’s more, the effects of out-of-date technology reflect in customer turnover too. A recent Microsoft poll shows that 91% of customers consider terminating business relationships with companies that use obsolete software technologies due to security and privacy concerns.
From the foregoing trends, it sounds prudent to understand examples of obsolete technology and the risks of using outdated technology. Dive into this article for in-depth insight on the impact of outdated software technologies and see the comprehensive list of frameworks and programming languages that become obsolete in 2022.
Outdated Technology Definition
“An information system that may be based on outdated technologies, but is critical to day-to-day operations”
Outdated software technology (legacy or obsolete) is a concept that encompasses software, hardware, programming languages, services, or practices that are no longer used.
It’s common to come across big companies using technology that is obsolete. Many of them have invested in custom software solutions that they are not willing to change. For instance, it’s in the public domain that some banks still rely on old tech. In addition, most nuclear power plants are also running on obsolete software technologies.
Sounds like a pitfall for any business — being willing but unable to move forward. But despite this, there
Here are vital signs that indicate you are using outdated software in your organization:
- Closure of software companies,
- Abandonment of projects,
- Replacement by new versions,
- Competition from similar products,
- Introduction of disruptive technologies and
- A slow development lifecycle
However, as you know, the software landscape is ever-changing. Hanging on to obsolete software in this kind of environment may threaten the business in any kind of industry.
Risks of Using Outdated Technologies
If it’s still working, no need to fix it or at least take a look at it, right? Wrong! This might be true in many cases but not when it comes to business. Running a business using obsolete technology in 2022 is not only disadvantageous but also risky, not only to the bottom line but also to people’s lives.
Given the ever-increasing demands on software infrastructure, obsolete systems that seem to be working perfectly now will eventually give in. This, compounded with other problems associated with the use of outdated technology, exposes your business to various risks. Some of these risks include:
1. Incompatibility Issues
One of the biggest disadvantages of outdated technology is incompatibility. This can downplay an organization’s efforts to modernize its operations and IT infrastructure. Typically, developers write a software system to suit the technologies, software, and hardware that are in use at their time of development. This doesn’t mean that older software will not work with newer tech. It may, however, like yoking an old cow with a younger cow together, this arrangement may not produce the best out of the system.
Moreover, incompatible software will not pass the latest quality assurance tests for the legacy codebase. If your business serves a highly regulated industry, you may need to forego some plans or stall scaling.
So, how does this pose a threat to your business? Technology incompatibility translates to a lack of standardization and governance in your infrastructure. In return, this affects the overall performance and convenience of the IT infrastructure in terms of cost-efficiency. You end up with a choice of either keeping operations in the past or straining to keep up with emerging evolutions.
Do you want to deal with technology incompatibility? Well, integration is the answer. How to Effectively Conduct a Legacy System Integration
2. Low Productivity Due to Unreliable Software Performance
Dead technology is bound to fail or cause downtime in one way or another—even if it’s not today. A few years ago, Paris Orly International Airport came to a standstill after a Windows 3.1 operating system in the control tower failed.
The system which debuted in 1992 and became obsolete in 2001 saw tens of planes grounded for the better part of the day. This is just one of the many system failures that paralyze productivity in international airports or other public and private organizations. It’s worth noting that a single system failure, in this case, affects productivity across tens of companies, and nations.
Besides halting operations suddenly, outdated technology is also usually slow in terms of updates and tasks execution when compared to newer tech. Microsoft notes that businesses leveraging outdated programming languages can lose up to seven days of productivity per calendar year. What’s more, obsolete but functional computers that are older than four years can result in up to 21 hours of productivity loss due to frequent updates, repairs, and security patches.
3. Data Loss When the Software Fails
Legacy systems were developed years ago, at a The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notes that 40% of businesses that suffer data loss end up shutting down operations indefinitely. Data loss can happen to anyone, especially if it emanates from a natural course, such as laptop theft or accidental deletion.
Fortunately, businesses can still mitigate these threats through encryption and regular backups to the cloud. Unlike their modern counterparts that come with these in-built features, obsolete technologies may be deficient in this regard, and set you up for data loss because they store data in spreadsheets and local storages. In a world where data is the new oil, you can hardly afford such a loss.
We recommend you replace older tech with a new version to mitigate this risk. Even better, top-tier vendors, such as Microsoft constantly offer technical support on security patches and upgrades.
4. An Easy Avenue for Cybercriminals
If there is something that hackers hope for the most when preying on unsuspecting companies is coming across obsolete technology. Outdated software is usually vulnerable because it doesn’t feature the new security patches released by the vendor.
The vulnerabilities of outdated software are also usually very easy to find as they are, usually, well documented and published by the vendor or developer.
While it is harder to attack new or up-to-date systems, cybercriminals will not hesitate to design malware programs that can exploit the system’s vulnerabilities.
Even though there are many more worrying examples of threats from obsolete technology, a surprising number of companies continue to rely on legacy software. 5 Examples of Legacy Systems
While it might take hackers a quick and easy expedition to attack your outdated system, sometimes out of fun, your business stands to suffer a bigger blow. Malware attacks cost US businesses up to $2 million every year, with experts projecting more attacks in the near future, given that we have witnessed an 87% increase in these cases in the past decade alone. You’re looking at a $1 trillion ballpark in a five-year projection.
5. Operating System Bugs
The operating system is essentially the environment in which all of your software operates and interacts in. Bugs may be prevalent in your operating system if you’re leveraging obsolete programming languages. Modern business practices entail integrating various software systems, such as payroll, database, or project management. In that case, a series of old coding languages in one application is enough to crash the whole operating system. If not, the chances of corrupting your system still remain high.
How much do you think you’ll lose in terms of performance and productivity if the vendor doesn’t resolve the issue in time? That said, it sounds more prudent to run your business on the newest version of the software you’re currently using.
Technologies That Are Already Obsolete in 2021
2021 saw many technologies become obsolete, thanks to the rise of several new-generation devices and innovations. Although many businesses welcomed this, there are a couple of systems that will fizzle out completely and may not see the end of 2022. Here are the most remarkable end-of-life announcements.
- Oracle 18 Database
Unlike other Oracle Database versions that had two releases, Oracle 18c Database exists in one version only, released in February and July 2018. The software that had various marquee features, such as polymorphic table functions, approximate Top-N query processing, and active directory integration became obsolete in April 2021. Companies that rely on this technology no longer benefit from vendor release updates that mitigate security, regression, and functionality risks.
Oracle 18c has been found to have a lot of vulnerabilities. Some of these can allow both low and high privileged attackers to access, read and change the data in a database. Since trust is important, this can prove costly to an organization’s operations.
Businesses that leverage this example of outdated technology can upgrade to Oracle Database 19c, which is an older version but still maintained. Alternatively, you can upgrade to Oracle Database 21c, which is the latest version, released in December 2020.
- Microsoft SQLServer 2016 (CRM)
Mainstream support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is no longer available, while its extended support came to a halt in January 2018. The risks of maintaining an SQL server after the end of support are nearly the same for all versions. For instance, firewalls and antivirus products won’t still match the vendor’s hotfixes and security updates, meaning your systems will be vulnerable to hacking. Other risks include compliance, reputational, and high compatibility costs.
Database migration is an effective approach to prevent data leakage. Check the go-to guide. Legacy Database Migration: Effective Data Migration Plan
Companies that rely on this technology can either purchase extended security updates for a temporary fix or upgrade to the latest versions of SQL Server. Options for the latter move include upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2017, released in 2017.
This updated version adds Linux support for various Linux platforms, such as Docker Engine, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Alternatively, you can migrate your on-premise Microsoft SQL workloads to Microsoft Azure Cloud. This option consolidates your environment for optimized performance, provisioning, and recovery.
- Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2010 (CRM)
Although Microsoft sells its Sharepoint server versions as document management and storage systems, these software technologies are highly configurable for custom uses in various organizations. Moreover, these products come in multiple editions that serve different functions.
Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2010 features various changes, such as early social networking features, central administration rebuilding, and sandboxed solutions, as opposed to earlier versions. However, it became obsolete on April 13, 2021, when Microsoft stopped extended support for the system. Mainstream support stopped a little bit earlier in 2015.
Using this outdated software exposes your business to severe content security risks that can cost fines and brand reputation when regulated data is breached. To avoid this, you can upgrade to Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2013, or the latest versions of 2016 and 2019.
- Hortonworks Data Platform (Open Source Framework)
Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) is an enterprise-ready data platform that is security-rich and open-source Apache Hadoop distribution. It is based on a centralized architecture (YARN). HDP helps accelerate decision-making and innovation by powering real-time consumer applications and addressing the needs of data at rest in addition to delivering robust analytics. However, Hortonworks Data Platform has deprecated features and versions that simply need to be replaced in 2021.
Legacy systems of HDP are known to have vulnerabilities that can allow an attacker to save a malicious file on a host computer, and also expose sensitive information. Upgrading to new versions of HDP will help to mitigate these vulnerabilities.
- MySQL 5.6 (Database)
After reaching its community end of life on February 5, 2021, MySQL 5.6 has joined the group of obsolete technologies with 9 years under its belt. This open-source relational database management system uses data relations to organize it into data tables, thereby helping to structure the data. Popular companies that reportedly use MySQL include Uber, Netflix, Shopify, and Amazon.
MySQL 5.6 is now known to have many vulnerabilities. Some of these include allowing an attacker to disable its functioning as well as exposing sensitive information.
- .NET Core 2.1 (Programming language)
This framework is for building applications that are modern, internet-connected, and cloud-enabled. This can be used in Windows, Mac, and Linux to build a variety of web applications and services, mobile backends, and Internet of Things (IoT) apps. However, since August 21, 2021, .NET Core 2.1 no longer receives updates or technical support, and this includes security fixes too.
.NET Core has a laundry list of vulnerabilities that attackers may take advantage of. Some of these vulnerabilities do not even need an attacker to have special privileges! Some of the things that an attacker can do include running foreign code on a system, initiating a denial of service attack, exposing sensitive information, and executing code remotely.
It is advised to migrate to .Net Core 3.1 or a later version as they would be more secure and have important updates and technical support. Alternatively, you can switch to ASP.NET Core, a Microsoft successor to ASP.NET, used by various companies like Alibaba, Queue-it, and LiteTube.
Learn the best practices on upgrading .NET Framework to .NET Core. How to Convert .NET Framework to .NET Core: Steps and Key Points You Should Know
- Windows 7 SP1 (OS)
Microsoft’s official support for Windows 7 ended on 14 January 2020. Accordingly, PCs running Windows 7 after this date are no longer receiving security updates. Windows 7 proves to be a very vulnerable system, with information available on the web that offers to inform anyone how they can do such things as hacking a Windows 7 administrator and user password. However, Windows 7 still is in use at some companies and largely at government and education institutions.
In February 2021, there was an attempt to poison a Florida town’s water treatment plant by unknown hackers. It is widely believed that the attack may have involved hackers leveraging TeamViewer, a remote connectivity software, to target PCs that run Microsoft’s antiquated Windows 7 operating system. This potential tragedy was only stopped by the quick thinking of an employee. This was a really close call! The best solution is to migrate from any old operating system to a new and fully supported one.
- AngularJS (Framework)
This web framework reached the end of life support at the end of 2021 meaning that users will no longer have the vulnerability protection that is so vital. IBM has highlighted a number of vulnerabilities of AngularJS which include an attacker being able to steal a victim’s cookie-based authentication credentials and also cause a denial of service. Most sites have already migrated to new Angular versions though there are still sites like Upwork.com and cricbuzz.com still using AngularJS. The good news is that AngularJS is one of our areas of expertise and we are the best at migrating AngularJS to Angular 9+.
Migrating AngularJS to Angular isn't an easy call. Read this guide App Migration from AngularJS to Angular: What You Should Know Before Moving
Lest you forget, tech obsolescence also makes your source code vulnerable in terms of security. Contact us today for a free source code assessment.
Examples of Obsolete Technologies in 2022
There are technologies that are still in use in 2022, but in the real sense, respective vendors no longer offer mainstream support for them. That means businesses using such technologies have to brace for incompatibility challenges in the near future or jeopardize their IT infrastructure security. Some of the obsolete technology examples in 2022 include:
Even if your database might still work exemplary well, it reaches a time when it becomes dead. Inasmuch as it can be tempting to run operations on outdated databases, the risks these poses are not worth it at all.
For instance, the costs of maintaining the system may run overboard, not to mention difficulties in hiring talents that can attend to obsolete software. Moreover, obsolete software creates easily exploitable security loopholes and threatens data leakage. On the flip side, upgrading to the latest version of your database mitigates all these risks.
Examples of obsolete databases in 2022 are:
- IBM DB2 v11.1.x;
- Red Hat Linux (RHEL) v8.2;
- Mongo DB v4;
- PostgreSQL 10.12;
- Oracle 12 on Windows.
To ensure that you have a smooth migration process, it will help if you conduct a data audit to eliminate errors in data sets dependencies. It will also help if you secure your data using tools that can detect intrusion and give you up-to-date security analytics.
MS SQL Database Upgrade
Moving from MS SQL Database version 14 to 17 improved data accessibility and integrity.VIEW CASE STUDY
Outdated CRMs are a blow to productivity. Therefore, migrating to newer CRMs is essential to maintain an effective workflow. Otherwise, you’ll be exposing your business to various risks associated with the use of obsolete CRMs, such as missing out on critical software updates and fixes.
Apart from getting outdated and no longer receiving support, there are several other reasons a CRM can become obsolete. Examples of outdated CRMs in 2022 include:
- Peoplesoft CRM v9.2;
- Microsoft SQLServer 2012;
- Microsoft SQLServer 2017;
- Microsoft Windows Server 2016.
However, upgrading to the latest CRMs from a retired version can be pretty challenging, since this is not a simple plug-and-play tool that you just add to your IT infrastructure. That said, here are some practices that can help you transition smoothly:
- Set up the required internal usage guidelines;
- Have a dedicated super user to see the project through;
- Work alongside a specialized project manager;
- Onboard all executives to the plan.
When an OS vendor discontinues support it is only a matter of time till some vulnerability is exploited and anyone using the system puts their whole network at risk. Since an OS manages a computer’s software resources, hardware, and its memory, and processes, it is vital to always use one that is up to date and is supported.
These are some dangerously obsolete OS still in use today by some institutions like hospitals around the world.
- Windows XP;
- Windows Vista;
- Windows 7.
Even programming languages become obsolete as developers migrate to using newer languages. This results in fewer devs with the know-how of using these languages and a decline in the all-so-important community support.
Here are some languages becoming obsolete:
- NodeJS 1.2x, 1.7x, 10.x;
- VB6, VB.NET;
- ASP.NET MVC.
As technology evolves, components also do in order to cater to the new and improved processes run by computers. This means older components become obsolete and cannot be used as parts of the new technologies.
Using up-to-date components ensures your system runs effectively and seamlessly with your newer systems. IBM FileNet Application Engine is a good example of an obsolete component in 2022.
Old frameworks are vulnerabilities companies do not want to keep. However, migrating to newer, supported frameworks has never been easier with a reliable partner, such as ModLogix by your side.
Below are some frameworks that have become obsolete and we are here to help you move on from them.
- Windows Storage Server 2016;
- .NET Framework 4.5.2, 4.6, and 4.6.2.
Consider ModLogix Your Trusted Legacy Software Modernization Partner
Old is gold, but not when it comes to software systems and applications. There is a reason why a geeky developer opts for a computer running on the latest Windows as opposed to Windows XP. Newer technologies offer more power and compatibility. The same applies to your business — you need to replace older tech with newer versions to minimize the risk of using obsolete and unsupported software. We can help with that.
ModLogix is your go-to, trusted legacy software modernization partner. We can help you with various legacy system upgrades, including frameworks, architecture modernization services, custom applications, and library upgrades for improved performance, better user experience, legacy software audit and assessment, and hassle-free future development. How else does your business gain with our expertise? You get the latest tech with expanded code libraries, a modern app that fulfills current compliance audits, and access to new integrations and APIs.
Remember, you need to modernize your legacy software if your current system is out of support or want to fulfill compliance regulations that require businesses like yours to use modern software only. Contact us today for both libraries and visual framework upgrades.
We are a one-stop partner to help you minimize the risk of using outdated technologies.
Change might be scary, but all the same, inevitable. Leveraging any of the outdated technology examples featured above and others not listed puts your business at security and compliance risks. Even worse, it can mean losing some of the old customers who no longer trust your systems. In the long haul, this impedes your goals by holding back revenues and productivity.
Fortunately, you can overcome the risk of using obsolete and unsupported software by upgrading to the system’s latest version — for example, migrating AngularJS to Angular 9. That raises the million-dollar question, when exactly should you upgrade? You should upgrade from all the examples of obsolete technology highlighted in this article immediately. Alternatively, reach out to our team and start the conversation of more accessible technologies in 2022 and beyond.
How to jumpstart an app modernization process? Learn here. How to Create an Effective Application Modernization Roadmap for Your Project