Sometimes you’re not innovating a brand-new product but you’re trying to change an existing product that you already have.
How many of you out there have these existing systems that are just struggling along or have too many workarounds just to get by?
This normally happens when things are very old and, over time, become outdated and then they just work so you let them go. But there are things you can do without having to replace the entire thing.
For example, a good thing that you can do is change the UI (User Interface) or the front end for it.
You can build a new front end, interact with the same database, get rid of those annoying problems that you’ve got, and bring it into modern technology.
There might be ways where you can integrate your data into other platforms and leverage your data inside other systems to make things quicker.
There are quite a few ways that you can leverage existing technology, whether it’s old or almost ready for dead and bring it back with advanced technology.
Now, what you really need to do is think about how much time is it costing you to use these systems?
Are there a lot of work arounds, a lot of little tricks, a lot of little hacks that have to happen day-to-day by your staff to get this done?
If you can figure this out, then you’ll actually know what’s worth moving towards. Scrapping it all together, building a new front end or integrating it.
Sometimes it’s not possible to integrate and you just have to start with new system from scratch, but there are a lot of experience and learnings in that software that you can take forward and move with.
You’re not scrapping all software and wasting whatever money was spent in it. All of that is an investment to make the new software better. You’re not stuck with it. You can upgrade it to a degree even if it’s very old. You can develop a new front end and begin making things better.
If it does get to the point where you have to replace the system, do not think about it as a waste of money when shutting down the old system. Think about all the knowledge and time that’s been built up over the use of the system and how things operate and use that to improve the next version and make it drastically better.