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Top 3 Reasons to Assess Your IT Ecosystem Now

The nights are getting longer, leaves are falling, and wise technology leaders are putting their 2024 roadmaps in place. With the end of the year nearly upon us, it’s the perfect time to assess the current state of your IT ecosystem. Does any of your software need an upgrade? Are you spending too much on on-premises infrastructure? Are you paying for software licenses that you’re not using? Will modernization improve your organization’s productivity and security?

Let’s take a closer look at the biggest benefits of keeping the technology systems your business depends on up-to-date.

#1: Mitigate cybersecurity risk

This might seem obvious, but it’s so important that it bears repeating: legacy platforms are harder (if not impossible) to patch, making it easy for bad actors to exploit software vulnerabilities within them. In fact, as many as 60% of reported data breaches occurred because the attackers took advantage of a vulnerability that had not yet been patched.

The results can be devastating—the loss of high-value data and intellectual property, reputational damage, and ransomware attacks. Recent research shows that known vulnerabilities were exploited in the majority of successful ransomware attacks, and 76% of the flaws that ransomware operators weaponized in 2022 were from 2019 or before. With the average ransomware attack now costing its victim upwards of $1.5 million, keeping your software updated is essential for mitigating cyber risk.

And you simply can’t patch systems that have passed their end-of-life date: once the vendor stops providing ongoing support for a product, it must be replaced. Otherwise, legacy tech becomes part of an open attack surface that threat actors can readily exploit.

#2: Reduce costs

Migrating key business applications to the cloud won’t automatically save you money, but the right cloud cost optimization strategy can reduce your technology spending, increase the value you’re gaining from your IT assets, or (ideally) both. First of all, it’s vital to ask if you are taking full advantage of the software you’re already licensing. Far too many organizations pay for multiple software solutions with overlapping or identical capabilities due to a lack of a solution selection process. A careful evaluation of your existing software ecosystem will enable you to determine what you have, what you need, and what you can eliminate. If you’re a Microsoft customer, it’s likely that you already have access to more capabilities than you think, simply because the Microsoft product suite is so comprehensive, and even the most basic enterprise licensing plans include a very extensive set of services and features.

It’s also important to assess whether moving your existing applications to the cloud would benefit your budget. Legacy applications often require refactoring to leverage scalable and cost effective cloud hosting.  In some cases, it may make financial sense to replace legacy applications with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps. Determining which workloads are best suited for the cloud can require careful analysis, but completing this kind of assessment can help you lower costs and improve your applications’ performance.

#3: Accelerate productivity

Want to take advantage of the latest productivity-enhancing technologies? You’ll need modern, cloud-hosted systems to do it. From big data analytics to AI large language models (LLMs), the latest software innovations can’t run on legacy on-premises hardware. Cloud transformation brings all of these future-ready technologies within reach, even for small and midsized companies.

In today’s world, as AI moves into the mainstream, organizations that want to keep pace with leaders in their industries will need to figure out how to harness its power. Cloud customers can implement new AI solutions readily, while only the very largest enterprises have the resources necessary to run these compute-intensive applications in a private data center.

Ultimately, assessing your technology isn’t just about security or cost savings, but is also about generating value for the business. The longer you go without upgrading core tools, the more difficult the change will be, since major tech transformation requires people to learn new processes and workflows. Taking an incremental approach will always be easier for everyone involved.

Now that the end-of-year budget season is upon us, it’s time to start planning for 2024. Have questions about how to get the biggest bang for your IT buck? Schedule a free, no-obligation consult with a member of our expert team today


Mike Engels

Director, PS Strategic Services

Mike’s experience covers all aspects of technology and security leadership. Since joining Netrix, Mike has been engaged as an outsourced CIO and CISO for companies in many different verticals. Responsibilities include working with businesses to align technology roadmaps, working with internal teams to leverage technology to improve business process, assisting with merger and acquisitions through developing playbooks and performing due diligence audits, performing technology and security assessments, designing and implementing information security programs and controls.