Many libraries will still use legacy library management software. It may still function of sorts, but technology continuously moves on. New platforms and user expectations make it increasingly risky to hang on to your outdated, custom built, or legacy library management system.
What are the risks of a legacy system?
- It may no longer have support and maintenance. Even if it can be maintained, maintaining a legacy system means investment into a resource that will need to be replaced sooner or later.
- Limited in terms of customization. It might not be possible to scale the system.
- There may be no qualified staff within the company that know how it works.
- Data silos. Legacy systems are not usually built to be integrated with newer systems.
- Performance and productivity. Legacy systems become slower and slower over time, which means performance, efficiency and productivity can also decrease.
Replacing a legacy system is challenging, costly and time-consuming, so beforehand you should ask yourself the following questions when reviewing whether your aging library system really is overdue for replacement.
- Do you have a custom system created ages ago that has been endlessly modified as the needs of your staff and users have changed? Can it still be modified to cope with your changing needs, and do you still have access to people who can modify it?
- Are you supported? A system no longer supported poses a threat to your data and usability. While it may currently work, and is better than nothing, the time will come when problems become overwhelming, and your possibilities limited.
- Is your system dependent on hardware or operating systems that are old? Possibly it’s time to plan and move on. The day will come when the old hardware or systems are replaced. Why wait till then – with a cloud-based LMS like Libero Cloud you have great a great alternative to replace the old with a new efficient, cost-effective, continuously developed system
- Does your system work on a mobile device? Library users expect access to information anywhere and at any time. Legacy systems are less likely to provide the level of access needed for today’s user. If you cannot provide access to your library’s information via your users’ mobile devices, now is the time to consider replacing your out-of-date system.
Critical considerations for changing your Library Management System
- Costs – There’s no denying the costs of replacing your legacy system can be reasonably high. It is important to properly assess and plan the migration project to avoid any rocketing costs. Migration could be costly if best practices are not followed, and hidden costs are not identified in the early stage.
- Technical specifications – One of the main risks of replacing a legacy system is that the new system does not match the business needs. This is often due to a lack of technical specifications of the obsolete system. It’s difficult to create a new system with the same features and functionalities as the legacy system, so careful thought needs to be given to balancing new features with those requirements that are still necessary from the old system. It’s possible the legacy system is built with an obsolete programming language or technology; it might be difficult to find experienced professionals to be involved with the migration.
- Data security – Data must be migrated correctly to avoid crucial data losses. So, organizations must make sure all data can be extracted securely, ensure compatibility between old and new formats and take the time to test and review.
- User experience – When planning a migration to a new system, all stakeholders need to be involved to some degree. Some users might be reluctant to change and considering their feedback can help you deploy a solution they feel more comfortable with. A change management and training programme needs to be carefully planned.
- Data migration – Data migration can be a complex process as testing must be done to ensure data quality. Data migration is essential when updating and migrating a legacy system. To ensure a successful data migration, it is important to assess and plan to minimize potential risks carefully.
The Libero team totally understand change is daunting, but with a cloud-based, flexible, and feature-rich library management system like Libero, we make it easy to take that step forward.
Libero Cloud delivers all the features and functions you would expect from a library management system.
Would you like to learn more about Libero Cloud? Get in touch with our friendly team of library experts.