The Risk of Using Legacy or Home-made Data Communication Solutions..

Is it logical to cling on to Legacy or Home-made Data Communication Solutions? Are these solutions going to hold you back the following years or are you willing to take the risks that accompany them? Read on to find out more.

We have talked about different Data Movement or Integration tools and what benefits they will bring to your organization. Besides saving time, they help you automate processes, cut down costs and speed up your onboarding process for a new Trading Partner.

 The last couple of years we have seen an increase in usage of MFT and Data Integration Tools, however a lot of companies are still holding on to older (legacy) solutions or home-made ones for data communication. It sounds logical to not throw out these solutions that still work and are stable at the moment, but if we look at the long term, it would be foolish not to replace them.

Most Common Risks

If we look at Legacy as well as home-made solutions we encounter the following risks:

  • High maintenance costs
  • Support from the manufacturer has ceased so security levels will decrease with every passing month
  • Specialized knowledge of these older Legacy solutions is required and needs to be maintained
  • Since support has ended, new technologies and features will not be available to add to the legacy solutions (say for example AS4 or even AS2)
  • New certificates can’t be loaded anymore due to lack of support
  • The number of companies using the same solution will decrease every year so setting up and maintaining that connection will be more difficult and more expensive
  • Newer security protocols are not supported so the data transfer will be less secure

Bigger Risk

Home-made solutions pose a bigger risk than Legacy solutions. 99 out of 100 times a home-made solution is the brainchild of 1 person within the organization. Although it may work fine and this person is loyal to the company, it does pose a very big risk. What are you going to do if this person decides to leave the company for a bigger opportunity, or gets sick, or retires?

We often find that the person next in line doesn’t possess the necessary knowledge and/or skill to maintain this home-made solution, or can adjust it to meet new demands.

This will cost your organization a lot of money and time since you can’t just replace someone with many years of experience in that particular solution or line of work..

Because you are missing the knowledge and capacity to act accordingly, your business will likely experience:

  • Unsatisfied customers/Trading Partners and may take their business elsewhere
  • Unstable Data Communication
  • Downtime
  • Data communication that goes missing or fails to go out correctly
  • Different departments within the organization not getting the correct information on time (think of Transport not getting the correct location and cargo information)
  • A negative impact on your company’s image and reputation

All the points mentioned above could have a dramatic effect on your organization’s survival since it directly influences your business processes. Losing Trading Partners and/or Customers alone will seriously hurt your profits if they decide to go with one of your competitors. The issues above will cost you a lot of time that could have been spend on more profitable activities.

Should you Replace?

In short? Yes you should definitely replace your legacy and/or home-made solution for an established MFT & Data Integration solution. By replacing you will be able to tackle all the risks mentioned above and save time to do what you do best, namely spending time and effort in business relationships and making profit. You can also choose to use the services of a qualified IT partner like ECS International so you don’t need to build and maintain an IT team internally and keep yourself up-to-date with all the trends and new technologies. ECS can assist you with choosing the correct solution, implementation and maintaining this solution, and helping you with new security requirements.


At ECS we have over 20 years of experience choosing the correct MFT and Data Integration solutions and have done over 1.000 implementations so far. If you have any questions or dealing with the risks mentioned above, contact us today for support.