IT risks in manufacturing: How modernizing legacy software contributes to innovation

Delaying will lead to missed opportunities, inefficiencies, and reduced competitiveness.

ASML Cleanroom
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IT risks in manufacturing: How modernizing legacy software contributes to innovation

In today’s rapidly evolving world, IT plays an important role in the success of businesses, especially in the manufacturing industry. IT- and business managers face numerous challenges in this sector, ranging from outdated software and the need for innovation, to staying competitive in a rapidly changing market. In this blog, we’ll dive into 4 key risks associated with legacy software and how organizations can successfully modernize legacy IT to boost innovation.

Risk 1: The legacy system brainteaser

Legacy systems often started as cutting-edge software solutions, vital to workflow processes in your organization. They now however increasingly present significant challenges for the manufacturing industry. These systems can significantly inhibit critical business processes, as they were not designed to adapt to the dynamic demands of the modern market. The risks and complexity of modifying these systems are costly and hinder innovation, making it essential for businesses to explore modernization options.

Risk 2: The hidden depths of legacy systems

One of the most daunting tasks in dealing with legacy systems is uncovering valuable business logic that remains trapped within them. Over the years, businesses have accumulated vast amounts of valuable information and rules, which are difficult to access or understand due to the outdated nature of these legacy systems. Unlocking this valuable knowledge can be a game-changer for businesses that want to innovate.

Risk 3: The patchwork problem

In the manufacturing industry, the landscape of applications is often intricately linked around core legacy systems. This creates a patchwork of interconnected applications, making the modernization process more complex. Businesses must navigate this landscape carefully to ensure a seamless and successful transition to modern solutions.

Risk 4: The knowledge gap

IT- and business managers face a significant challenge due to their limited knowledge about legacy systems. As time passes, the understanding of how these systems work becomes limited, leading to inefficient maintenance and modernization efforts.

When skilled personnel with knowledge of legacy systems leave the organization, they take valuable insights and expertise with them. New team members may struggle to comprehend the intricacies of these outdated systems, leading to a widening knowledge gap. This lack of understanding further complicates the effective maintenance and modernization of legacy software.

The need for modernization

Recognizing the challenges posed by legacy systems is the first step toward innovation. Modernization is not just an option; it is necessary for the manufacturing industry to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Delaying the process will lead to missed opportunities, inefficiencies, and reduced competitiveness.

Modernizing legacy systems has many other benefits. Upgrading to more modern and efficient solutions allows businesses to streamline operations, increase productivity, and respond faster to market changes. A modern IT infrastructure furthermore enables companies to take advantage of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), creating new opportunities for innovation and growth.

The benefits of low-code

In the quest for modernization, low-code solutions offer a promising avenue. Low-code platforms enable businesses to develop applications rapidly with minimal hand-coding. They empower both IT and business managers to work together, providing a bridge between the two and expediting the modernization process. For the manufacturing industry, low-code can be a game-changer, accelerating innovation and driving efficiency. And there are specific low-code platforms that focus on business-critical solutions with solutions to streamline modernization projects. 

Low-code applications have become increasingly prevalent in the manufacturing industry, offering innovative solutions to streamline various processes. Let’s explore some examples of how low-code applications are being used in the manufacturing industry:

  • Quality control and inspection: automate data capture, generate reports, and notify stakeholders about issues.
  • Inventory management: integrate with ERP and MRP for real-time inventory data and better stock management.
  • Shop floor control: track materials, equipment, and personnel in real time for better workflow management.
  • Maintenance management: automate data capture, generate reports, and notify stakeholders about maintenance issues, including predictive maintenance
  • Production scheduling: integrate with ERP and MRP systems for real-time data on inventory and production capacity.
  • And many more.


The manufacturing industry faces significant IT risks due to legacy software, hindering the path to innovation and restricting your business and IT productivity. The challenges posed by legacy systems, such as inhibiting critical business processes, knowledge gaps, and the patchwork problem, must be acknowledged and addressed.

Embracing modernization is not just an option but a strategic imperative. By upgrading from legacy systems to more efficient, flexible, and adaptable solutions, businesses can position themselves for a more innovative and efficient future. Low-code solutions offer an exciting way forward, facilitating the transition to modern IT systems and unlocking the hidden potential within legacy software.

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