Legacy Software, the Forgotten “Asset”

How many of you have spent thousands of dollars on software which is now obsolete? OK, you should have all raised your hands. You hear a lot about legacy cad data and how to migrate it to a new software platform but the subject of legacy software is something that seems lost in translation.

Let me give you my view as to what legacy software is and see if you agree. Legacy software is many things to me. First and primary is software that is no longer supported or viable for everyday use. In my case is it SDRC Artisan Series 4.0. When I decided to go on my own in the design world we got duped in several ways by the SDRC sales team. Coming from SDRC Master Series I wanted to keep my clients and abilities of the software without the huge nut of the Master Series, well, the sales mean said they both apps would be interchangeable with files ( yes, but not easy), then the cost is 50% the price of Master Series with minimal reduction in capabilities ( how about 90% the price and maximal reduction in capabilities) and finally if I decided to resell my license it was OK to do that ( yeah right, tried and told not possible the salesman lied). OK after 3 years and about $30,000 dollars between the software and the hardware needed to run it (which was never told to me either) I now have software that’s no good anymore even after maintaining an active support contract plan. Needless to say we dropped it like a hot potato after that. So what do I do with $30,000 worth of software that sits on the shelf? EBAY? maybe….Garage Sale?, maybe or just toss in the garbage all together and risk by chance someone finding it, using it in a malicious way where ultimately come straight back to me. If you have ideas, I’m all ears.

OK, secondly what else is legacy software, to me its software you want to get rid of but can’t and forced to use for infinity because either its too expensive to replace and up root or that migrating the data to a new platform is just on the cusp of beneficial. What I mean is the cost to maintain the legacy software is about the cost to migrate it over a long period. So what’s a Cad manager to do? Well, I think I speak for a vast majority of users that have all be burned, bitten, conned and whatever more than once in the CAD industry. So, inevitably you’re forced into decisions like or not and for legacy software I guess its jump in or jump out of the game and hope for the best.

The moral of the story is how to manage inevitable software degradation and obseletion and where to turn for help … who knows?

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Review Article
  • From "Forgotten Asset" to oportunity May 17, 2006
    Reviewed by 'KRAS'
    While the narative of the article is true enough the reader is left with just more questions than answers or conclutions. As the owner of several layers of out dated software I've come to the conclusion that the proper mindset is one of "good enough" technology. Buy what you need to get the job done use it for its strengths and keep shoping for solutions. This as a strategy is highly impacted by tools that require proprietary hardware and/or data formats, so it is impoortant to avoid this whenever possible.

    If at the end of the day you find yourself the proud owner of a dinosaur don't dispair. Your trash can be someones entry level oportunity. Trade them work for technology.

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