4 Hidden Costs of Using Legacy Tech Stacks

Studies show that 31% of technology within organizations is made up of legacy systems, despite the many drawbacks incurred by relying on legacy systems. One of the most significant barriers to adopting new technology is the price tag that people assume comes with purchasing, learning, and implementing new technology.

But what if we told you that the trust cost of continuing to operate using your legacy systems is far greater than any investment in more recent, more efficient technologies? The hidden costs of legacy systems are overwhelming, but the price tag isn’t as flashy as it is with new tech.  

The reality is that 90% of businesses are holding themselves back by still using outdated tech stacks. Put simply: your legacy tech, while significant in the past, will never get you to where you want (or need) to be to continue on a successful path in the future. Below we’ll highlight four high hidden costs organizations incur when they continue using their legacy tools. 

What happens when you don’t update your #LegacyTech systems? @TalentTechLabs explores four significant risks you expose your organization to by not updating your tech stack. Check it out: Share on X

Money Lost

First and foremost, doubling down on using your legacy technology will burn through your bottom line. While it might seem like a quick way to save money by keeping your outdated tech stack, it is likely costing you even more than the alternative. In fact, studies show U.S. businesses lose up to $1.8 trillion yearly in wasted productivity due to obsolete technology. Where are these costs coming from?

  • Fixing problems as they arise
  • Money spent on upkeep for your outdated tools
  • Money wasted on employee downtime 

A recent study has found that, on average, an employee wastes around 46 minutes of their day when your company leverages legacy systems. Multiply that by the number of days in the calendar year, and you’re looking at a loss of nearly $3,500 per team member. While this value can vary based on your industry, the core point stands. Legacy tools cost you and your team productivity and profitability, and trying to make an old tech stack fit into your newer, modern needs is simply not fiscally responsible.

Security Risks

When your systems are aging, you’ll see fewer and fewer security patches, and eventually, you’ll see none at all. This makes sense; developers and programmers are focusing their time and efforts on new tools, not fixing older ones. But what does this mean for you? 

Just because developers stop working to fix and update legacy systems doesn’t mean hackers will stop trying to break in. So, using legacy tech opens up your organization to a litany of data breaches and security lapses. Unfortunately, 74% of companies that experienced a breach said it happened due to unsecured third-party access to their systems.

To get the most out of your tech stack, you should evaluate its effectiveness every few years, if not more frequently. It’s essential to remember that hackers and people looking to steal your data are constantly evolving their tactics to overcome even the strongest of security measures, meaning your tech needs to be ready to fight against those potential threats. 

Reduced Employee Experience

If you’ve ever had to operate an out-of-date system, it’s easy to understand employees’ frustration while trying to manage and keep a legacy system functional. An outdated system can impact the experiences and sentiment of your employees more than you’d expect, as using legacy systems can often result in a higher turnover rate.

Check out these stats illustrating the impact a legacy system has on employee experience: 

  • 52% of workers said they have “become dissatisfied at work due to missing or mismatched software.”
  • 24% of respondents said they have “considered looking for a new job” because they “didn’t have the right software.”
  • 13% of employees said they have actually left a job because of the software their employer required them to use.


Employee turnover is an extremely costly issue for every single organization, and not just in terms of money. The time it takes to recruit, interview, hire, and onboard a new employee sets back your productivity by a long shot. And what’s more, is that after onboarding a new employee, there is a significant lapse in time before they work at total productivity. For most organizations, it takes between 5 to 8 months for any given new hire to reach this threshold. Pair this with the fact that it can cost up to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace their role, and you can quickly see how expensive turnover is. 

Stop losing great talent because your tools and technology frustrate them and keep them from doing their jobs. Take the necessary steps to update your technology and ensure your team has the support they need to succeed. Your finance department (and hiring team!) will thank you. 

4 Hidden Costs of Using Legacy Tech Stacks Share on X

Inability to Integrate

A lesser recognized consequence of keeping a legacy system as opposed to updating your tech stack is the loss of integrations your organization will face. Newer and more frequently updated systems have more of an opportunity to integrate with other systems, helping to centralize your organization’s data and reducing the time spent jumping between several different software. 

Organizations may have employed legacy technology for years or even decades, so it’s common sense to realize that software made in 1999 might not be compatible with current systems that have upgraded security measures and new integration capabilities. Knowing this, the case for updating your legacy tech stack becomes even more robust.

After going through four hidden costs you’re taking on by not updating your legacy tech, it’s clear you need to keep a close eye on your tech stack and look into updates frequently. The talent technology landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies and tools emerging daily. Staying on top of all these tools and deciphering which ones would add value to your company has become a full-time job that many organizations simply don’t have the time for. 

That’s where TTL comes in. As leading experts in the talent technology landscape, we have the expert-backed research and insights you need to make an informed decision about the tools and technologies you’re using. When you lean on us for support and advice, you gain a trusted partner for the long haul with more than a decade of proven success to help you navigate updating your legacy system intelligently.

For more information about how TTL can advise you on which tools and technologies will work best for you now and in the future, reach out to us today.