Technology moves fast, and, sometimes, enterprises saddled with legacy solutions get stuck, while the competition keeps moving. Unfortunately, new research suggests this is an all-too-common scenario. In some cases, established enterprises are under pressure from startups born and bred in the digital age. Legacy systems can’t always support the digital transformation companies envision, and it’s slowing or even stalling progress.

In fact, new research from Forrester suggests legacy monitoring tools are bringing digital transformations to a screeching halt. The study found just 12% of organizations have fully transitioned to modern monitoring tools, suggesting the use of legacy infrastructure and application-monitoring tools remains pervasive. Meanwhile, 86% of respondents reported that they use at least one legacy tool. More than one in three respondents (37%) say they rely completely on legacy tools, while 49% use a combination of modern monitoring tools and legacy monitoring tools.

Monitoring is vital in today’s connected world for enterprises looking to quickly identify and resolve issues in their IT systems. An outdated toolset can directly or indirectly have negative consequences, such as increased security risks, higher costs for IT support, and subpar service. Forrester says companies that rely on legacy tools risk falling behind on the agility curve. Compared to companies using modern tools or a combination of modern and legacy tools, enterprises using legacy tools tend to put less emphasis on investing in digital experiences and using automation. Specifically, 81% of companies using modern or a combination of modern and legacy tools say investing in digital experience technologies is a priority, versus just 57% of companies using all legacy tools. Similarly, 71% of companies using modern or a combination of modern and legacy tools say they prioritize automation compared to just 57% of companies using all legacy tools.

Complexity can also hamper innovation and slow digital transformations. One-third of companies (33%) in Forrester’s study say they are using 20 or more infrastructure and application monitoring tools. With this level of complexity, businesses are far less able to remain nimble and adjust to changes in the market than those businesses using fewer tools. For those using a ton of different tools, their IT teams are often stretched thin, and this can complicate their ability to research and train up on new technologies. A lack of time to learn new technologies is the No.1 obstacle companies say they face when using legacy monitoring technologies, followed by a difficulty supporting new technologies quickly, a lack of support for hybrid IT, and IT complexity.

Without agility, businesses aren’t on the fast track to success. Markets will change. The competition will get smarter and more innovative. Meanwhile, an enterprise that can’t future-proof its IT systems may be destined to live in the past. This method of doing business is more about surviving than thriving. In order to innovate, enterprises need to constantly re-evaluate existing solutions and look for ways to ensure they’re using the latest and most innovative tools to help their businesses grow.

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