Time for a 21st century upgrade?

1999 was a memorable year, but does your business software hail from the last century?

1999 was a memorable year, but does your business software hail from the last century?

Martin Coyle
explains why so many bakers are still trading like it’s 1999.

In recent weeks, we’ve had a flurry of calls about computer systems that are a bit, well, creaky, to say the least.

Business software, and particularly bakery-specific software, that once did an adequate job now seems clunky, restrictive and even error-prone to its users. Even worse, it may be running on redundant, insecure technology.

It is not uncommon for callers to be struggling with applications that are still reliant on Windows XP, for example, or the Access 2000 database. Both are so old that they are no longer supported by Microsoft.

But while they are certain they need to upgrade to something better, callers worry about the upheaval that could be caused by installing anything new.

We know that busy bakeries don’t do downtime. So, happily, the Cybake team is well geared up for this situation. To make sure there is minimal disruption to the bakery, we copy data from a new customer’s existing spreadsheets, reports and software applications. We then take the data back to our York HQ and carefully repopulate it all into a brand new Cybake system.

Customisation happens before Cybake goes live. This way, our customers can carry on as normal. After that, our implementation team comes in to provide an ultra-smooth switchover from old to new.

But why now? Why are we being contacted by so many bakers with the same concerns about their ageing software at the same time?

Interestingly, nearly all of these systems were first installed around the turn of the century. Remember 1999? Tony Blair was prime minister, the must-have mobile phone was the Nokia 3210 and, for most people, the internet was still on dial-up.

It was also the era of the millennium bug. Told that their current systems might grind to a halt on January 1, 2000, many big businesses were persuaded to rip out old I.T. systems and replace them. At the same time, smaller firms were adopting a new wave of low-cost PC server-based applications that had finally put business management systems within their reach.


The combination of these two factors along with the dot com boom made this a bountiful time for the I.T. industry. However, although many of these new software systems advertised themselves back then as “e-business-ready”, internet age products, by today’s standards they were primitive.

This is not surprising. In 1999, the always-on, data-driven and increasingly paperless world of today was over a decade away. Google, the new kid on the search engine block, had only been up and running a matter of months. Even Facebook wouldn’t make its debut for another five years.

While legacy software systems from this era may have had some updates since then, many have not really kept up with today’s technology. Without continuous investment in their development, they struggle to “talk” to other systems like EPOS tills, weighing hardware or even standard accountancy applications. They don’t take advantage of modern advances in cloud, big data analytics and mobile computing.

So, if you are finding that your systems seem have become dated and inflexible for what you want to do today, why not call us on 01904 622888 for a chat or drop us a line at info@cybake.co.uk or via our contact page?

We are happy to visit your bakery, scope out your old systems’ limitations and suggest ways we can help. Cybake’s modular model means you will only pay for what you need.

Our hybrid cloud approach means you can mix and match your applications and host them where you want. And our work in mobile computing will mean that you can control your bakery business on any device, anywhere.

If you are due for an upgrade, you can be confident that we’ll know how to meet the challenges facing your bakery in this century, not the last.


Update: check out John Prendergast’s research into the roadblocks bakers face when upgrading, and some tips on best practice, here