Why You Should Consider Upgrading That Old Control Panel

Why You Should Consider Upgrading That Old Control Panel

The Risks of Using Outdated Control Panels

I've been in this industry long enough to see control panels come and go. Many manufacturers promise great new features and an easy transition. However, sticking with an outdated system comes with real risks that facility managers often overlook. Let's discuss why upgrading from that old control panel makes sense.

First and foremost, cybersecurity is a major concern with aging control panels. Most legacy systems were designed before the risk of hacking was well understood. They lack modern encryption and other protections. This leaves buildings and equipment vulnerable to cyber attacks. With control panels increasingly networked, the threat is greater than ever.

Upgrading to a newer panel with enhanced cybersecurity is crucial. This protects your investment and reduces liability should a breach occur. Simply put, an upgrade greatly reduces the attack surface for hackers.

Outdated panels also have compatibility challenges. If you need to expand or alter your building's systems, an old panel may not work with modern devices. Trying to integrate new technology on legacy hardware can be a nightmare. An upgrade sidesteps these concerns and allows seamless integration as needs change.

There are also reliability issues to consider. Parts and support for obsolete control panels dry up. Finding replacements for failed components gets difficult. Technical help can be hard to come by. This leads to increased downtime and costs when problems arise. A new panel keeps everything running smoothly.

Key Benefits of Upgrading Control Panels

Now that we've covered the risks of outdated panels, let's discuss some of the biggest benefits of upgrading:

Assessing Your Current Control Panel

If you aren't sure whether your building's current control panel needs an upgrade, here are key considerations:

Carefully weighing these factors will reveal whether your current control panel is creating unnecessary risks or headaches. If so, the time for an upgrade is now.

Developing an Upgrade Plan

Once you've decided to upgrade, develop a plan to make the transition seamless:

With proper planning and training, the upgrade process can go very smoothly. The long-term benefits will quickly outweigh the short-term growing pains.


Upgrading aging facility control systems is one of the wisest investments a building owner can make. The improvements in reliability, efficiency, scalability and security are substantial. While excuses abound for maintaining the status quo, the risks and limitations only increase with time. Rather than waiting for disaster to strike, be proactive. Follow the guidance provided here for a successful panel upgrade that saves money while better positioning your building for the future. The benefits will speak for themselves.