Legacy Systems Stand In The Way Of (Fill In The Blank)

Ana AndradeApplication ModernizationLeave a Comment

Legacy Systems Barrier

As you might imagine, we have several alerts set up to track news stories and events relating to legacy systems. This week we present two of the most common themes and most interesting recent stories.

1) Legacy Systems Stand In The Way Of…

This is an extremely common theme.

Most recently Legacy systems stand in the way of customization for banks. Research from Pegasystems and Cognizant found a quarter of financial retailers have no plans to offer a fully personalized experience to their customers with 88% of retailers blaming legacy systems for their inability to connect to the data provided by connected devices. At the same time, 68% claim they plan to use data from wearable devices to provide a personalized service by 2021.

Mike Tanner of Hitachi Data Systems said in his FedTech article, “In addition to complexity, legacy systems are preventing IT decision-makers from harnessing available innovative technology that could be used to store and manage data more efficiently, especially as older workers are replaced with younger staff with little legacy technology experience. With the big data revolution inevitable, every industry must challenge its IT environment to make big data business as usual.”

I would contend that legacy systems, while a barrier, are not an insurmountable barrier. Possibly they are used as an excuse (see our recent post Out With The Old And…In With Old (The Innovation Challenge)), and equally a lack of visibility on world class modernization capabilities is causing inaction when addressing legacy systems. After all, bringing data from wearables for use in other systems was a key enhancement Morphis added to MV Sistemas’ Healthcare ERP system when we modernized from Oracle Forms to Java.

2) The Challenge Of Legacy Systems In Federal Agencies

We covered some of the curious decisions made [in some] federal agencies during our post Out With The Old And…In With The Old (that and other dirty little secrets). A lack of upgrades and a lack of support for old software from major software providers led to the malware issues at Melbourne Health whereas the security loopholes that led to the well reported data breaches at the OPM were more broadly blamed on legacy systems.

A recent Solarwinds survey found that 38% of federal IT professionals had seen an increase in the number of IT security incidents but that 28% felt less vulnerable.

And then there was the good news that the 2017 White House budget included a $3.1B revolving fund for legacy system modernization within federal agencies. The fund requires congressional approval but is targeted at applications that have cybersecurity challenges; can easily be cloud-enabled; or simply cost too much to maintain. Understanding which applications are best suited to which modernization approach is not straight forward but we have created a step-by-step guide to help you through this process.

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