Transform Legacy – Enable Innovation

Ana AndradeApplication ModernizationLeave a Comment

Legacy Transformation - Enabling Innovation

Nice title from Dale Vecchio, the Gartner analyst covering the application modernization space. Indeed this was the title of Dale’s presentation at Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit in Las Vegas, Dec 1-3, 2015.

The thrust of Dale’s presentation was that IT Modernization is now inevitable and is being driven primarily by demographic change, aided and abetted by technological alternatives. He gave some great examples such as millennials using Venmo to share payments with friends – Venmo being a digital wallet but that still requires users to have a bank account – and then joined the dots to payments being made through telcos. The implication being the negation of the need to even have a bank account.

We’ve blogged about the barriers that legacy systems present to innovation within financial services, in particular, and recently extended that discussion to the very real threat legacy systems pose from a security standpoint.

So why, as Dale put it, do people treat them as “leprosy” systems rather than legacy systems? Whatever the reason, there are options out there for modernization and the time has come to start addressing the real issues.

Gartner has a useful methodology to help with the process of application rationalization and logically decomposing the IT monolith. It starts with an approach called Pace Layers to categorize existing applications into Run/Differentiate/Innovate, moves through application portfolio management to assess cost/rick/value, and ends with the TIME model to decide on the best course of action for each application.

Other interesting tidbits from Dale’s presentation…

A survey of the audience (I’d guess over 100 people) showed that the primary concerns driving legacy modernization were:

  • Lack of business agility (65%)
  • Current or likely skills shortage (25%)
  • Cost of maintaining the legacy system (10%)

The skill shortage is exacerbated in Federal agencies where there has historically been longer tenure and where the numbers of those due to retire is snowballing (600,000 by September 2017).

Maybe Dale has created a new tag line for Morphis, “The Leprosy Cure,” and then again maybe not. Sorry Dale!

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