January 31

Why Change Your Legacy System?

Firstly, let’s be clear on what is a Legacy System:

A Legacy System typically denotes or refers to software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use.

The key factors that dominate the decision making process surrounding Legacy Systems of most management teams across many industry sectors are therefore explicit within the terms of the definition above, i.e. “superseded” and “difficult to replace”.

Most IT systems have entwined with other IT systems overtime to become an enlarged Legacy System. Each simple or complex addition is aimed at further augmenting the automation of key processes and hopefully offering even better reporting on processes, performance and overall efficiencies. These “evolved” Legacy Systems, in most cases operate right from the core of a business through to multiple, and in some cases every, section and division of the business.

This issue stems from a combination of:

  1.  How Legacy IT systems are traditionally developed and provided.
  2. The style of investment in such Legacy IT systems, i.e. large capital investments to grant ownership of the technology.

Why change your Legacy System - Adest

Investing in key infrastructure and/or enterprise software applications previously was a significant time consuming decision, often involving board room validation and following numerous budgetary considerations. Any investment also included significant over-provisioning to ensure capacity for growth. In addition, long term support contracts with rising maintenance costs tied IT strategies to working around, rather than working on, key business challenges. This also removed the focus on the possibility of using new technologies, while also limiting IT budgets and future investment.

Even in today’s world of Cloud based technologies and the associated digital disruption caused by new (Legacy System free) businesses; more often than not companies are still reluctant to investigate ways to either move away or work to improve their competitiveness in conjunction with the incumbent IT systems they use.

There are perhaps a number of reasons for this including:

  • The current legacy system has always been in place therefore management teams are conditioned. They cannot see beyond the institution it has become within their organisation.
  • No time is available to research new IT systems or supplementary applications due to the level of recourses required to maintain the existing system(s).
  • Finance departments are focused on assigning all IT budgets to maintaining existing systems leaving no budgetary bandwidth for the procurement of new systems.
  • It is simply too expensive to remove the old system.
  • New systems will not work in conjunction with the Legacy System in place.

However, the world of business and commerce is rapidly changing and this change is being driven by new technology. Be in no doubt this change is revolutionary, hence being commonly referred to as the digital disruption of traditional business processes and mindsets.

Companies need to be more effective, flexible, and innovative than ever before to keep up with the latest developments and maintain their competitive edge and capacity for growth.

It’s understandable that those with Legacy Systems are suffering. The fear, cost, time and disruption associated with moving away from their incumbent systems is often based on the reality, as outlined above. To transform their existing systems into the modern IT architecture they need to accelerate revenue growth, manage their customer’s experience, and deliver new products and services to the market is either not technically possible or simply too expensive to be considered even a qualitative long term investment.

However, all is not lost for such companies. The core demands for immediate IT transformation can be achieved via flexible investment strategies that bring in new technology (replacing or working with critical existing systems). Flexible investment options can drive innovation and empower such companies to acquire and pay for new technology predictably by focusing on the gaps where legacy systems operate and applying or overlaying new technologies (such as mobile technologies, cloud based technologies and modern user focused interfaces). This means companies can now apply innovative solutions to work in conjunction with core Legacy Systems that will achieve real business objectives.


Adest is focused on applying solutions that address existing IT weaknesses and challenges for companies seeking to grow further through digital innovation. View options of how Adest can ensure your Legacy System works for your company here.


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