Solving the legacy problem once and for all

Published 6/5/2018 by Paul Holland, VP of Operations, Advanced

Current business uncertainty will create IT winners & losers – with little in between

There is a sense of unease in the UK business climate as we wait to see how Brexit unfolds. The decisions that organisations make in 2018 and 2019 will determine if this period of uncertainty has the potential to turn them into big winners or big losers – there won’t be much in between. No matter what the final Brexit solution looks like, it will be the companies who have successfully reimagined their business by undertaking a digital transformation who are most likely to become streamlined and agile enough to grab success. Some organisations are currently reaping the benefits of previous years of sound management, but if they rest on their laurels at this critical moment, they risk suffering from a failure of imagination - and this complacency will only store up problems for the future.

The winners of the future will be the organisations that recognise that now is the time for investment, and in particular investment in IT, with a special focus on applications that facilitate digital transformation initiatives.

Solving the legacy problem once and for all

However, even companies focused on investing in IT to power their digital transformation strategies are often avoiding a critical area of renewal. Most large corporations are still heavily invested in core legacy business applications that are essential to the smooth running of their business but are based on decades-old technology. Although these core applications, and the infrastructure required to run them, often consume a disproportionately high share of a company’s IT budget, most CIOs are willing to bear that large cost because they believe it provides a level of robustness, stability, performance and scalability that can’t be found elsewhere. Given the critical nature of the applications they feel this is a reasonable price to pay.

Increasingly these justifications for the high spends related to legacy applications do not stand up. Too many organisations are running enormous application workloads on modern Cloud-centric architectures for there to be any argument that these types of systems can’t provide the same, or even better, performance and robustness as legacy computing environments.

Furthermore, lack of action to modernise legacy applications has now created a brewing perfect storm of issues that will threaten organisations’ ability to maintain these systems for the long-term. The combination of increasing divergence and incompatibility of modern computing technologies and the legacy applications, the massive looming retirement and lack of availability of skilled legacy technicians, and the widening gap of cost of ownership of large legacy computing environments compared to new Cloud solutions will make legacy applications unsustainable for many businesses - or at a minimum put them at a huge competitive disadvantage.

Now, in these times of economic anxiety, companies should move quickly to radically address their legacy systems. The good news is there has never been so many options to modernise and transform legacy applications, move them to the Cloud and address the skills issues. All without exposing your business to undue risk.

Companies that use economic uncertainty to modernise their legacy computing as part of their overall digital transformation initiatives will be the big winners in the digital economy to come.