Step 1 – Proper Preparation
Software doesn’t get better with age.
Just think about it. There is a good reason your new laptop runs a new operating system. Obviously, your current computer is more powerful and more capable than the one you owned 10 years ago. Similarly, the business you run is not the same and using outdated and underperforming software to manage it is analogous to running Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah) on your new MacBook Pro.
What is a legacy system?
Do you remember the last time you saw a pager? That technology is not as dead as you might have thought. In fact, your own life might depend on it as pagers remain a mainstay communication device in healthcare. Aside from being outdated, pager technology is a huge source of expense. So why is it still so widely used?
The answer is simple: Some systems are just hard to replace – especially the ones that handle vital business processes within an organisation.
Pagers in healthcare are not the only example of such a phenomenon. Commonly referred to as a “legacy” system/technology, it is relatively widespread in a number of other industries, including banking, finance, insurance, and transportation.
A legacy application is “an information system that may be based on outdated technologies, but is critical to day-to-day operations.”
So why bother about modernising them then?
Many of them depend on antiquated programming languages, have hardware or software support issues, and operate with security vulnerabilities.
Legacy systems require modernisation. Based on our research CTRM products on average have a five-year lifecycle.
However, a legacy system is not always defined by its age. It might be due to the lack of support or its inability to meet the needs of a business or organisation that a system is considered to be legacy. Such software is usually difficult (or impossible) to maintain, support, improve, or integrate with the new systems due to its architecture, underlying technology, or design.
That said, among the CIOs we surveyed this year, more than half have to dedicate from 40 to 60 percent of their time to managing legacy IT instead of shifting towards strategic activities. We’ve concluded that legacy technology is a significant barrier to digital modernisation.
Preparing for your Digital Future
Despite the problems and risks related to outdated software, some companies are still lacking legacy-modernisation initiatives. Most of them would only consider re-engineering the current solution in case of an emergency, such as a complete system outage. We have however seen a positive shift towards innovation. When in 2020 only 5 percent of CIOs considered themselves “digital innovators,” 2022 shows that already 32 percent of them claimed to play a leading role in organisation-wide innovation.
I wonder what may have happened globally in the past couple of years to nudge this into an upward trend?????
To bridge the gap between the current offerings and customer expectations, companies need to rethink their business models, making them digital-ready. Legacy software is only one aspect of the problem. Sometimes, a far bigger issue is the mindset that comes with it. That is why proving a business case for software modernisation is the first challenge to be faced by any initiating party.
The business case for software modernisation
Why modernise legacy systems? The following benefits prove that legacy-system modernisation is a vital part of overall business digitisation.