Challenges of Legacy Systems

Explore the main challenges posed by legacy systems and how they affect business and IT in different ways.

Main Challenges of Legacy Systems

Understanding what drives the need to address legacy issues is the first important step on the path to modernisation. According to Gartner, there are 8 main challenges that prompt stakeholders to find a solution.

Business

Poor digital business support

Embracing digital means introducing new business models and delivering ever more data to customers. When flexibility and scalability are compromised, a system is simply unable to deliver the value business demands.

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Business

Changing requirements

Businesses constantly require software systems to adapt. But what happens when that capability is no longer being met? The tipping point is reached when organisations begin to struggle with integrating new features due to inadequate technology, architecture or functionality.

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Business

High pace of change

Lack of agility is a major obstacle for organisations looking to enhance services. Reduced opportunity for growth also hinders competitive advantage. When a system is unable to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of change, business ends up playing a game of catch-up it can never win.

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Business

Time, cost & risk of change

All processes suffer if time-to-market is holding business back. The cost and risk associated with ignoring this problem over a long period of time are monumental. Taking pre-emptive action by recognising the need for modernisation can help reduce the damage.

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IT

Technical debt

Quite simply, a system is no longer viable when the means are not meeting the end. The longer technical debt is left to accumulate the worse things get. And as with any loan, the trick to paying off the debt is to know the term and manage accordingly. The “temporary fix” approach never works long-term.

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IT

Ageing technologies

All systems and applications inherently age. But when a system has been lagging behind for many years, the time for change can no longer be avoided. Ultimately, IT developers have to weigh up whether the time and expense spent maintaining ageing technologies day-in day-out is worth all the effort.

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IT

Unsupported platforms

Left with an outmoded platform offering zero or limited support? If the answer is yes, you’re one of many businesses facing the same predicament. Having such a system represents a technical burden in terms of scalability and compliance. But it also poses a serious security risk that can affect all aspects of an organisation.

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IT

Skills shortage

Whatever about motivating existing teams to work with unsupported platforms, recruiting new staff to take on the job is an uphill task. Of all the risks legacy systems impose, the impacts they have on opportunities for IT teams to upskill are probably the most detrimental.

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