We all know about the importance of avoiding the debt trap when it comes to our personal finances.
But there are striking analogies between this concept, and the world of IT. Unfortunately, as technology decision-makers, we often pay much less heed to the warnings of IT legacy debt.
Confronted with a sprawling tangle of legacy infrastructure – often built up over decades – organisations often debate whether to continue maintaining their legacy infrastructure, or “rip and replace” with modern systems.
But the reality is not always so black and white. In many cases, it’s possible to leverage existing legacy infrastructure – such your ERP, CRM, HR or Business Intelligence systems.
By integrating these with the right architecture, it’s possible to transform these ageing systems into flexible and dynamic platforms – capable of supporting the organisation’s transformation efforts.
This is an exciting thought for technology decision-makers. They can forget about debates surrounding sunk costs, investment write-down periods, amortisation, or contract lock-ins. They can forget about having to make sweeping changes to processes or jobs and roles.
Put simply, it’s possible to “work with what you’ve got” but still delivery radically different results.
Your new journey of simplicity generally starts with a clear understanding and groupwide agreement on the business strategy, and on how technology will support that strategy.
Once these principles are established, you’re able to interrogate your legacy systems to determine which are most relevant to the future, or which contain key processing or data capabilities, that are core.
From there, selecting the right platform that can interface with your core legacy systems – to expose the right data, services, logic and functionality to the relevant individuals. These could be employees, partners, customers, executives, or any other stakeholder.
This data can then be surfaced and rendered in the optimal way, across any device or platform – from complex web-based interfaces, to sleek smartphone apps, to wearable technology or even augmented reality devices.
Not only does this allow you to generate greater value from your existing technology assets, but you can now leverage the skills already within the team. In fact, with a platform now in place to deliver new digital solutions with unprecedented speed, you’re in a much better position to retain top talent.
Like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, core systems magically transform into agile application delivery solutions.
The biggest upside: no more legacy debt!
The ultimate result is the ability to maneuver into position as new market opportunities emerge, and deliver exceptional digital experiences – across any channel, to any user in time to compete effectively.