IT Legacy Systems Modernization and Reengineering.
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Legacy IT - A Drag on Businesses – Why, Why…

7/26/2021 | Posted by Jose Florem | 0 comments

Photoby Yan Krukov from Pexels

But why are they a drag on the businesses?

From the users’ point of view,they work—kind of, because they do produce results, and have been doing so for a long time. But are they effective, efficient, and do their best to facilitate theirwork? In the best of ways? And at what cost and opportunity cost?

Do they give the user theflexibility to enhance their work; allowing them to provide better service tothe customer? Is it just good, good enough? And, again, at what cost?

IT services and supportsinternal operations—like accounting, etc. And support customer-facing operations,like sales and customer services, etc. We are talking about (all sizes)organizations’ operation; Accounting, Sales, Inventory management, etc.

For the developers maintainingand enhancing them (IT resources), are they making the best use of their timeand experience? Are they efficient and agile from the developer's point of viewto permit and facilitate serving their users to enhance the user's experienceand deliver results fast, allowing or facilitating the best customer service? Arethe business procedures followed today the most effective and cost-effective?

Butwhy is this situation so widespread?

The IT industry reports a verybad score in this area (#), reflected both in the failure rates of conversions andmigrations (50% unsuccessful), and the number of legacy applications still inuse with outdated, inefficient software architectures. This applies to bothCommercial Software (third party application packages) and “Home Grown”software (developed in-house or highly modified application packages) (#). Thelatter seems to comprise the majority of cases.

Both situations exhibit“Legacy” issues. The commercial package may keep, reflect, legacy attributesand sometimes are simply older versions still in use (and kept because they haveundergone extensive modifications). Homegrown applications also fall victim tothem (#). Both reflect outdated development practices that increase the costsof operations.

By continuing these badpractices, unchallenged, by doing quick and fast fixes, and postponing doingthe right thing increases the Technology Debt. A debt that has to be paidsooner or later.

Whois Responsible?

Should we blame Management (supervisors,line-of-business managers, and corporate management)?Sure they have a part of the responsibility. What about IT Management andleadership? They sure bear the “Lion’s share” of responsibility. And what aboutthe Developers—Systems Analysts and Programmers? Of course, they share bigresponsibility too.

Here I am somewhat simplifyingthe situation with just Management (Line of business and C level), ITmanagement (CIO), and Development. Of course, there may be layers in IT(Business Analysts, Systems Analysts, Developers, and infrastructure) as well asthe users and their (Line) management who also bear responsibility. They (us)all share in the blame. Bear with me…

To see how to let’s start with uppermanagement (CEO). It is oftentimes too separated from IT. Still today wesee many situations in which the IT (CIO) does not report directly to the CEO.This has been talked about for decades! (#)

IT management is next to blame,perhaps the most.  They have a leadershiprole that should radiate upwards toward the CEO (or CFO) and laterally to otherleaders (Line-of-Business managers, like Accounting, Sales, etc.) and theirpeople, and should especially radiate downward toward his/her IT resources.

These IT resources; Developers,Programmers and Analysts, and infrastructure, also share great responsibility!They are the technology “Experts”. They have an obligation to keep up withtechnology improvements and push their use when appropriate; for the good ofthe organization and themselves.


Wehave the wisdom, experience, and knowledge to make it right.

Note: ‘#’ will bereplaced with references to other sources.

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