Legacy IT systems don’t need to be scrapped for your firm to remain competitive in the digital era. As I explained in my previous post, a thoughtful, iterative approach to modernizing your IT environment is the key to making legacy IT a valuable and relevant asset.

By deconstructing and reconstructing your legacy IT system, you can equip your firm to meet the challenges of today’s digitally-driven business environment while making the most of your IT dollars. Once components are identified, firms can give thought to what they want to achieve and how to best accomplish those objectives through blending legacy and digital capabilities.

Modernizing legacy IT for speed and agility

Speed and agility in all things is a digital era mantra. Yet these are not qualities typically associated with legacy IT systems. However, by creatively combining legacy IT systems and architectures with digital capabilities, your firm can encourage a digital transformation that meets today’s digital demands.

For example, firms can gain needed flexibility by shifting workloads off core legacy systems to cloud environments during seasonal transaction spikes. Likewise, data acceleration tools allow firms to swiftly move non-transactional and read-only data throughout their entire ecosystem, resulting in agile data interaction and strengthening the exchange between data consistency and availability.

One firm modernized its legacy environment by implementing a data lake around its existing core banking system, capturing read-only transactions and data. This process helped accelerate time to market by six months and freed up 50 percent of capacity to be diverted to other processing needs.1

How to leverage legacy systems to stay competitive

If you’re ready to make the most of your legacy IT investment in the digital era, there are important steps you should take.

First, in considering how to integrate legacy with digital, you need understand the business requirements. For example, will you want to open backend systems in response to changes in digital channels? Are you still getting value from increased compute requirements? How do you intend to keep complex legacy systems up and running while increasing efficiency? There are potential compliance and cyber security issues that should be planned for in advance as well.

There are discovery tools and cognitive agents that can help you get a clear view into your legacy applications so you can make the right choices about your modernization approach—one that can deliver the most business value for each application. It is also critical to evaluate which applications can deliver the greatest business benefit. These are the applications that make the most sense to modernize.

After you’ve determined the appropriate legacy landscape for your organization, you should consult with a systems integrator or your architecture staff to determine how to modernize with the least amount of disruption.

Lastly, a comprehensive modernization plan that incorporates both business and IT objectives should be the guiding force behind a transformation that can help you turn your legacy IT into a valuable, digital era business asset. Legacy IT investments, managed properly, can provide the foundation for a digital transformation that meets today’s digital demands.

For more information about modernizing the IT environment, please see Accenture’s report, Modernization in the Digital Era.



  1.       Modernization in the Digital Era,” Accenture 2016. Access at: Modernization in the Digital Era



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