Other parts of this series:
Over the course of this series, I have outlined the characteristics of the legacy technology trap, discussed its root causes, and formulated a new top-down approach to making a business case for overcoming the trap. Now it’s time to specify concrete steps. I will try to do just that in this post.
Step 1: Analyze the enterprise architecture
Escaping the legacy technology trap first and foremost requires a precise analysis of the organization’s IT architecture. This is why it is often a good idea to treat legacy rationalization as an aligned objective in a wider agenda of change.
In this effort, it is essential to refocus the business case—as outlined in my previous post—to satisfy needs at the intersection of business and IT strategy.
A key step at this stage is determining how current (and future) products will be serviced in the target enterprise architecture.
Accenture has frameworks to drive the difficult decisions about product management on the target architecture. These frameworks can help pinpoint where the value lies with each product set, and how it can be serviced in the future.
Step 2: Make the business case for change
With the product rationalization strategy set, you can now focus on the business case for change.
Because the cost savings associated with the removal of legacy platforms may not, on their own, be enough to make the change sufficiently compelling, intangibles can often tip the scales. Accenture’s tools can help highlight measurable financial outcomes from intangibles that may ultimately make the business case.
Step 3: Determine the solution to the legacy problem
Not all legacy platforms are equal in terms of business relevance and shareholder value. In our experience, it is not uncommon to use different tactics for different platforms to achieve rationalization.
Finding the right combination of transformation tactics is a function of engaging carefully with business stakeholders, and applying a healthy degree of judgment.
In some cases, data migration and decommissioning may be the answer. But there are other options for legacy transformation. With Accenture’s tools and capabilities, you can design the most appropriate approach for your needs, including some or all of the following:
- Legacy platform retention
- Sunsetting and decommissioning of applications
Industrialization is key
Industrialization can make a big difference in your legacy transformation. Its impact rests on several principles:
- Putting in place common program capabilities.
- Using offshore and nearshore capabilities.
- Controlling program implementation across geographies.
- Driving predictable data migration.
With Accenture’s tools and capabilities, including our Global Delivery Network, you can ensure more predictable legacy transformation.
Safely decommission legacy applications
As the legacy transformation program nears its conclusion, a series of steps are needed to safely decommission legacy applications. Accenture’s capabilities can serve to:
- Apply due diligence upfront.
- Develop a decommissioning activity plan and monitor it to completion.
- Overcome specific technical challenges, such as incompatible documentation formats, along the way.
- Catalogue and manage an application’s data footprint, which may be dispersed across the enterprise architecture.
- Reverse decommissioning, if needed.
In my next post, I will give you some tips on how you can ensure the legacy technology trap becomes—and remains—a thing of the past.
For more details on Accenture’s tools and capabilities for legacy transformation, download the full Overcoming the Legacy Technology Trap—A playbook for legacy IT transformation in the insurance sector report. You may also be interested in our Escaping Legacy—Why bank’s core systems must be made fit for purpose report.