The imperative to integrate and implement IT systems and processes that can keep up with the pace of change and deliver greater value to customers and the business is now more compelling than ever. Yet across the entire financial services industry, obsolete or aged technology capabilities are hampering the agility firms need to be competitive in today’s volatile and ever-evolving digitally-driven business environment.

The importance of agility in meeting today’s business needs cannot be overemphasized. The Legacy Technology Trap could be considered the “enemy of agility,” essentially creating a situation in which old and obsolete technologies stifle responsiveness in one way or another. And it’s insidious. The Legacy Technology Trap grows and morphs over time, impacting various aspects of the business by making them inflexible and unresponsive.

Symptoms of the Legacy Technology Trap include:

  • Multiple systems-of-record that duplicate each other in offering products and services to the business
  • Poorly understood applications, either because they are old and complex or there are only a few experts in the business
  • Applications that are out of step with business needs and use cases, often due to obsolete technologies
  • Inconsistent or poorly understood integration mechanisms

A legacy technology migration problem is acutely recognizable when it starts to cause common pain points.

The common pain points of the Legacy Technology Trap

If your firm is like many others, it’s likely that you’re experiencing the symptoms of legacy obsolescence and recognize the need to upgrade your IT system, but you’re thwarted by these common pain points when attempting to embrace and integrate new technology:

  • Change processes are too expensive or are becoming bogged down
  • The pace of your transformation is not meeting your customers’ expectations
  • Duplication of effort and inefficiency in driving the migration proliferate across your business
  • Current IT systems, whatever they may be (legacy or otherwise) can’t keep up with ever-changing regulatory requirements

If these pain points sound familiar, your firm is undoubtedly in the Legacy Technology Trap. Getting out of it can be a challenge. After all, legacy transformation is a considerable effort involving implementing a new platform, migrating data, and decommissioning obsolete technologies. It can be costly as well. Justifying a migration on a cost/benefit basis alone is short-sited.

In truth, legacy technology transformation should be driven with business outcomes in mind, and founded in building agility into the organization. The migration itself should be strategically grounded in an agile methodology.

An agile approach drives agility

In this three-part blog series, I’m going to explain how your firm can successfully overcome these common pain points to drive a smoother legacy technology migration by applying an agile approach to creating a legacy technology migration strategy.

In my next post, I’ll exploring the root causes of the Legacy Technology Trap to help you identify exactly what’s holding your firm back from a successful migration.

For more information on overcoming the legacy technology trap, please see the Accenture report: Overcoming the Legacy Technology Trapa playbook for legacy IT transformation in the insurance sector


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