Most financial services firms realize they must upgrade their IT systems and processes so they can deliver greater value to customers and stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business environment. However, all too often they find themselves stuck in the Legacy Technology Trap, as their efforts to successfully migrate their legacy systems to a new IT environment are thwarted by common pain points involving stalled progress, duplication of effort and the failure to meet both customer and regulatory requirements.

In my previous post, I outlined those pain points. In this post, I want to take a look at the driving factors behind them. Successful legacy technology migration depends on first understanding these drivers and next, developing an agile transformation strategy that avoids the common pain points.

The driving factors behind the Legacy Technology Trap

If your migration is becoming bogged down or not giving the return on investment you think it should, the problem could be “shadow IT” pockets―instances where business divisions have taken a “do it yourself” approach to dealing with obsolete technologies. The proliferation of cloud-based software has contributed to this phenomenon by making it even easier to “go rogue” in attempting to overcome the problems with legacy systems or impatience with a slow migration. In the absence of adherence to a strong, strategic deployment process that has full organizational commitment, shadow IT simply makes the situation worse.

Faced with market competition, R&D and business teams can feel compelled to indulge in uncontrolled product evolution. The problem is, too many solutions and/or solutions that are not tightly aligned to business objectives and outcomes (including a controlled legacy migration strategy) further tap organizational resources and strain technology systems that are in the process of change. This makes a duplication of effort problem even bigger.

Vendors and service providers are more than happy to help you overcome your legacy migration issues. However, the easy availability of packaged solutions that may or may not meet your firm’s needs can undermine coordinated internal efforts that are targeted toward specific business objectives. This translates to added costs, diminished efficiency and a further-stalled migration.

In my next post, I’ll explain how you can simplify and accelerate your legacy technology migration through an agile approach to your migration strategy.

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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