What is a Legacy IT System?

A legacy IT system is an application or platform that is outdated, cumbersome and difficult to update. Legacy systems are bespoke products typically developed to handle high-volume complex data. It is estimated that as many as four in five IT systems run on legacy platforms. Maintaining and upgrading legacy systems often become a headache for CTOs or IT Directors.

Problems With Legacy IT Systems
  1. Scaling – Legacy platforms often have difficulty in scaling up, especially when there are a variety of products and services offered. Scaling limitations can prevent businesses being able to introduce new services and products and see a loss in competitive advantage.
  2. Security – Maintaining security on legacy systems is difficult because threats evolve, whilst a bespoke system remains the same without regular releases. Mainframe password protocols can also make it hard for users to change passwords.
  3. Dependency – When there is a single Developer responsible for maintaining the system it can cause huge problems if they leave the business without explaining how they developed the platform and best practice for managing it. Not only this, dependency can prevent business leaders being able to change processes quickly and independently.
How Bespoke Systems Become Outdated

There are a number of different ways in which a companies’ IT function can become a legacy system.

  1. Obsolete Hardware or Software – When the software language in which your system is coded becomes obsolete it becomes difficult to find anyone who is able to work on the system.
  2. Inheritance – When you inherit a new or old system from a business merger or acquisition and there is no documentation on the system.
  3. Coding – When a system is modified, especially by different people with different unrecorded methods, it becomes more complex. The harder the code is to understand the more difficult it will be to modify or build on.

Following the acquisition and merger of two separate businesses, Intechnica provided a private equity house with an objective view of two legacy IT systems belonging to attraction pass companies. We then recommended the best way in which to unify disparate systems and generate business value using the technology available. Following on from our advice, we were commissioned to lead their Technical Transformation project.

We help businesses migrate from legacy IT systems and become agile in the marketplace with a range of services covering Digital Transformation, Software Development, and Product Innovation. Book a free consultation by getting in touch with our team of experts.

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