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March Modernization Madness: Maintain vs. Modernize


With March Madness well underway, this blog miniseries showcases important modernization topics in a head-to-head matchup style. Installment #6 features our version of the final tournament game as we look at what happens when you choose to maintain your legacy application vs. modernize.  

If legacy applications and systems are not optimal, then why are organizations still expending effort into maintaining them and not modernizing them? Let’s start with a definition to help us solve this mystery. Gartner, Inc. defines a legacy application or system as “An information system that may be based on outdated technologies, but is critical to day-to-day operations.” The latter part of the definition helps shed light as to the why. Many organizations perceive risk associated with potentially disrupting operations due to the criticality a legacy application plays in their day-to-day functions. They fear what happens if the new system doesn’t meet customer expectations or vital data from the legacy system is lost. Also, the notion of doing nothing because it still technically works is another big reason for sticking with legacy applications. These hesitations are common; however, there are many reasons why modernizing makes much more business sense. In fact, there are many risks associated with not doing anything.

Let’s see what it takes to maintain compared to the benefits of modernizing legacy applications and systems.

What Does It Take To Maintain?

Increased costs and decreased productivity go hand-in-hand with legacy applications. The cost to maintain and support legacy applications and systems can be significant. On average, 60-80% of IT’s budget is spent on maintaining and supporting legacy applications. Even though maintenance and support costs may come out of IT’s budget, this has a negative ripple effect throughout the organization. Instead of investing in innovation to remain competitive, the majority of the budget is being pumped into keeping a legacy application running. On top of maintenance and support costs, compliance and security are other areas where a legacy application opens the door to vulnerabilities. Not to mention productivity also suffers. What are seemingly small inefficiencies due to lagging performance can add up over time and be a revenue drain on the business.

The Case for Modernizing

The benefits of modernizing far outweigh the cost and risk associated with maintaining your legacy applications. In a recent poll conducted by Ness, 55% of respondents indicated their organization has seen the most improvement in the quality of service as a result of their modernization initiatives, followed by 28% reporting cost savings as their biggest area of improvement. In addition to these fundamental benefits, organizations can also realize many other positive business outcomes.

These benefits can help you:

  • Increase Agility: Respond to market changes quicker
  • Gain a Competitive Advantage: Reduce time to market
  • Deliver First-Class Customer Service: Cultivate happier customers and foster employee retention
  • Support Scalability: Support your organization’s growth
  • Enable Predictability: Integrate with ease and sustain long-term performance
  • Lower Security Risks: Safeguard your organization with a reliable application that can handle security releases
  • Have Confidence in Data: Make business decisions based on accurate, real-time data
  • Improve Compliance: Be confident you can adhere to today’s stringent requirements (SOX, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.)

To learn more about how you can modernize your organization, contact us today.