Technical Debt - Is your Legacy IT holding your Business Back?

A business man held back by a long arm indicating technical debt

Posted on Friday, August 5, 2016

Every CTO is well aware of the impact that legacy IT has on operations. Your processes will only ever move as fast as the slowest system which create bottlenecks and delays at certain points.

Generally these problems arise because of the highly customized nature of your environment. You have built and modified platforms so that they closely map to your processes. Known as “technical debt” this rigidity causes two problems:

  1. Inflexible platforms are unable to cope with the demands for change imposed by a digital transformation agenda.
  2. Replacing heavily customized legacy systems is time-consuming and expensive. And not without their inherent risks.

Although necessary, the repayment of technical debt is a major undertaking – which is why businesses struggle along with their existing infrastructure for as long as possible. The reality is that this “path of least resistance” approach is potentially more expensive in the long run. The inability to deliver products and services quickly gives your more agile competitors an edge that they will exploit at your cost.

In order to replace legacy hardware, the CTO must overcome three challenges:

  1. Keeping the lights on.
  2. Funding the acquisition of new systems (or in the case of cloud, services).
  3. Managing the transition process, including data transfer, training and configuration.

But there is a way to approach the first two challenges, freeing up resources so you can focus on the third – third party maintenance.

TPM – helping you prepare for the future

Third party maintenance provides a number of benefits which can give you the space, time and finances you need to prepare and execute a program of upgrades to support future operations. Partnering with a TPM provider gives you enhanced flexibility too – you can consolidate all of your support contracts into a single agreement for instance, even where equipment from multiple vendors is a factor.

And as equipment reaches end of service life, a TPM provider can ensure no loss of service – your lights stay on for as long as you need.

TPM support costs are also typically 40-70% cheaper than their OEM equivalent, so you free up much-needed cash that can be re-invested in the upgrade and migration project. Once completed, the ageing hardware can finally be retired and disposed of securely, or re-purposed for non-mission critical applications – which means even greater savings in the future too.

Technical debt is a serious problem that threatens the profitability, and even the future, of your business. Maintaining the current status quo is simply not an option.

To learn more about how CDS can help your business overcome technical debt, please get in touch.