Does digital transformation means getting rid of legacy?

digital transformation legacy

Chances are your business is facing the need of legacy-to-digital transformation. But, does that transition mean that you have to get rid of what you have and start from scratch? Isaac Sacolick, President/CIO of StarCIO and author of Driving Digital, chimes in.

“It depends on your definition of legacy. More importantly, is the technology or business process labeled as ‘legacy’ inhibiting the company’s strategic plans? If the legacy is creating a poor customer experience, is difficult to upgrade, can’t easily be integrated with other applications or data sources, is exhibiting poor performance, requires lots of people to support, or has risky security holes then there probably is good reason/rational to want to get rid of it.”

Your business was not built overnight. So if the company’s strategy is the core of your legacy, you can’t get rid of it immediately. You have to maintain the legacy of the system while you renovate your business technologically, says Sacolick.

Does it mean you have to uproot all things legacy in the organization? That does not have to be the case. As long as your technology is stable and the legacy doesn’t come in the way of innovation, it can continue to exist within the organization.

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What does Digital Transformation involve?

A change in thinking, processes/methods/tools with the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitization of assets leading to newer workflows/metrics and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organisation’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders,” typically are components of digital transformation strategy, as stated by Akshay Sharma, Executive Research Fellow (Consultant) at neXt Curve..

With so much to replace, high tech tools like AI/ML or new algorithms with operational agility are constantly added to the tech stack.

CIOs need their CEOs to take a leap because inaction to be a part of industry 4.0 will only lead to the businesses becoming obsolete in no time. Legacy organizations are not just resistant to change. At times, these organizations even believe that digital disruption is not meant for them, or is not even possible for a business like theirs.

To this lack of vision and enthusiasm, Tushar Bhatkar, CIO & Founder of Arttha Mobile Payments & Banking says that Digital Transformation may not be necessarily about getting rid of legacy, but it is surely about breaking the mindset of teams and organizations that subscribe to the philosophy of — “We always did it this way”.

It’s not about adding new and complicated software, it’s about getting rid of inefficiencies. Not about a business first approach but about enhancing customer experience and improving productivity. Digital transformation spans across processes, people and the way of working; wherein technology can act as an enabler.

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