Legacy Systems – Can’t live with them and won’t live without them!

By Pivot Cloud Solutions

From airlines to high street banks, system crashes are becoming an almost weekly occurrence. Despite what their PR might say, I can assure you that their legacy systems are at the root cause. 

What are Legacy Systems?

A legacy system is a technology that is out of date such that it represents an operational risk to a business.

The classification of a technology as legacy according to (https://simplicable.com/new/legacy-systems) includes”factors such as:

End of Life 

Technologies used by the system including business software, programming languages, operating system and hardware are no longer supported.


The design of the system is largely a mystery to those who are supporting it.


The skills required to support and extend the system are difficult to find in the market.


The system can’t be extended or changes are unusually expensive.

Mean time to repair

When an incident or problem occurs it takes a long time to repair the system.


The system is unable to scale to handle anticipated business volumes.


The system has a limitation such as an inability to handle large numbers or future dates.


Recurring costs such as maintenance are high when compared to modern systems.

Why do they matter? 

Well it is estimated that over 90% of businesses have legacy systems which are costing money, preventing innovation, and are a security risk to boot. eg. “Many banking legacy systems have been running for more than 30-years. An estimated $3 trillion passes through Cobol systems daily.” (By Daniel Döderlein, founder and CEO of Auka).

“According to some estimates, about 71 percent of the IT budget slated for US federal civilian agencies will be spent on maintaining legacy systems next year. This equals more than $34 billion. To put that into context, only $3.1 billion are assigned for the IT modernization in 2017.” (https://www.altexsoft.com/whitepapers/legacy-system-modernization-how-to-transform-the-enterprise-for-digital-future/)

Respondents to a 2013 Forrester Research survey of IT leaders at more than 3,700 companies estimated they spent an average 72 per cent of their budgets on operations and maintenance.

So what’s stopping them from upgrading?

A survey carried out by the university of Surrey found that the majority of businesses would only consider replacing their legacy systems  in case of an emergency, such as a complete system outage. Why? Well until now change that takes place while daily business is still being conducted is disruptive, resource intensive, expensive and may take years. eg. Deutsche Banks IT systems were described as a mess by their chief executive John Cryan and so they  began a five-year plan to reduce complexity.

Pivot Cloud Platform – why you need it?

Pivot Cloud Platform embeds AI into your existing systems and captures your core system business processes and translates them into a modern business format for migration to the cloud without disruption to day to day business.

All this is achieved in a fraction of the usual time, at low cost and low risk. It provides the ability to automate processes, analytics and no-code/low-code development capability. When complete just un-plug your legacy system.