8 tips for streamlining legacy IT

Whether for stability’s sake or to support vital business processes, most CIOs still have to retain legacy apps and infrastructure. But that doesn’t have to mean hobbling along.

Despite the acceleration of digital roadmaps and the continuing push to modernize, many CIOs still have old applications and infrastructure in their IT stacks.

Organizations have a few key reasons for holding onto legacy technologies: They’re stable, they’re inherently efficient, and they’re paid for, says Abhi Bhatnagar, a partner at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He worked with one company that had opted to retain a massive mainframe state, noting that “it’s well-run, highly homogenized, and a hugely customized, fully depreciated state.”

At the same time, CIOs may find that replacing some legacy technologies won’t yield high enough returns to make undertaking that modernization work a priority.

“There’s a broad brush that it all needs to be moved to the cloud or SaaS. But the reality is that not all of your portfolio needs to be modernized, especially if it’s stable and efficient as it is,” Bhatnagar says.

Whatever the reason, many CIOs still retain legacy applications and infrastructure.

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