Is Investing in Legacy Systems Smart?

Okay, that title does come off as a bit pretentious but it really does bring up an area that companies should be thinking about.  Should we continue to invest in adding on, or bolting on if you will, functionality to a system that is becoming more outdated by the day?  CIO’s and operational executives continue to see changes in technology drive innovation.  To keep up with that innovation and more importantly stay ahead of the competition, companies need real time, actionable data to make the decisions necessary to stay on top, or get to the top.  Decision makers no longer have the luxury of waiting until reports are run or until they get back to the office to get the critical information they need to succeed.  The fact of the matter is legacy systems generally are just not up to the task.  The speed and nimbleness required of today’s information systems is just not inherent in those systems.  And sadly, many CIO’s are finding out the hard way that throwing money at bolt on technologies provides only marginal improvements, which are quickly obsoleted by the dizzying pace of information technology innovations.

So the problem seems somewhat obvious, what are the solutions?  Trends in business go through cycles as the years go by.  We have seen the trend in information technology go from custom built, to best-of-breed, to large monolithic “do-it-all” ERP systems.  While the ubiquitous large ERP platforms are here to stay for a while, the trend (out of necessity) seems to be swinging back to best best-of-breed, customized point solutions that address very specific business needs and offer up the speed, deployment options and readily available actionable data needed by today’s executives.  Cloud, mobile, and social have become the triumvirate of these new highly flexible, and totally customizable platforms that can deliver the information needed.  Many of today’s up and coming information technology companies are filling this space and challenging the ERP and legacy system providers with customized, best-of-breed applications that operate outside of the ERP ecosystem.  It will be interesting to see how this trend progresses but ICG Consulting will be ready to help our clients get there with a suite of financial back-office solutions built to stay ahead of the curve.