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Legacy Tech Delays Digital Transformation

For many companies, it is necessary to regularly update their digital strategies to stay competitive. But old tech systems can make this an onerous task.

Digital transformation is a process where businesses utilize advances in technology to reinvent their digital operations. In a survey by Vanson Bourne and SnapLogic of 500 UK and US IT companies across various industries, 55% of respondents said that over-reliance on legacy technology and lacking the right tech tools is one of the biggest challenges to their digital transformation. About half of those polled said that internal politics and cultural resistance disrupt their digital transformation efforts.

A September 2018 survey by IDG of 200 US IT executives showed similar results. In IDG’s study, 64% of respondents said that outdated and legacy infrastructure is one of the main impediments to their IT transformation.

One thing that makes it tough for companies to overcome legacy systems is that their workers can become used to relying on the technology they’re familiar with, even if it is outdated.

Fatih Bakay, solution engineer of customer experience at Oracle, previously told eMarketer: “It's hard to leave the legacy systems behind you and then make it to the transformation. [Many marketers] are relying on their legacy systems for as long as they are working.”

Marketing analytics is an example of a digitally-focused tactic that legacy systems stifle. In a July 2018 survey of 560 marketing professionals worldwide conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 36% of respondents said that legacy systems were one of the biggest roadblocks preventing implementation of real-time analytics.

Legacy systems can also make it difficult for companies to get on board with new technologies.

In an April 2018 survey conducted by Deloitte of 1,053 senior executives worldwide from companies with at least $500 million in annual revenues, about four in 10 respondents said that replacing or adapting to legacy systems is one of the biggest barriers preventing them from investing more in blockchain.