Feeds

When does a system become legacy?

The hero to zero of IT systems

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Last time we were interested in understanding a bit more about the state of our IT systems, and whether we were being held back by what we could loosely term 'legacy'. Perhaps a trickier question to answer however, is how we decide whether a system is legacy or not.

In the ideal world, when we built IT systems, we'd do so with a good understanding of requirements, and quickly enough that it would deliver a useful service on day one. Even if we had such an IT Shangri-La however, it would only remain so for a short while. Things change, and so therefore does the relevance of any given system. All systems follow some kind of decay curve, where consecutive events impact on a system's effectiveness such that after a point, the benefits of having the system in place no longer outweigh its costs.

To further complicate things, we need to keep in mind that we're not thinking about monolithic and isolated application stacks any more. Modern systems are more likely to be integrated with each other, and have dependencies with off the shelf components such as workflow engines and content management tools. Perhaps we should even throw virtualisation into the pot - is a legacy application running on a legacy OS still legacy, if the whole lot is packaged up into a virtual image running on a blade server?

How, then, should legacy be measured? Is it worth reviewing systems for such things as "functional coverage" (OK, I just made that up) and 'business relevance', or is it just a case of waiting for the complaints to reach a certain level? Are there any tell-tale signs of when a system slips in the value rankings, and should therefore be relegated to legacy status? Or is the only valid approach to be ad-hoc and reactive, to deal with the fall-out of decisions such as new system deployments, merger activity and so on? Let us know what you think.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?