Legacy Systems Not a Trendy Talking Point




Written by Jim Reinertsen, VP of Federal Sales, North America

Last week, Federal Computer Week (FCW) published “Legacy systems still power much of government.” The article opens noting that “Federal agencies spend about 70 percent of their IT budgets on legacy systems and 30 percent developing new systems,” as reported in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published in November. Past readers will know that saving the government, and ultimately the taxpayers’ money, by modernizing and extending legacy systems is a topic this blog addresses regularly.

Micro Focus takes a pragmatic approach; Mary Nugent, Micro Focus’ Vice President of Solutions Consulting, wrote an article for FCW, “Modernize legacy systems or replace them: The debate continues.” Mary provided guidance to help CIOs/CTOs determine whether a legacy system should be considered for replacement or modernization. She proposed five steps (which you can read in detail in the article link above):

  1. The system or application is no longer supported by the vendor.
  2. The system or application is incompatible with future environments.
  3. The system or application could cause harmful operational disruptions.
  4. The system or application is expensive and slow to operate.
  5. The business process has changed.

Given that the federal government is facing unprecedented budget challenges, even if Congress and the White House come to terms to prevent the “fiscal cliff,” doesn’t it make sense to examine tools to extend the life of legacy systems? Especially, as they currently take 70 percent of the federal IT budget. At Micro Focus Federal, we’re doing our part to help agencies with mainframe-based systems and applications reduce their O&M budgets, often in year one. By modernizing, not only can agencies maintain their data and have an extremely low-risk re-platforming process, but also advance their capabilities while significantly cutting costs.

Do you have ideas to help reduce the government’s O&M IT costs? Share your ideas. Connect with us in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter.

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