Legacy Systems in Digital Era: balancing Archiving and innovation


In today’s era of digital transformation, businesses face unprecedented challenges and opportunities. The rapidly advancing technological change forces organizations to rethink their business models, modernize their practices, and implement digital strategies to remain competitive. Transformation is ubiquitous – from the way we communicate to new approaches in management and operations. However, amidst this tumultuous sea of change, we must not lose sight of a critical aspect: the archiving of legacy systems.

Legacy systems, often referred to as “Altsysteme” in German, are the backbone of many companies. They contain valuable data and functions built up over years. While the focus is on innovation and the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, there’s a risk that these older systems may be viewed as relics of the past and neglected. However, this attitude can lead to costly mistakes.

Archiving legacy systems is not just a matter of data backup; it’s a strategic decision that can save significant costs. Through careful analysis and preservation of old data and functions, companies can ensure they don’t lose critical information during transformation. Furthermore, archiving enables more efficient resource utilization. Instead of squandering resources on maintaining outdated and possibly inefficient systems, companies can preserve the best parts of their old systems through archiving while focusing on the development and implementation of new technologies.

The challenge lies in finding a balance. Digital transformation requires courage, innovation, and the willingness to cut ties with the past. At the same time, it requires some wisdom and foresight not to discard the past carelessly. Companies that manage to archive their legacy systems effectively will not only save costs but also secure a solid foundation for future growth and innovation.
In summary, digital transformation is a complex process that requires comprehensive consideration. In addition to adopting new technologies and practices, companies must also keep an eye on their existing systems and data. Archiving legacy systems plays a crucial role in this regard. It enables companies to learn from their history, save valuable resources, and prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The various costs listed individually:

Maintenance Cost

The costs for maintaining outdated systems can be considerable, especially when specialized knowledge is required to support old technologies. Archiving can significantly reduce these costs.

Operating Cost

Legacy systems often run on outdated hardware, which is inefficient and can incur high energy costs. By archiving and shutting down these systems, energy and operating costs can be reduced.

Licensing Cost

Many legacy systems require licenses for software (applications and databases) that are no longer in use. Archiving these systems can avoid unnecessary license fees.

Storage Cost

Outdated databases and applications occupy valuable storage space. Archiving allows for more efficient use of storage space, which in turn saves costs, especially when applications are on high-availability storage.

Compliance and Security Cost

Maintaining compliance and security for outdated systems can be laborious and expensive. Through archiving, companies can reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities and lower the costs of compliance requirements.

Upgrade and Integration Cost

Legacy systems can hinder the adoption of new technologies and drive up the costs of upgrades and integrations. By archiving or consolidating these systems, companies can reduce complexity and minimize the costs of integrating new solutions.

Emergency Recovery and Backup Cost

Maintaining backup and emergency recovery processes for outdated systems can be expensive. By archiving these systems, companies can simplify their emergency recovery strategies and reduce associated costs.

Costs associated with maintaining personnel and expertise on legacy systems:

Maintaining specialized knowledge and providing personnel familiar with the intricacies and maintenance of legacy systems requires significant investment. These costs can be significantly reduced through the archiving of legacy systems, as the need to retain specialized personnel exclusively for the maintenance of these systems is reduced or eliminated.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked is the fact that legacy systems are often kept for much longer than required by legal retention periods. This practice can significantly increase costs for companies. A classic example of this is HR systems. These systems contain sensitive employee data that may only be retained for a certain period according to various legal regulations. Nevertheless, organizations and companies tend to store these systems and the data they contain far beyond the required deadlines.

By actively managing these types of costs and sensibly archiving their legacy systems, companies can not only save financial resources but also create a more agile and efficient IT infrastructure ready to tackle the challenges of digital transformation.

At AvenDATA, we support companies of all sizes worldwide in efficiently archiving their legacy systems.

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