• June 17, 2021
  • Catagory Workplace

Legacy IT hampers hybrid workplaces

By : Sanjeev Spolia

The move to remote work was a stark reminder of how legacy IT infrastructure can thwart agility and responsiveness. With hybrid workplaces expected to be the new normal, these issues must be dealt with.

These legacy IT infrastructures can comprise software and systems architectures that have been in place for years or possibly decades. Not only do they make it more difficult to securely support hybrid workplaces, but they can also be a barrier to customer-centric commerce and an organization’s digital transformation efforts.

However, legacy IT infrastructure can be upgraded so you can evolve your platforms to effectively support hybrid workplaces and future proof the organization to meet the challenges of your industry and bolster your security posture.

Legacy IT adds risk to hybrid workplaces

Legacy IT infrastructure is more common in some industries than others, and their impact on the ability to be nimble and flexible in delivering products, services, and support employees at the office and at home can vary widely.

One example that illustrates this digital divide is in the financial services sector, where young fintech companies can challenge large incumbent financial institution. They’re embracing a customer-centric, iterative approach to software development and adopting cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings to meet the needs of business users. Regardless of industry, companies embracing these technologies successfully made the sudden shift to remote work at the start of the pandemic and are in a better position to support hybrid workplaces because they are not anchored by legacy IT infrastructures.

These companies have also avoided what is called “technical debt,” which research firm IDC defines as “work left to do.” If an organization accumulates too much of this debt because of budget pressures and deferred technology investment, legacy IT infrastructures can become brittle to the point where it has a significant impact on business operations.

Technical debt is often left undiscovered until the organization looks to implement major changes as part of their digital transformation efforts or respond to a sudden shift such as the move to remote work or hybrid workplaces. Not only is it hard to identify, it’s also hard for IT people to explain the liabilities and consequences of technical debt to business leaders. Even worse, the phenomenon of “bimodal IT,” wherein legacy systems are maintained while modern technologies and development approaches are adopted concurrently, makes technical debt worse because you end of up two different streams of IT.  You have one that’s nimble and responsive and one that has legacy IT infrastructure that is difficult to manage and secure.

If organizations want to avoid serious consequences and be able to support hybrid workplaces for the long term, they need a plan to migrate away from legacy IT infrastructures completely and avoid bimodal IT.

Start swapping

Legacy IT infrastructures place a heavy burden on security, which is already a serious challenge in the remote work era.  Whether your goal is to embrace digital transformations or support hybrid workplaces, you need to leave legacy IT systems behind.

While it may not be possible to fully eliminate legacy IT infrastructures immediately or completely, a managed cloud services provider can help identify low hanging fruit, applications and data that can be lifted and shift to the cloud, and help you build a modern architecture that better secures remote and supports hybrid workplaces.