Phasing out the Mainframes
Many organizations are facing the end of life for their core legacy systems. These systems, often mainframes or the like, have been enabling critical business functions for the last 25-30 years. When faced with the reality that the legacy systems are becoming a hindrance to business agility and growth (not to mention the daily risk of instability), you are the IT executive being looked at for the answer. Replacing legacy systems usually has lots of upsides for the business – greater efficiency, new functionality and business agility – but it also comes with incredible delivery risk and expense.
Due to their longevity, building these systems does not happen many times in a career. This creates another challenge – experience and skills in modernizing the core legacy system are typically non-existent internally. That leaves you with two choices: (1) building an internal capability, which will take time or; (2) hiring a large system integrator which is very, very expensive which should address some of the delivery risk but does not necessarily leave your organization capable of supporting it going forward (e.g. “no one ever gets fired for hiring company ABC”).