Forget Legacy Apps, Fix Legacy Processes

Forget Legacy Apps, Fix Legacy Processes

Having to maintain legacy apps running on outdated hardware is the bane of many an IT professional’s life. Gartner analyst Rick Howard reminds us that the problem is unlikely to be fixed if we don’t also rework the processes associated with those apps.

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Speaking on the first day of Gartner Symposium 2013 on the Gold Coast (which Lifehacker IT Pro will be covering throughout this week), Howard made the point in the context of government tech rollouts, but it’s more broadly applicable:

We spend a lot of time as IT pros talking about legacy applications. We don’t talk about legacy government — about how these agencies have come up over time to solve a particular social problem but create much the same infrastructure and processes that are echoed throughout the rest of the government.

Government projects too often build new technology where there’s no real benefit from doing so, Howard said. “We should not be building any case management solution from the ground up, ever. It’s a waste of money and time and the solutions are out there anyway.”

The lesson for all of us? We should reuse processes from elsewhere in the business, and not reinvent the wheel merely for the sake of defending our own boundaries.