4 inspirational examples of legacy systems modernisation

We all know how hard it is to get rid of that old car. You have many memories associated with it and it always got you from point A to point B. It still works right? You know you'd love a new model that has new features, that can actually make it up a hill without belching smoke. But new cars are expensive, and the one you have works, right? However, your gas mileage is terrible. It breaks down frequently, and worse it's getting harder and harder to find replacement parts.

You can't seem to find any 8-track tapes any more. You can't plug your phone into the AM radio. The crank on the window has fallen off.

You get the picture. It's time for a new car. With old legacy systems, much like your old wheels, it's often hard to give them up for all sorts of reasons. However in this case modernising is not simply getting newer software, but entirely new systems with features that you never even realised that you were missing. Upgrading to new systems is less like getting a newer model of car, but more like trading your old Buick for a starship.

Let's take a look at some inspirational examples from a few vertical industries.

CRM Adaptation

For many B2B and B2C companies, adaptation to a Customer Relationship Management system may seem like something that is obvious these days. We are long past the era of the Rolodex (how many of you under the age of 35 even know what this is?) for keeping track of our business contacts.

We mostly think of these as a way of providing customised service to customers, but there are many more advantages. With CRM software, we are able to gain create more detailed intelligence about our users, develop new and improved marketing strategies, and make it possible to share information between different representatives within a company.

The data alone can provide the foundation for gaining better business intelligence, using machine learning and AI to develop clearer understanding of business topography and stronger marketing campaigns.

Core Banking Systems

Using Core Banking, or Centralised Online Real-time Exchange, has enabled banks and other financial institutions to completely revolutionise the way that they operate. With older legacy systems, even between branches of the same bank it used to take at least a day for a transaction to reflect in a real account. Each bank would have its own local server and data was only shared via a batch process at the end of the business day.

With Core Banking systems, all branches operate on one system. All information is updated instantly, so there is no wait for balances to be reconciled. Simple processes such as verification of transfers, or any other transaction can happen instantaneously, and often between different banks. Whereas it used to take up to a week for a check to clear, it can typically occur in less than a day, or in some cases instantaneously (assuming banks are using compatible systems)

With Core services, making/servicing loans, opening new accounts, processing cash transactions, interest calculations, and more are now handled instantaneously, with each party operating off of the same data.

ERP Solutions

Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical companies are now adapting to using Enterprise Resource Planning systems.

ERP Solutions help with integration of all business processes into a seamless operation. They can include everything from automation of back-office processes, product planning, development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing, and often synchronising all of these processes in real time. As a result, these help streamline processes, reduce costs, and companies for more flexible. They are able to be more competitive by being able to adapt and respond to change.

Within the pharmaceutical sector, this has been particularly valuable, due to the need to adapt to major transformations associated with increased competition and stringent production rules. ERP enables consolidation and integration of pharmaceutical manufacturing process across multiple units, track sensitive ops like compliance, expiry management, quality, formulation, cost, yield, etc.

Cloud-based Applications

Across almost every vertical is the adaptation to working with cloud-based systems.

The advantages are multifold. License management is much easier to handle; instead of purchasing expensive software, many companies have moved to leasing their office software (such as Office365). Software as a Service (SaaS) is revolutionising the way that may companies operate, providing access to tools that were not previously considered feasible.

Data is able to be kept uniform and secure across an entire organisation, and as a result it is automatically backed up without having to go through normal batch processes, which always had the risk of lost information if something were to occur between batches.

On top of this, cloud computing increases communication ability between staff members and management, and make it lot easier for your employees to be able to access data remotely (at least without having to login via a VPN). This provides companies with a great deal more flexibility


These are only a few examples, and the descriptions are exceedingly brief, but the idea is fairly clear. The advantages of trading that Edsel for a Tesla become obvious. By moving away from old legacy systems, while there is typically some up-front expense, the pay-off in terms of power for your company or organisation becomes patently clear.

Add comment