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March 14, 2024
1 min read


Key Points:

  • Maintaining legacy systems is often just about not dying and lacks strategic vision
  • The story of a bank stuck with an old core banking system due to lack of strategic planning

In the article “The Art of Not Dying,” Leda Glyptis discusses the common practice in organizations of treating legacy systems as long as they continue to function without significant problems. She draws parallels to a personal story of a hospital emergency with the basic goal of not dying, which she then relates to tech transformation in the workplace. Glyptis highlights the importance of setting higher aspirations than just survival for legacy systems, especially in an evolving digital landscape.

Glyptis uses the example of a mid-sized American bank stuck with an old core banking system, and how the lack of strategic planning led to complications when the only person who understood the system unexpectedly passed away. The bank ended up in a costly and binding contract with the system provider for 30 years, showcasing the dangers of relying solely on the survival of legacy systems.

She stresses the need for organizations to move beyond the mentality of just not dying and to embrace strategic planning and risk management in maintaining and upgrading their tech estate. As digital advancements continue to shape the financial services industry, organizations must prioritize innovation and relevance over simply surviving with outdated systems. Glyptis urges leaders to avoid being caught in a situation where short-term survival leads to long-term consequences, emphasizing the importance of strategic decision-making and planning in tech transformation.

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