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From lead weight to launch pad

Realizing digital objectives while managing legacy optimization


Multispeed businesses, when running well, use the powerful engine of their legacy applications to help with digital innovation. Ninety-eight percent of executives report they are able to integrate legacy with new technology rather replacing it. At the same time executives say legacy is hindering their organization’s ability to pursue digital innovation, and they do not have the right skills to maintain legacy systems. To address these conflicting needs, these leaders are extracting the value from their legacy systems and data in the short term to enhance digital efforts, while also seeking to address long-term legacy issues.



Legacy and digital do not have to be mutually exclusive pursuits, though many executives see them that way:

  • Eighty-five percent of executives surveyed indicate that legacy inhibits organizations from implementing new digital capabilities

  • Eighty-three percent say they lack the talent to maintain legacy systems

  • Speed, cost and agility are the top issues executives have with legacy

However, faced with the time and cost of replacing legacy systems, these same executives become more hopeful about legacy’s potential to help with digital initiatives:

Legacy information can support digital objectives at the same time that systems and application are being modernized. Rather than deferring digital objectives until legacy is fully remediated and up to date, remarkable results can be achieved by approaching both tasks in tandem.



Organizations with legacy need a clear digital strategy that addresses the role, integration and migration of both legacy and digital.

Find the value

Find the value. Review digital initiatives and seek opportunities to re-use legacy functionality where possible.

Determine the strategic disposition of your legacy investments

Determine the strategic disposition of your legacy investments. Avoid the temptation to keep legacy limping along. Invest in optimizing your existing application portfolio, identify capabilities well-suited to remain in place, and employ techniques to quickly make legacy data available.

Govern thyself

Govern thyself. Freeing up legacy applications to become powerful drivers for digital innovation is not a one-time project, nor is it one that can be relegated to IT alone.

Learn more about Accenture Strategy

Markus Balser

Markus Balser

Managing Director
Accenture Strategy, Technology Strategy

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Daniel Behar

Daniel Behar

Managing Director
Accenture Strategy, Technology Strategy

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