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Are Legacy Systems Keeping You Prisoner?
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WKash
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WKash,
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12/12/2013 | 4:33:32 PM
Sunk costs
One other reason agencies end of being "chained" to their legacy systems is the notion of sunk costs -- that too much has already been invested in the system to walk away. Sometimes that's the arugment of the CFO who doesn't believe in the payoff of the necessary investment; sometimes it's the argument of the IT teams that don't want to surrender the fruits of their work (or fear new investments will mean loss of jobs.) 

That's why its so important that the mission/business/program owners, together with the CFO and CIO really assess the true costs of holding on to legacy systems (and the added costs of missed-opportunities) when weighing the pro's and cons of investing in new systems. 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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12/14/2013 | 9:40:41 AM
Re: Sunk costs
Picture the scenario Mr. Schneider describes about a system based on hardware from a vendor that went out of business, having to cobble together spare parts and dwindling knowledge base; now insert "cloud vendor who went out of business" for the hardware vendor. You don't get a 5-year ramp down option with a busted cloud vendor. We have a lot of lessons yet to be learned when it comes to how cloud systems play out over time.  
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 11:45:05 AM
Re: Sunk costs
Chris, you raise an important point: As the enterprises move to the cloud, they become increasingly interdependent on an ecosystem of cloud service, software and infrastucture providers --  beyond what any single vendor or customer can cotnrol. So if one member of the ecosystem fails, how will the remaining players fill the sudden vacuum?

 


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