People planning projects

Managing Legacy IT Beyond Your Horizon

Your transformation project is underway and then guess what? Delays…
Now what? How do you manage legacy beyond the horizon you’d expected?

Calling IT project directors! I guess it goes without saying that you’ve got digital transformation at the top of your agenda and those projects just keep on coming. In many cases all’s well but surveys tell us that projects are often delayed and that can lead to problems if you haven’t planned ahead.

Gartner IT Key Metrics Data 20171 shows that on average, the percentage of projects completed on time was 58% in 2016 for midsize organizations.

In the 2017 Gartner CIO Survey there were 1,115 responses from organizations that have less than $1B in annual revenues, which is representative of the midmarket.

“Project failures are a waste and various surveys show that, on average industrywide, over 20% of technology-supported initiatives are failures, with failure rates climbing rapidly with project size and complexity.”

Source: Gartner (November 2016)

I know from my own experience that delivering to plan can sometimes be a challenge and that projects go awry for many reasons, not least changing business requirements, design errors, budget issues, changing priorities, as well as issues outside the organization. This can mean that your existing legacy systems are needed for longer than expected. In the back of my mind when that happened to me was always how do I keep the lights on and the current system running if things get delayed?  I worried about my contingency plans.

If, like most organizations, you’ve got legacy systems, some are going to be running for far longer than you ever expected and the technology they’re running on is rapidly reaching obsolescence. Now what?

It’s often not sensible or effective to devote resources to redesign large enterprise bespoke applications that are embedded in the enterprise and are stable – the cost, time and disruption is enormous.  But if the application is locked in a legacy environment and you need to enhance or maintain it in any way you might feel that you are restricted in how you build upon that legacy system.

What I want to write about today are a couple of things that I wasn’t aware of and that might help you just as they’ve helped other companies.

Here are a few real scenarios for you to think about:

  • A Government department running mission-critical systems began to run out of storage and needed more within a week or they would face fines from their regulator.
  • A service provider needed an urgent upgrade to a network to avoid incurring performance penalties with a client.
  • Component failure in a critical system caused multiple levels of chaos for a process manufacturer with growing consequences for every day the system was down.
  • Delays in procurement issues and budget approvals often threaten delivery deadlines and possibly incur penalties; this happened to a travel agency waiting to take delivery of new servers.
  • A large utility provider running a bespoke billing system of 20 years vintage, faced a major delay to a new system implementation so needed additional legacy technology to “get over the hump”.
  • An OEM partner needed equipment which has been certified by the customer but is now obsolete.

Protect your business with a certified partner by your side

In all these cases, Certified Pre-Owned (used) equipment and components were critical in resolving a challenging situation. Our engineering experts (with as many years’ experience as the technology) can strip down, set up and reconfigure technology to clients’ individual specifications – that means we can ship it on site ready to roll so there’s no need to disrupt the data center.

In 2016 we…

  • Repurposed 76% of the technology units that entered our processing plants.
  • Resold over 2 million server, storage and electronic units.
  • Prevented over 42 million pounds of e-waste by updating, remarketing and reselling heritage technology and, as a result, enhanced the capability of a lot of legacy infrastructure and helped many project directors with their contingency planning.

In summary, using Certified Pre-Owned equipment can be a life saver for a team faced with needing to enhance, maintain or grow an existing legacy environment.

Contact me if you’d like to continue the conversation and find out more.


  1. Gartner, Midmarket IT Priorities: What They Are and What They Ought to Be, 22 February 2017 ID: G00320945.
  2. Gartner, The IT Investment Council: What to Do and When to Do It, 30 November 2016 ID: G00319325.


Jim Butler, HPE Financial Services EMEA, Pre-Owned and Short-Term Rental