5 warning signs of legacy syndrome in business

In an increasingly competitive and uncertain climate, businesses of all kinds need agility to adapt in response to market pressures. In Edo’s experience a key barrier to change is that established ways of working are tied to legacy technologies. Businesses cannot react quickly if their technology stack does not allow them to implement change. Here are five key warning signs that a business is at risk – and what can be done about it.

1. A lack of technology and digital understanding at leadership level

One thing is clear, it’s no longer acceptable to delegate understanding and decisions around digital and technology down the chain. Technology drives the customer experience – you only have to look at the volume of personalisation platforms and predictive modelling tools that are emerging in the market.

>See also: Legacy technology is biggest barrier to digital transformation

Considerations around digital and technology have to be at the heart of the strategic process. Leaders need to take full ownership of these decisions in order for them to lead by example in driving a transformative agenda.

2. Technology skills sit in a silo

Break down the barriers that keep digital and technology separate from the core business strategy. They should become the vehicle that nurtures ongoing transformative change across all areas of your organisation. How one takes products to market, deliver services, engage with customers – these decisions should all be underpinned by robust and future proof thinking around technology choices.

Technology is not the sole answer to effective transformation but it is a catalyst in disrupting markets and driving change – the taxi industry is one key example, with Uber and its game-changing use of geolocation technology.

>See also: How legacy industrial equipment is vulnerable to attack

3. A lack of an open data technology strategy

This ties in directly with ownership of the transformation and change agenda. Commit a business and its executive team to clear performance indicators to help map the journey towards organisational maturity.

Businesses should be measuring components such as agility (speed to market), innovation and collaboration – for instance between data, tech and customer services teams. Before using new technologies within your business, ensure you’ve carried out extensive internal and external user research to ensure that your solution will be relevant for customers’ needs.

4. Weak internal culture and communications

Internal communications has often been marginalised as a secondary consideration to an effective business, when in fact it’s critical to ensuring a collaborative and innovative culture. It’s an accepted fact that as people we need purpose and meaning in our lives to remain motivated, and purpose is a critical factor when it comes to designing the employee experience.

To ensure that a sense of purpose is maintained you need to highlight people’s value and reward their efforts. Employees need to be heard and be treated fairly. None of these things can happen without collaborative, open and structured internal communications.

>See also: Controlling your digital legacy

5. No clear policy on data protection

Business is built on trust. The more that businesses share data and business ecosystems grow, the less the customer can be sure that their data and privacy are protected. There is already a clear privacy agenda that needs to be addressed by governments and business alike.

Privacy and the right to anonymity are essentially human rights issues, but those businesses that actively show they are respectful of customer data and ensure a good experience, providing the customer with clear signposting, will retain customer loyalty and trust.


Sourced by Kieran McBride, strategy and planning director, Edo


The UK’s largest conference for tech leadership, TechLeaders Summit, returns on 14 September with 40+ top execs signed up to speak about the challenges and opportunities surrounding the most disruptive innovations facing the enterprise today. Secure your place at this prestigious summit by registering here

Avatar photo

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

Related Topics

Legacy Systems