What is legacy tech and how can cloud-based solutions help?

August 6, 2021 by Rebecca McGrath, Experian Software Solutions

Financial institutions have long been dependent on technology for business operations, resulting in a long history of tech additions, upgrades and vendors. Changes made to legacy IT systems can not only impact customers, but in many cases, the economy too. Often these systems feel safe and familiar, so it can be a difficult choice to make a change. However, over the last year the pandemic has highlighted the need for agility within the market. Responding to changing customer needs in an increasingly digital environment is number one priority.

woman touching virtual cloud

What do we mean by legacy tech?

The term legacy tech has a lot of negative connotations. It refers to a set of computer systems, software and technologies that can no longer be maintained or easily updated. The system could be out of support or in extended support. Integration becomes a challenge because different technologies have accumulated over the lifespan of the business, and the associated support levers around it are all different. There is also the challenge of finding the skills to maintain these systems – in-house or outsourced from providers. Maintenance costs can be high – security and resilience test costs will add to this, while performance will drop with the increasing need for work-arounds. Upgrades can be complex, expensive or even impossible on legacy systems, generating extra costs.

Financial institutions create their own legacy systems when they start integrating various data sets from different sources. It can happen when the business grows to new locations, new lines of product, extended consumer services, while using different tech from different vendors.

Cloud as an enabler for business transformation

From the moment code is written and deployed, it becomes legacy. Cloud integration allows for daily code releases and automated upgrades meaning that businesses are constantly adjusting and responding to client needs, regulation and strategic changes. They can instead focus on their business model and innovation, staying relevant and up to date. Budget is directed towards improvements and innovation instead of maintaining the legacy tech. It brings an interesting level of agility, with the ability to respond to the market much more quickly and effectively.

How cloud can benefit the customer

Cloud-based services have allowed banks to revolutionize onboarding processes and timescales. Processes like KYC (Know Your Customer) can be carried out by partners for a fast and efficient experience. Throughout the lifecycle of a customer, banks can leverage third parties for every part of the journey and ultimately improve customer experience. Beyond the onboarding process, the entire customer lifecycle, from originations to collections, can be transformed by removing friction and using AI to create interest, and ML to make decisions for quick results.

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