24 Jun 2024
by Peter Hanney

A Practical Approach to Managing Legacy Systems and Data

Most organisations recognise that legacy technology and data are expensive to maintain and hinder their progress, yet few have a detailed approach to managing them.  The recent Annual Report from Public Accounts Committee1 classified Legacy Technology as a “Big Nasty – essential spending which cannot be put off” and with good reason.   But that spending must be targeted and deliver measurable benefits in return. 

The cost of maintaining legacy technology in your organisation (aka Technical Debt) increases over time if it is not addressed, due to increases in 

  • Security Risk where updates and patches are no longer available. 

  • Availability Risk where hardware reaches end of life, components become hard to source and people with the legacy system knowledge are harder to find. 

  • Compliance Risk where legacy systems may not meet requirements such as those of GDPR for systems to be demonstrably “Secure by design and default” and to manage data retention and deletion. 

  • Support Cost where outdated components and legacy skills are harder to source,  and suppliers risk-price their service, and 

  • Roadmap Cost where the challenge and cost of migrating to newer systems increases as the gap between what you have and what you need becomes wider and where legacy systems are retained in parallel to their replacements. 


And this is before you consider the efficiency gains and improved usability that modern user-centric applications can deliver for staff and the general public.    

With mounting costs and the increasing regulatory, customer, and employee focus on how organisations manage their data and its importance to the success of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), organisations can no longer afford to keep their critical and inactive data trapped and unmanaged in legacy applications.  

However, when budgets are constrained “replace everything that is old” is simply not a viable option.  So, the public sector needs to ensure spending on Legacy Technology delivers value,  measurably reducing business risk and unlocking opportunities for data-driven innovation. 

Our approach to this challenge is currently in use with a large UK Justice sector organisation and is based upon 5 steps: 


A pragmatic and efficient legacy technology strategy must start from a position of knowledge.  Undertaking risk assessment and risk scoring enables targeted investment where it is needed to address risks to your business and support your roadmap.  Considering factors including resilience, security vulnerability, skills availability, component availability, historic stability, scalability, extensibility and commercial contractual position. 


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Decide which of the “5 Rs of Legacy Technology” best addresses the needs of your business for legacy each system and business it supports. 

Then prioritise activities to match your budget, mitigate risk, minimise spend and accelerate your roadmap. 

Essential Maintenance 

Undertake the targeted maintenance activities that address the risk to your business while you undertake your plan.   This might include specific upgrades, interim support arrangements, sourcing spare components or introducing additional security controls or process. 


Whether it is moving your data to a replacement system or moving your legacy system to a new hosting supplier, location or platform.   Moving your organisation away from legacy technology requires planning, skill and experience for spanning the old and the new applications, infrastructure, data and commercials. 

With cloud services charged by consumption, it is often more efficient to retire older inactive data from business systems to an online strategic archive, where the data is searchable, secure and retention is managed, but without the burden of legacy systems. 


Decommission legacy services securely and ensure you realise and report on the benefits delivered to your organisation in reduced cost,  reduced business risk and opening up the value of your business data. 


Together, Through Technology and Archive360 have the experience,  process and technology to enable organisations like yours reduce the burden of Legacy Systems, plan an efficient path to more modern cost-effective options and manage your critical and inactive data more efficiently and cost-effectively.  

To talk to us about how we can help your organisation reduce your legacy risks,  archive and manage legacy data and plot a path to more modern systems for your staff and the public, please contact:  [email protected]

Georgie Morgan

Georgie Morgan

Head of Justice and Emergency Services, techUK

Georgie joined techUK as the Justice and Emergency Services (JES) Programme Manager in March 2020, then becoming Head of Programme in January 2022.

Georgie leads techUK's engagement and activity across our blue light and criminal justice services, engaging with industry and stakeholders to unlock innovation, problem solve, future gaze and highlight the vital role technology plays in the delivery of critical public safety and justice services. The JES programme represents suppliers by creating a voice for those who are selling or looking to break into and navigate the blue light and criminal justice markets.

Prior to joining techUK, Georgie spent 4 and a half years managing a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) in Westminster. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and London borough councils to prevent and reduce the impact of crime on the business community. Her work ranged from the impact of low-level street crime and anti-social behaviour on the borough, to critical incidents and violent crime.

[email protected]

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Cinzia Miatto

Cinzia Miatto

Programme Manager - Justice & Emergency Services, techUK

Cinzia joined techUK in August 2023 as the Justice and Emergency Services (JES) Programme Manager.

The JES programme represents suppliers, championing their interests in the blue light and criminal justice markets, whether they are established entities or newcomers seeking to establish their presence.

Prior to join techUK, Cinzia held positions within the third and public sectors, managing international and multi-disciplinary projects and funding initiatives. Cinzia has a double MA degree in European Studies from the University of Göttingen (Germany) and the University of Udine (Italy), with a focus on politics and international relations.

[email protected]

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Ella Gago-Brookes

Ella Gago-Brookes

Team Assistant, Markets, techUK

Ella joined techUK in November 2023 as a Markets Team Assistant, supporting the Justice and Emergency Services, Central Government and Financial Services Programmes.  

Before joining the team, she was working at the Magistrates' Courts in legal administration and graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2022.  Ella attained an undergraduate degree in History and Politics, and a master's degree in International Relations and Security Studies, with a particular interest in studying asylum rights and gendered violence.  

In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, watching true crime documentaries, travelling, and making her best attempts to become a better cook.  

[email protected]

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Peter Hanney

Peter Hanney

CEO, Through Technology