Many federal agencies are filled with legacy IT systems, even many of them are decades old that can no longer effectively receive security patches and do not have the functionality of modern solutions. To modernize technology infrastructure and move into modernization and innovation, agencies will need to upgrade such systems.
A recent study report from Accenture Federal Services that based on an exclusive survey of 185 federal IT executives stated that legacy systems pose Cybersecurity risks and hinder innovation. The principal director of Accenture Federal Services, who leads its CIO leadership program, Dave McClure said that if agencies want to modernize, they need to grapple with their technical debt or the real cost that associated with maintaining legacy systems. They can also advance by embracing Software as a Service Cloud models.
The report noted that legacy systems leave agencies with a significant risk of a Cybersecurity incident. With 37 percent respondents, the study found that outdated technology hinders their ability to defend against Cybersecurity risks while 46 percent separately reported that outages technologies within their legacy systems involved a security breakdown. Another result stated that 85 percent of IT leaders consider that the future of their agencies will be threatened if they don’t update their technology, and putting them in a hazard. The report also noted with 58 percent respondents that their agencies experienced two to three chief disruptions or outages more than the past decade, and just 4 percent IT leaders avoided any discontinuities within that timeframe.
McClure pointed out that the primary threats of those legacy systems are running on software that is unreliable, and totally rely on a limited skill set in the workforce that creates vulnerability in those systems. The second thing McClure pointed out that it’s poorly documented. It’s been created, in some cases, more than three, four, five decades. Even, the codification of what’s been done to the software over that long period of time is often lost or not documented. Agencies should move towards open application programming interfaces, agile DevOps and Cloud migration factories. They can also deploy Cloud-based SaaS services that really replace legacy systems.