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Legacy IT and the threat to creativity

  • Posted on April 11, 2016

Legacy IT

As the digital revolution rapidly marches on, Avanade commissioned a survey to discover how technology is transforming people’s lives inside and outside of work. The results raised an interesting point that legacy IT systems in the workplace are proving to be a sizeable block to levels of creativity and productivity. In the survey, nearly 30% of the UK’s IT decision-makers said they believed their company’s technology diminished, rather than enabled, creative thinking.

So what has led to this digital negativity in the workplace and are there any realistic solutions?

One of the main issues is that employee expectations of workplace technology are quickly overtaking the potential provided by organisations’ infrastructures. Although 72% of UK organisations widely use connectivity and communication tools such as email or video conferencing, only 53% frequently use mobile applications and just 37% use social collaboration tools often. As more millennial and Gen Y or Z employees enter the workforce, these expectations are only set to rise – 74% of IT decision makers know that employees will expect increased mobile accessibility and 60% believe employees will want to manage tasks through automation, thereby eliminating many repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

The data also suggests a sense of disillusionment with legacy systems among those leading digital evolution in UK businesses. Indeed, a significant number of IT decision makers (42%) struggle with the high cost of maintaining and managing IT legacy systems. Nearly one in three (29%) believe their systems are unable to keep pace with new demands. And the same number complain about the inability to implement changes and solutions quickly.

It appears that IT decision makers are experiencing a sense of fatigue due to the constant and continual digital refreshes they must lead as technology progresses. Especially when they are fully aware that what their current IT infrastructure doesn’t meet the current or future requirements of the workforce.

Far from making our 9-to-5 lives easier, there seems to be an imbalance between the effort it takes to adapt to a new technology and the benefits gained by the employee, meaning creative potential and optimum productivity are rarely realised.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. All that’s needed is a change in approach towards digital transformation. IT decision makers must remember the end-user when purchasing a new tool. Will it truly make life easier for employees? Will it seamlessly integrate into a legacy system? It is the right tool for employees, one that engenders creativity in the workforce, which will be the best tool for the business.

Read the Executive Summary of Avanade’s research to find out what legacy IT concerns your business will have to overcome to deliver digital transformation.

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