There is a certain allure to vintage items. Sometimes it’s because they’re made differently, conjure memories from another era, or perhaps made from different materials no longer available. And many people enjoy mixing old stuff with new stuff, like pairing a vintage jacket with new jeans.
In technology, however, this concept works a little differently, where old stuff may be reliable, tried-and-true, or even viewed as strange — like how the younger generation views cassette tapes. Pairing old stuff with new stuff often just happens, because it is not evident that the old stuff is still in the system. And many times these unknown treasures can be energy vampires and hidden cost culprits.
Finding and understanding them is critical but a complete overhaul would be costly in terms of both time and money, so many systems simply add new capabilities to older software. With this type of geological layering of components, the old stuff gets buried and still works with the limitations and at the pace it was designed for. It may not impede the new stuff, but it’s still invisibly slowing down the whole train. In the CCM (Customer Communications Management) world, this can be a fly in the ointment of an otherwise streamlined system.
If it sounds overwhelming to overhaul an entire system, relax. You don’t have to. A wise approach to streamlining your system is to target specific areas where you can improve ROI. It may not mean throwing everything out. It could just be a tweaking process. For instance, if an archaic process is causing old-fashioned turnaround time for administrative tasks, it might be time to update just that process, such as adding electronic signatures. The money saved on administration could be reinvested later in new technology.
Pairing old with new might work just fine with clothes, but with technology it’s a good idea to re-evaluate those vintage items from time to time.