Legacy Liabilities

As technology advances, so too do the requirements on the networks and systems that run it. "As services evolve, older mobile operator infrastructure may have limited capabilities in throughput, performance, latency, and overall flexibility," writes Netcracker Technology director of strategy Paul Hughes in Wireless Week. "Balancing the investment challenges for existing legacy systems will always be top of mind for any C-level executive who spends time near the data center or buried in accounting."

Although staying current in emerging technology is a necessary step, it is often overlooked or postponed until upgrades become difficult or impossible, either through maintaining an existing legacy system through patches from vendors (who can go out of business) or custom built systems which can get increasingly complex and vulnerable if key employees leave.

Some of the tips Hughes offers to operators to avoid current and future legacy problems include:

  • Building a cost benefit analysis for the existing legacy system including patches, maintenance and replacement.
  • Working with business and IT in how changes will be made and how the new system is selected and implemented.
  • Setting expectations, both in how the old system will be replaced and how the new one will be tested