The cost of doing nothing: Why leaving legacy systems in place is not an option

Faced with the need to act and pivot quickly, one thing is holding financial institutions back – their legacy technology, data, and controls lurking beneath the surface, ready to put the brakes on innovation, efficiency drives, or even just business as usual

December 15, 2021 | Gresham Technologies

Whether you are working to comply with regulatory requirements or trying to launch a new project or business line, you need to know: Is the data you are basing these activities on accurate? Are you vulnerable to incorrect information or human error? Are your data, controls and reconciliation software giving you the detailed view and enhanced control that you need?

Many firms find the answers to these questions so overwhelming that they simply don’t know where to start. They analyse. They plan. They deliver presentations to senior management, but the questions keep coming and short-term issues start to take priority over long-term gains.

Ultimately, they do nothing.

The devastating consequences of inaction

The financial impact of this lack of action is huge. Financial institutions across the globe have been hit by multi-million (sometimes billion) losses through poor data quality, error-ridden legacy reconciliations, and lack of reporting oversight.

But that is just the beginning. The cost of time plays a huge part, too. The days taken to onboard new controls, the manual workarounds that require hours just to produce a reconciliation your system should be capable of delivering, and then there’s the time taken to rectify all the exceptions and errors produced by outdated legacy systems.

So, if this problem is so big, why haven’t firms acted? The truth is that many have tried. But large-scale transformation projects are not necessarily appealing. Budgets and resources are under pressure. And with such a big challenge, there’s a risk of failure. Who wants to put their neck on the line with a high risk, complex undertaking?

A practical, simple alternative

However – it doesn’t have to be that way. The process of tackling legacy technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. A truly data-agnostic platform can take a lot of initial project pain away, working with what you have rather than requiring months or even years of slow, costly transformation work before you start seeing results.

Modern, cloud-native technology gives you the power and scale to ensure results that grow with your business, not something that you have to repeat in five years. And asking the right questions of potential partners means no nasty surprises or unexpected project failures later down the line. Just because the problem is complex, doesn’t mean that the solution needs to be. There are fast, effective steps you can take to start addressing this, right now.

Opportunity to innovate and grow on a strong data foundation

As well as addressing long-standing frustrations, firms replacing their legacy systems with modern, purpose-built reconciliation software will see growing opportunity to use and view data in a completely different way that will enable growth for the long-term.

So the next time you are thinking about all the ‘what-ifs’ that could go wrong with replacing your legacy system, remember that doing nothing comes with its own costs.

To get your checklist of 6 questions to ask potential partners before replacing your legacy reconciliation solution, click here.

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Resources

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