The legacy dilemma: rip and replace or improve what you have

The London Olympics 2012 are fast approaching and the media coverage relating to the event is growing quicker than Usain Bolt can run the 100 metres.

One topic that I, like many others have failed to avoid is the dilemma of how the Olympic stadium should be used once the games come to an end.

This issue has become more pertinent in these financial times where every penny counts and I can’t help but see similarities in this dilemma and that faced by many of our customers from all sectors. Should we make the most of what we have or rip it down and start again?

Both West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspurs Football Clubs have submitted very different bids in the hope of getting the honour of calling this venue ‘home’. West Ham want to use the existing infrastructure and make amendments to the stadium. However Tottenham’s proposal is to demolish the stadium and build a fit for football purpose stadium.

The problem for the selection committee is caused by a key word Legacy. The London 2012 Olympic bid is believed to have been won on the promise of the creation of an athletics legacy within the East End of London.

Legacy is a word that is commonly heard on a daily basis at my company. The dilemma facing many of our customers is one of two choices:

1. Whether to replace business critical legacy applications, at potentially huge expense and high risk or

2. To make the best of it and carry on with what you have.

Because cost usually outweighs the benefit, option one sticking with the familiar is usually selected, but at what risk to the business? Legacy applications that have been at the heart of the business for many years were obviously fit for purpose when first implemented but as requirements change over time these applications may begin to fail to meet, or hinder, the ever changing business needs.

The reason mobilising existing applications is a popular choice for many is due to current needs to access information from anywhere at any time from multiple business applications. This ultimately means you take the solution or solutions that you are happy and comfortable with and present them in a way which allows users to access the core data from anywhere. In this way our solution is very similar to the West Ham proposal allowing the maintenance of the established investment while utilising it in a new and innovative way.

The Major of London and the Government have the final decision on which proposal for the use of the Olympic Stadium will win out, but with today’s announcement that the West Ham bid has the backing of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, makes many feel Weast Ham have one foot through the door.

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David Akka is Managing Director at Magic Software Enterprises UK. David is a successful executive manager with a proven track record as a general manager with a strong background in sales, marketing, business development and operations. Past experience in technology and service delivery include both UK and European responsibilities.