Legacy Infrastructure Slowing Down AI Adoption


Most business leaders understand that to reap the benefits of AI, they either need to get rid of legacy systems or modernize them.

Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the key technology driving businesses to modernize key applications, however, there is a struggle to move away from legacy systems which is inhibiting progress.

According to the Rackspace Cloud Modernization Survey 2023, nine out of ten respondents said that AI was a reason or the main reason for modernization. This points to the surge in AI interest over the past few years, especially with the recent rise of generative AI at both the consumer and enterprise level. Businesses of all sizes see the benefits that AI can bring to optimizing security, efficiency, and cost reductions.

Legacy systems are slowing this down however, with the average respondent saying their company has 22 legacy systems or applications currently in use. Over half of them haven’t even considered moving away from these legacy systems, either due to the critical necessity of having them or that they cannot find a like-for-like replacement.

One of the key reasons for the slowdown in modernization is lack of expertise, with 24 percent not having the relevant in-house expertise and a further eight percent not planning to use a managed service partner to help with the lack of talent.

See also: API Management: The Key to Modernizing Legacy IT Systems

Most business leaders understand that to reap the benefits of AI, they need to get rid of legacy systems. There is a time limit as well, as businesses that take too long to transition will lose their advantage to competitors which have already transitioned. 

“It is telling that even well into their cloud journey, the three most critical apps organizations say they need to upgrade are truly at the heart of the business because they are at once the most important things to modernize and the most challenging,” said Jeff DeVerter, chief technology evangelist at Rackspace Technology. “At the same time, it is encouraging to see leaders understand that app modernization is key to getting the most out of cutting-edge technologies. It could be that the prospect of losing out on AI will motivate organizations to finally get off the sidelines when it comes to modernization of core systems.”

On cloud adoption, there is an almost even split of organizations operating in the public cloud, private cloud, and non-cloud. In three years time, 41 percent of businesses expect to be operating in the public cloud, 48 percent in private cloud, and only 11 percent outside of any cloud.

AI has had its ups and downs in terms of business interest, but it looks like with the prevalence of predictive analytics and generative AI, some of these will continue to be beneficial and wanted by enterprise-level organizations regardless of the hype.

David Curry

About David Curry

David is a technology writer with several years experience covering all aspects of IoT, from technology to networks to security.

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