In one instance, an organization had developed an in-house enterprise solution and then purchased a commercial application to replace it. Over time, the homegrown application was never retired, and the vendor no longer supported the commercial application. A third enterprise application was then implemented to work with the two earlier systems, rather than replace them. The net effect was that 40 percent of the organization’s application development costs were devoted just to maintaining the interfaces between three disparate solutions.
At this point, instead of investing in a viable solution, the cost-conscious, penny-pinching mentality of IT management prevails, resulting in stopgap measures and muddling through. Plans to prioritize applications, complete the transition to new solutions and/or an enterprise-wide system and retire legacy applications invariably get pushed to the back burner.