Integration of legacy systems is vital to effective customer service

IT directors are still failing to convince the board of the business benefits of integrating legacy systems with customer service applications, a survey by research firm Vanson Bourne has found.

The survey of 100 IT directors in UK businesses, commissioned by legacy IT integration specialist WRQ, found that legacy IT systems are critical to providing customer service - 86% regarded legacy systems as essential to customer service delivery.

In the survey, 66% saw the value of integrating legacy systems with customer service applications. Broken down by industry sector, IT directors from financial services have made the most progress, where 60% of financial institutes have integrated legacy systems with customer service applications.

Worryingly, many IT directors admitted they faced difficulties in convincing management of the benefits of integration, and 28% of respondents said they had not integrated their legacy systems with customer service.

Graham Opie, director at Vanson Bourne, said the survey found that cost was a contributing factor, but he believed the challenge IT directors faced was a lack of management buy-in.

Of the 41% who had not integrated legacy IT with customer services, a lack of buy-in was the main reason for putting off the integration. "Of those people who said the barriers to legacy integration were cost, a lot of IT directors found a lack of buy-in from management," said Opie.

"It seems to me IT directors are failing to communicate the benefits of legacy integration to the business."

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This was first published in May 2004


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