The Toilet Effect: Backing Up Your Legacy Applications Saves You Time, Money and Sanity


It’s happened to everyone. You can see it already: It’s the moment your phone slides out of your palm, ricocheting like a free-throw off the rim of the lid, and plunks into the commode. The lightning bolt of fear that ripples down your spine - all at once, fear of sunk costs and a great loss of information -  should have a name. For now, let’s call it the Toilet Effect: The urgent realization that years of applications have never been backed or captured properly, and it’s going to cost a small fortune to fix.

Enter feelings of dread

Consider the expense, both in time and actual dollars, of losing your phone to the latrine. It’s a microcosm of a bigger event: Mis-managed legacy backups under the umbrella idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you haven’t backed up in weeks, months, or--gasp--years, you’ll spend countless employee-hours catching your cloud-based apps up to speed as they struggle to find your operating system. There will be data loss, disappearing somewhere into the sewer between your cords and your risky, unupdated iTunes platform (to use the toilet affect metaphor). Without maintenance, budgeting and preservation of legacy applications, risks, support problems, and expenses skyrocket.

“Legacy systems’ lack of business capability, combined with the retirement of the baby boomers who developed, implemented, and maintained them, will likely force CIOs to address them. And as they consider future technology investments, they should look to confirm they’re making decisions that won’t imprison their companies tomorrow.” says Adam Schneider, principal and chief advisor for Deloitte Center for Financial Solutions in the Wall Street Journal.

Data prison sounds terrible. According a 2014 survey, a third of businesses employ applications that are 10-plus years-old. A Gartner survey places IT budgets spent on legacy application upkeep is a whopping 60-80 percent. The same survey places half of applications running in data centres (as of 2010) to retire by 2020. If legacy apps aren’t backed up, businesses will find themselves face-to-face with the phone in the toilet: Increasing employee effort spent on ensure secure and compliant rules; Productivity loss and downtime coupled with system failures; A sky-high spend on implementation and maintenance of legacy-specific skills; Decreased innovation and inefficient reliance on third-parties.

It's not the end of the world

There are, of course, solutions. The rising need for legacy backup services in a multiple- cloud world is crystal clear: Rubrik, a data management startup, scored a $1B valuation in the spring of 2017. Global company Hanzo, who holds a roster of clients that is not limited to Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, Procter & Gamble, and the U.S. Department of Justice, is a gold standard in data migration, preservation, and machine-learning web investigations. Hanzo is able to digest and employ metadata to make everything from social media to that dusty-old mergers’ internal apps searchable.

“The harsh reality is that all legacy systems at least must be Web-enabled if a business is to grow and remain competitive…” -- PacifiCare’s Maria Fitzpatrick, senior vice president and CIO in 2002 (

There’s a tangle of regulation fears to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it model” of legacy backups too. For example, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (among others) state that communications be preserved and archived in both a secure and user-friendly way. Communications, by the way, is defined as pretty much any technology you use to work (including fax). The FINRA states, very clearly, that any all need to be archived, easily accessible to board members and institutional investors.

From a fascinating piece in DataQuest: “Think about the hidden costs here too, because failing to produce data required for a legal case in a timely manner can cost you even more than the cost of maintaining it.”

How can you be prepared?

The emphasis on a future-ready, A.I. intuitive data archival platform (like Hanzo) extends beyond smart budgeting. It’s a wholesale need as the gap closes between modernity and legacy in rapid-technological advancements. Cloud-based apps, learning by data-ingesting, are today’s investment, but tomorrow’s legacy. All it takes is a fast-as-thought Google search to find predictions of what tomorrow’s legacy apps could be. If it’s treated like science-fiction, a business may just be staring at a phone in the toilet bowl.

If you’d like to speak with one of our experts of find out how Hanzo can help your organization prepare for a potential FINRA audit, request a demo with us today.




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