When a business has an objective to lose paper-driven tasks, they are busy digitising their business — moving from analog to digital and driving efficiency. And in manufacturing businesses for example, this activity still makes sense and improves throughput and cuts cost. But in businesses where the core focus is “information” (like it is in financial services), rather than the output of a core process, efficiency is probably not what you should be focusing on.

Don’t get me wrong! There is nothing wrong with driving efficiency, improving processes and removing paper-based tasks. However, in the Industry 4.0 game, which is the game businesses will need to participate in soon (at least within the next few years), efficiency is the last area where focus needs to go.

The sad part is that a “legacy” environment and mindset is so entrenched in how we do these analog things, it is nearly impossible to break free from it without inspired help.

It is almost as if businesses will need two focuses: (1) an analog to digital focus to keep the lights on and (2) a separate digital to “digital business” initiative that is not built on the foundations of the legacy mindset.

Yes I know, what I am saying is sacrilege: you have spent so much time and money on what is there, how can I suggest you just leave it?

Well, the analysis needs to be done. And probably the worst participant to invite to such an analysis is the partner that currently supplies, supports or delivers your legacy environment. You must try and objectively understand whether your legacy has the right foundations to take you into the future. If the foundation shown is needing change, is it not like rebuilding from scratch? Then, why not start afresh?

I want to add something about a dead horse, but I think now is the time to be quiet…..