Subscribe to the Teradata Blog

Get the latest industry news, technology trends, and data science insights each week.

I consent that Teradata Corporation, as provider of this website, may occasionally send me Teradata Marketing Communications emails with information regarding products, data analytics, and event and webinar invitations. I understand that I may unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email I receive.

Your privacy is important. Your personal information will be collected, stored, and processed in accordance with the Teradata Global Privacy Policy.

Legacy or Modern? Why not Both!

Legacy or Modern? Why not Both!
Lately there has been quite a bit of talk about “modern” systems, architectures and technologies.  Let’s not kid ourselves, modern is just what is hot today.  In the 1960’s punchcards were “modern.”  Modern architectures as they are presented today are being used as a wedge to force people to abandon their current solutions and brand those as legacy, but is being a legacy a bad thing?
Legacy: a word which has been bantered about when describing technology that is past its prime, no longer relevant, and is out of touch with the marketplace. 
Legacy: also, a word which describes importance, proven capabilities, something passed from one generation to the next.
Some of the characteristics of a modern architecture include the separation of compute from storage, elasticity, cloudiness and a pricing model based on consumption. It is a bit of a mixed bag, but in general these are all good things to consider when building out analytic solutions to get the most value for each dollar spent. Data and analytic solutions which haven’t adapted or integrated to these features are likely headed the way of the dinosaur.
One of the fallacies of this “modern” take is that in order to be modern, you must be a startup, cloud-native (whatever that really means) or an old technology rebranded under a new cloud name.  It wasn’t that long ago, if you weren’t deploying on top of an open-source project named after a child’s toy elephant, you weren’t modern.
The other major fallacy of “being modern” is that you must abandon all the current infrastructure and tools, in short, throwing the baby out with the bath water. A better idea is to modernize your environment, keeping the good and improving the old.
Modernization does not automatically require reinvention. Using new technologies and approaches to modernize your architecture does not automatically require reinvention of the underlying architecture. What it requires is understanding how the new technologies and approaches can be used to extend and improve your architecture and rethinking your deployment options.
Enter Teradata. Our competition wants to brand us as legacy or vintage. My first take on this was a compliment!  Sure, after 40 years in the business of helping our customers unleash the value of data, we have built quite a legacy, that of being the world’s best data management and analytics provider.  We keep evolving and getting better over time by taking “modern” advancements and integrating into our total solution. But on second take, the competition is attempting to marginalize our deep expertise and insinuate we are past our best by date.
Sorry to disappoint, but we are indeed legacy AND YES, we are modern. Yes, you can have both. We have taken our proven at-scale database technology and enhanced it to meet the demands of modern data analytic needs. We have built these capabilities around our proven, scalable platform, Teradata Vantage, designed to meet the availability, security and regulatory requirements our customers have relied on for years.
Teradata continues to focus on business outcomes as our priority, and we believe the more informed our customers are, then the better the decision is. We want customers to be able to use the tool of their choice, the right analytic method against the data they need - no matter the source, volume, format or repository it is in. We have been able to extend our ability to meet these demands by incorporating modern architecture features. 
Companies shouldn’t have to jeopardize their legacy; they should be able to continue to reap the value of what they have and exploit the new opportunities and increased value modern architecture concepts provide. When built upon a solid architecture, resilience to change is inherent. Many of our customers have been able to embrace this change and capitalize on new opportunities without having to incur the cost of ripping and replacing their entire analytic architecture. Unfortunately, we have also seen the effects of companies chasing that shiny new object, only to be left disappointed when the luster wears off and the promises are broken.
In short, “legacy or modern” is not an either/or proposition. It’s about the complementary nature of the “AND” solution. The best question to ask yourself when contemplating legacy vs. modern is, “Why not both?” or “How do I get the best of both?”
Portrait of John Berg

John Berg

For over 20 years, John has been helping large organizations solve business problems and achieve competitive differentiation with data and analytics.  The last 10+ years he has focused on enterprise level architectures specializing in large scale information centric solutions including cloud and on-premise deployments.  

John has had the pleasure of working with some of the most recognized companies in the world across industries and international borders including Bank of America, eBay, GE Aviation, Best Buy and Vodaphone. He established a global presence while on expat assignment in Australia, helping organizations with information technology and architectures, marketing analysis, customer profitability solutions, big data analytics and data integration. 

Throughout John’s career with Teradata, he has held positions with increasing levels of responsibility and leadership. A pragmatic visionary, John has spoken at prestigious international conferences and events on enterprise data management and information architecture. 

Today, John helps Teradata customers identify gaps and challenges in their analytic ecosystems, with an emphasis on reducing complexity and increasing business value. 

View all posts by John Berg

Turn your complex data and analytics into answers with Teradata Vantage.

Contact us