Retirement home next?

This is a serious and upsetting title, I know – but I see many organisations that need to do some serious planning for their future. Not all have yet understood it, but I’ve come across major Swedish organisations, companies and authorities, that have been caught in a severe trap in that their core IT systems can only be maintained by a few, elderly people. Now – I don’t have anything against elderly people per se, but I cannot understand e.g. a major bank permitting the IT department to have one single person, that actually would have retired three years ago, being the single person on this planet who actually know their core system. You know, that system that will stop all business if it doesn’t work and that would cause a bankruptcy if failing a couple of days. My colleague Sander Hoogendoorn described a similar situation in his blog called  Alzheimer Architecture. My client, who eventually understood they couldn’t demand a single 70 years old person continue this endeavour, employed a younger person to take over. That’s right – one person. Still only one person. They’ve taken away the acute Alzheimer threat, but rest assured, it’ll come back.

Now – do you see this situation in your organisation? I’m sure you don’t have business critical systems dependent on a single person’s memory; a memory that perhaps soon is sagging?


First published 2010-10-20 on

Posted in Chronicals, EA, Legacy, LeMo

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