Legacy to the rescue: Well-tuned foundational systems make cutting-edge projects possible

The savings gained from efficient management of legacy systems can be used to fund projects that explore innovative new technologies.

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AFLAC still uses technology that was developed using assembly, the old programming language. It's part of the mainframe system that runs the insurance company's policy, administration, claims and billing functions, and it works just fine.

But senior vice president and CIO Julia Davis is looking ahead, and she says it's time to upgrade.

The way Davis sees it, the declining supply of assembly coders increases the risk that sometime down the road she could be stuck with a system that no one can maintain or fix.

Julia Davis, CIO, Aflac [2016] Aflac

Julia Davis, AFLAC

So Davis is upgrading the component under her legacy modernization project, an overhaul with a price tag just south of $1 million that will bring peace of mind to the IT organization at the Columbus, Ga., company.

"It's not going to save me money, but I'm not going to have outages," Davis says.

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