Legacy fix adds up for Communities and Justice NSW

The NSW Department of Communities and Justice is underway with a major Legacy Data Migration Program which is retiring numerous historical platforms after extracting and transitioning critical legacy data to a modern, cloud-based analytics & reporting solution.

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) was formed on 1 July 2019 when the NSW Government brought together the departments of Family and Community Services, and Justice. It incorporates NSW Courts and Tribunals, Corrective Services NSW, Family and Community Services and the NSW Trustee and Guardian as well as other agencies.

Legacy or “historical” data is found in virtually every organisation that has been operating for more than a few years.  A large percentage of legacy data has ongoing business value and is commonly subject to laws governing its retention and treatment. 

Even when a system ceases its daily operational role, the lifespan of the data it holds can be measured at a minimum in years and more often in decades.

The significant operational costs of managing the platforms and applications that are associated with legacy data presents a vexing challenge for many executives today.

Australian company Datalynx claims to have the answer with its innovative solution for retiring expensive legacy platforms and replacing them with modern reporting solutions that maintain data compliance and support any ongoing querying and reporting requirements.

With over 4 billion transactions and millions of files already successfully migrated for Communities and Justice, Datalynx says it delivered outcomes up to 60% faster and at 50% less cost than traditional options.

The work completed to date as part of this ongoing initiative will result in millions of dollars saved in operational budgets over the lifetime of the data, while enhancing the usability and security of valuable data assets.  In addition, the solution provides the Department with the assurance that it has addressed its record-keeping compliance obligations via an approach that has been endorsed by the NSW State Archives & Records Authority.

“The DMS Phoenix solution is unlike anything else seen in the market today. 20 years of experience in data migration and transformation has enabled Datalynx to build a solution that takes data platform modernisation and the subsequent retirement of the legacy applications to a new level.” says Elia Machalias, CEO at Datalynx.

The challenges with Legacy Platforms, Applications and Data

Modernisation initiatives seek to achieve enhanced efficiency and cost reduction. IT management faces the ongoing challenge of enabling new technology while ensuring legacy applications remain accessible after cloud migration or application transition. However, there are challenges in maintaining the availability of legacy platforms which include:

Escalating support costs

Approximately 30 percent of the average organisation's technology footprint is comprised of legacy platforms. Those older technologies commonly consume a disproportionally large percentage of IT budgets. Ongoing legacy platform support and licensing costs are significant, as are the rising expenses for skilled resources needed to support older technology.

Cyber risk

In comparison to modern technologies, legacy platforms present a higher level of security risk, that only increases over. Ageing technology often operates out of vendor support and may even be "end-of-life.” It rarely integrates easily with modern platforms and struggles to adapt to a rapidly evolving threat landscape. Older platforms are also less viable for implementing modern security models.


There are no exemptions to a growing number of global regulatory requirements governing data handling and security, including GDPR, CCPA, and PIPL. Across Australia, compliance considerations include the Freedom of Information Act, Information Security Manual (ISM), Privacy Acts, as well as specific laws regulating data in various domains such as health, insurance, finance, etc. Legacy platforms and applications tend to have limited capacity to address evolving compliance requirements for data discovery, control, handling, and reporting.

Data protection

The Australian government requires organisations, via Information Security Manual (ISM) mandates, to ensure protection of data in the cloud or in conventional environments. Legacy applications rarely meet all the key ISM controls specified for data protection.


Corporate record-keeping obligations include the retention of historical content for extended periods (sometimes decades or indefinitely) requiring ongoing maintenance of legacy systems, applications and data at significant cost.

Declining talent

Few IT practitioners are excited to learn yesterday’s technology. With the passage of time there is a diminishing pool of professionals available to support ageing technology. In contrast, the costs of the specialist support services required for legacy systems continue to rise.

Traditional solutions for managing legacy data

Unlike unstructured data, databases or structured data in large business systems is for the most part unusable without its associated application or system.  This complex data needs the application to make sense of it and its relationships which can span across hundreds to thousands of individual tables and at times billions of transactions. This makes ongoing use and retirement of these systems challenging with three main approaches typically being employed today,

  • Lift and shift – move the application and data to new or cloud-based infrastructure, this only solves stability issues.
  • Retire the application and archive the database – without the application the data is mostly unusable, the application would have to be reinstalled to regain access.
  • Migrate the data to an open standards format.

Datalynx Solution

Datalynx has drawn on 20 years of experience with complex, large-scale data migration and transformation projects to create its DMS Phoenix solution for data platform modernisation to the cloud.

DMS Phoenix solves the challenges of ongoing legacy data utilisation by incorporating each application’s business and functional logic into the solution. This enables the data to be preserved in its entirety and for existing reports and data querying capability to be reproduced within the new solution.

This helps deliver cost-effective data modernisation capabilities for transitioning any legacy data to the latest cloud-based technologies with options for record-keeping compliance, historical reporting, as well as modern data querying and analytics.

Once a system has been through the Phoenix process it can confidently be retired, delivering cost savings to fund the retirement of additional legacy platforms or undertaking further modernisation initiatives.


“DMS Phoenix provides clients with the assurance they need to confidently retire legacy platforms (infrastructure, operating systems and applications) to significantly reduce risk and achieve an outstanding ROI,” said Machalias.

For more information, visit https://www.datalynx.com.au/