Clearly, senior personnel with intimate knowledge of the systems slated for replacement should play a pivotal role in the project. An organization that does not recognize the unique value of these individuals for new system development as well as legacy system maintenance may find that it has wasted a few million dollars on a new system that is not as effective as the old one. By actively working to retain these senior team members, organizations can dramatically reduce the costs associated with legacy system maintenance as well as the risks associated with system integration and replacement. Providing incentives in the form of personal growth strategies, such as training in the use of automated tools, involvement with new company projects, and other continuous learning opportunities, will help entice older personnel to remain within the company, share critical system information, and make invaluable contributions to system modernization projects.Also, see interesting SlashDot conversation about this article.
Source: "Keeping the lights on: Legacy systems and the maturing workforce" IBM (September 15, 2005)