WOW, huge topic, Steve! The state agency I work for has a huge number of legacy systems. I'm on a team that's trying to replace some of these legacy systems, but it's very slow going. Staff knowledge is an issue. I don't know about other states, but it seems here there's been very little incentive ever to improve one's knowledge. I believe that's due to the huge inertia inherit around here. I mean, after all, why bother learning anything new when that 15 year old Microsoft Access app still works? And for a very long time management, so I understand (I've not been around long enough to know) hasn't wanted to improve anything. It's been more of a "stay the course" type of attitude.
However, I will say that I'm seeing positive changes. Right from the C-suite there's interest in Agile and DevOps. In fact my team is going to be spearheading the first software application using Scrum for project management. This is HUGE!!
Cost is still an issue. The DBAs (there's now two of them) are busy upgrading old SQL 2008 and 2012 systems to SQL 2016. However, some systems have to stay at older versions of SQL, due to the vendors' software. I wish some of these guys (the vendors) would upgrade their software's backend requirements!
We've looked at Azure, but at least for now are putting the cloud on the back burner. I know that there was a manager in the IT group that was looking at Azure Stack, which I think holds lots of promise for us. Being able to develop against a cloud architecture, and learn how to do that, while it's in-house I see as having lots of advantages. But now, other projects have pulled the guy away from that. I don't know what his other projects are, but I'm guessing its due to technical debt that's been accumulated over the years, which is now raising its ugly head and demanding attention.
So, putting it all into one sentence, I'd say the impediments I've identified are needing to change an long term attitudes towards adopting anything new, lack of knowledge, cost and a huge number of urgent demands pulling everyone away from moving forward.
Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.