Enterprise organizations often share one major technological hurdle: They run on legacy code that costs billions of dollars annually to fix and maintain.

It’s called technical debt, and the Wall Street Journal recently illustrated the scope of the problem in hard numbers: Technical debt is estimated to cost companies $2.4 trillion a year in cybersecurity, operational failures, failed development projects, maintenance of outdated systems, and will cost an additional $1.52 trillion to fix.

In addition to the costs, legacy code is holding companies back from future growth and innovation. According to the WSJ, 87% of IT leaders said the complexity of their existing infrastructure is the biggest impediment to implementing next-generation services. And 42% of IT budgets are tied up in legacy infrastructure, application development, and maintenance.

Over the past several months, this issue came up multiple times in our conversations with C-level leaders at several prominent institutions, and it got us thinking: What can Dualboot Partners do to help?

The answer is 3PO.


Technical debt explained

Imagine a major financial institution, one with a market capitalization of several billion dollars and a long history. Despite its success, this institution still runs on a core banking system that is decades old. Over the years, the bank added thousands of customizations and applications to that core system to keep pace with the organization’s growth. And it worked – for a while.

But Band-Aids only last so long. Now, that core system is costing the bank millions a year in repairs and maintenance. It’s inhibiting future growth, and it’s holding the entire institution back.

The opportunity

Legacy code systems are often poorly documented – if they are documented at all. As a result, no one inside the organization knows how the code works, making a technical upgrade impossible. With no documented requirements, it’s challenging to build a new system that maintains the functionality of the old one, which puts operations at risk.

The existing methods of securing that documentation are arduous, to say the least. It would take a team of people years to complete. But no business has the time or money for that. Instead, you need a translator – preferably one powered by generative AI.

So that’s what we built. 3PO is an AI-powered code translator that allows companies to migrate their legacy software to a modern technology stack in a fraction of the time and cost of the traditional method. What would take your internal team years takes 3PO weeks, and it’s a game changer for companies eager to expunge technical debt from their balance sheets and start prioritizing innovation and growth.

A product and a service

3PO works by thoroughly reviewing your existing software application, extracting the core requirements, and then rewriting that application in a modern technical stack. The process involves five steps:


  • Source code→ identify the code within an existing system
  • Documentation→ document the functions the code is performing
  • Requirements→ extract the requirements from the previous documentation for your new system
  • Scaffolding→ we suggest structures for the migrated application
  • New source code→ we provide you with new code for the next generation of the system.

At each stage of that process, 3PO operates through a combination of artificial and human intelligence: AI speeds up the translation exponentially while our engineers facilitate the process by constantly tuning the AI to ensure we provide our customers with good, polished, high-fidelity outcomes.

A ‘universal translator’

Once we built this tool, we needed a name. In a brainstorming session, a member of our team suggested a nod to one of the most well-known and well-loved characters in the Star Wars franchise: C-3PO. In the films, the droid claims to be fluent in more than 6 million languages. He’s a universal translator.

Now, so are we.