3 Signs Your Current ECM System is Obsolete

November 21, 2022

Research conducted by AIIM highlighted that legacy software derails organizations from the path of efficiency and slows them down from meeting business objectives. Legacy systems could also be putting enterprises at risk, and the cost for continued maintenance of them is usually higher than migrating to a new system.

In fact, organizations that are still operating using legacy ECM systems are well aware of the risks associated with the older solutions. Many, however, are hesitant to kickstart digital transformation projects to modernize their legacy applications due to barriers such as resources, cost, time, and fear of data integrity.

In the lens of strict data privacy laws and compliance requirements, though, the real question is no longer about the cost of content migration but rather what it costs these enterprises not to make the migration. Traditionally, migrating from legacy enterprise content management systems is viewed as an overwhelming and complex process that can take years to complete and with many pitfalls that could result in the failure of a migration project. The good news is that with the right migration partners like Helix International and our purpose-built migration software platform, MARS, the ECM migration process is not as complex as you think and can be done in months, not years.

It is important for an organization to know when it is the right time to ditch an obsolete legacy system and migrate to a modern solution. Here are some signs to look out for.

1.) Feels Like Being Held Hostage by Legacy System Vendor

Let's face it. Maintaining and operating legacy systems come with a hefty price tag, even more so with legacy enterprise content management systems. Most, if not all, of these solutions, require annual license fees and maintenance fees. Organizations also need to employ IT personnel with specialized expertise and experience to maintain and operate the legacy system. The total cost of ownership of legacy systems runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. And we haven't even talked about the hardware costs to run all those on-prem applications.

Then there are issues related to integrations with a line of business applications and other enterprise systems such as CRMs and ERPs. Legacy systems are hard to integrate due to their lack of APIs and integration points with modern systems. More often than not, the vendor needs to give significant support for any integrations to happen. And since there are existing integrations with other business systems, organizations are cautious about migration.

All of these can lock-in organizations to continue maintaining outdated systems. But with the right and methodical migration plan, enterprises can move away from legacy systems and no longer be shackled by vendors. Helix International provides different options, from Full Migration to Partial Migration, and several other options. Watcher, a module of our proprietary software platform, MARS, can locate any data issues and predict errors before migration begins. This enables proactive rectification to ensure a smooth migration with no business interruptions.

2.) Is Your Data in Chaos?

Organizations are constantly creating and producing tremendous data, continuously adding to the existing content and data repositories. However, with legacy ECM systems, your data is almost always in chaos.

Fragmented silos of data, data versioning issues, the inability to access data quickly, and other inefficiencies can make your data obsolete, redundant, or even buried. Businesses quickly outgrow legacy ECM solutions due to the inability to handle large amounts of unstructured content or data. Legal and compliance challenges become even greater when companies need to retrieve data from these various content repositories. The explosion of content is not going away, and as enterprises grow with digital transformation projects, it is more important than ever to migrate to a robust enterprise content management system that can keep up with the pace of the organization's growth and needs. Some of the biggest organizations in the world have already moved to modern ECM solutions. Helix International has successfully migrated over 1,000+ PB of data for more than 500 enterprise clients, preventing their data from descending into chaos.

3.) Are Your Legacy Systems Derailing from Compliance?

The mounting regulatory and compliance issues faced by enterprises do not stop with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California's Consumer Privacy Act, and other data protection laws in other jurisdictions around the world.

There is also the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US and HIPAA and PCI regulations in the healthcare industry that are considered the most stringent regulatory mandates in the world due to their focus on data governance, data security, and content accessibility. Although each regulatory domain has its own compliance requirements and specific regulations to follow, these regulations are not mutually exclusive of any industry or geography. These mandates are considered best-of-breed compliance processes, and CIOs must ensure that their legacy ECM solutions can keep up with them.

Data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA give consumers more control over how organizations can access or use their personal information. With the legacy ECM systems suffering from fragmented data silos and buried data that might contain personally identifiable information (PII) that they cannot easily search and access, it is impossible to comply when consumers exercise their "right to be forgotten" and request their personal information to be deleted. This can lead to significant fines for non-compliance.

With modern ECM solutions, on the other hand, it becomes easier to comply with these legal requirements. These solutions offer unique workflows that can automatically audit the content by searching for sensitive, personally identifiable information.

Even if your organization is not able to kickstart a full migration process to a modern ECM system, you can still use our software, MARS, to search any data you have, link all fragmented contents scattered across disparate data repositories, and view documents in any filetype on demand from any data source. This way, you can even bypass the expensive annual licensing of legacy ECMs.

Breaking up with your legacy ECM system does not have to be extremely complex or interrupt your business operations. With over 30 years of industry-leading experience, Helix International is your partner of choice for any ECM migration project.

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