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ECM Has Generational Impact

We frequently meet with organizations who grapple with what to do with their aging ECM or document management infrastructure. We often refer to these as legacy, although that might not be a fair label as it implies old, outdated, clunky, etc. Here’s the dictionary definition of legacy:

Legacy (adjective)- of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems

Upon reflection, the organization has chosen to keep the system thus far because it must achieve some value. Most organizations don’t have to use these platforms, so why do they stick with them for so long?

Sometimes it is personal, as in you are either working with the person who deployed the system directly or they are a member of the team. It can be challenging for some to let go of a major procurement and deployment. When you spend thousands of hours working in the system's guts, it can be a matter of pride when it worked well for the organization, but now that it’s not, they may be frustrated.

Another way to look at it is that these systems are generational. Usually, in tech, we speak of generations as sets of technology developed in a specific timeframe and works in some type of interoperable way. Legacy ECM has run for decades on platforms created from outdated practices against requirement landscapes that often no longer even exist. None of these were built in a single budget cycle and won’t be replaced within one. But you have to start somewhere.

Much like other types of public infrastructure are expensive to maintain, and replacing them becomes more, not less, complicated over time. Despite the outstanding efforts of underfunded IT teams, these products will eventually reach a point where challenges in supporting them create an unsustainable level of risk and cost for both you and the vendor. Maybe not today or next week, but it is coming. The sinkhole is here, and you may be swallowed by it.

Decisions about these systems have a generational impact on you and future epochs of staff. Hence they should be highly considered. Inaction isn’t an option. Migration can be complex, but Enterprise content management is a journey. What is often presented as an easy move to the cloud is never simple. At the heart of the issue is that it’s a significant lift, and it’s essential to partner with the right expert.

It would be best if you started somewhere. You probably need some advice; not a complex sale. Give us a call.

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