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Why Organizations Cling to Legacy ECM


Many organizations have held on to aging ECM systems because they satisfy basic needs and because the owners have invested so much in them. But investment considerations aside, organizations also need to consider the opportunity cost of their functional limitations and lack of integration with the business.


Old technology is fine with limited conditions, but the digital world has changed in ways that older ECM systems were never designed to accommodate. Organizations typically have used legacy ECM to scan and digitize printed documents and then manually assign metadata according to a set classification such as customer number, transaction number, account number, and so on.

The purpose of those systems was to make it easier for people to find information if they knew what they were looking for, usually within the context of a transaction. Typically, their content was documents and records, not individual data elements managed by a separate, usually disconnected, database management system. Optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities in legacy ECM were barely functional, and users couldn’t find content that wasn’t explicitly tagged for retrieval or know essential information about the document or record.

ECM today isn’t just a few internal product owners. Take self-service, a common feature in both public and private sector that saves customers time and money. Clients value accessing and updating profiles and purchase histories without knowing the transaction IDs or order numbers or other non-necessary details. Few legacy ECM systems can accommodate such requirements.

Inside the organization, staff members want the flexibility to find information relevant to their needs, whether in documents, records, email messages, or audio and video recordings. They are accustomed to the Google and the power of information discovery: Type in a search query, find the information you didn’t expect to see, and follow the results wherever they may take you. Legacy ECM can’t do that.

Modern ECM platforms, like Laserfiche, scale almost limitlessly, integrate seamlessly with both internal and customer-facing applications, and manage content and data in the same way. Updates and enhancements are transparent to the user and involve no downtime. They can also be connected to other specialized platforms for such functions as recognizing images, integrating geolocation data, and serving content into existing workflows.

Delivered as a platform rather than as a product, modern ECM systems require minimal startup time and are priced based on population. Service Partners shoulder the maintenance burden, and equipment doesn't take up space in the office or data center. If you are interested in learning more about the difference between Laserfiche and Legacy ECM please contact us.


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