HOW TO DEAL WITH SOFTWARE LEGACIES
Technological progress offers opportunities for better work. Faster processes, more transparent structures through user-friendly design and higher safety standards are just some of the potentials that can be realised with modern software. Companies therefore often have to ask themselves the question: Continue to use old software or dare to change the system?
One has to face the facts: In most companies it makes sense to clear the air and replace outdated software with modern, more powerful applications. There are several reasons for this.
According to a study conducted by AIIM in 2019, nine out of ten IT decision makers claim that outdated systems prevent them from using modern digital technologies*. These are necessary to grow and become more efficient. 44% of large companies said that this affects every or most projects.**
Moreover, outdated systems are usually not state of the art, which makes them – and therefore the company! -vulnerable. According to AIIM study 51% of the enterprises report of security-relevant incidents in the last 12 months *.
Data protection is also a central IT topic with increasingly complex regulations. 45% say that deficiencies in data protection can make their company vulnerable to litigation*. New requirements, such as those arising from the DSGVO, often cannot be implemented quickly and comprehensively with cumbersome legacy systems.
Old systems are usually not designed, let alone optimized, to be used on the road. As a result, around 43% of the workforce still has no mobile access to documents and data (3).
Productivity as a Service
So, there is a lot to be said for a system changeover to new, modern software solutions:
In a modern software environment that is adequate for the industry, data handling is more fluid and efficient. Processes can thus be streamlined considerably, the communication effort reduced, and productivity increased.
Modern applications by their very nature run on all types of devices, so that the required information is always available, even in the home office or on the road. The ability to give teams mobile access to relevant information and collaborate increases efficiency by up to 25 percent.*****
New software solutions have a more aesthetically pleasing and intuitive interface for users. This reduces training costs and increases acceptance. The simple formula: What is easy to use is also used.
Cloud applications or web applications that are updated centrally throughout the company are thus also up to date for every user and offer greater security against cyber-attacks, data theft or misuse.
“WHAT THAT COSTS AGAIN!”
Some companies fear the costs of a system changeover. However, it is often not realised that the continued use of legacy systems can cost the company even more. Statistics show that companies spend an average of 60 to 85 percent of their IT budget on maintaining old software infrastructure that does not meet their business needs**. Sooner or later (and more often “sooner”), the money spent on the transition is quickly recovered.
SPRING CLEANING IN THE DATA STORAGE ROOM
A system change is also the ideal opportunity to give the perhaps somewhat dusty digital file a spring clean. In most companies, at least a third of the stored data is considered RED: redundant, obsolete, trivial****. This means data that generates little or no added value. In the course of an orderly migration, this data load cannot only be “sifted out”, the really relevant data can be categorised and stored in a structured manner in the same process. Automated processes drastically simplify and accelerate this phase. Especially AI-supported processes have proven to be extremely effective. This ensures a fast and smooth transfer, which restricts the ongoing operation as little as possible.
COMMUNICATING CHANGE: CHANGE MANAGEMENT
The introduction of a new software solution should never be underestimated: A piece of corporate culture, a piece of cherished tradition, hangs on long-used programs – despite branched file paths and wildly growing structure trees in which only employees who have navigated them since the introduction of the content management system in 1993 can find their way around.
The change process means nothing less than a cultural change. The conversion of basic workflows does not always meet with employee enthusiasm. “Change management” is the keyword here. A well-considered concept that stringently explains the upcoming changes and prepares for them makes the changeover easier. Intensive planning should be considered from the outset in order to catch the future users on a factual and emotional level and bring them on board. The motto is: inform, involve, motivate. The ways and means to achieve this are manifold. From (digital) flyers, entertaining training videos and webinars to workshops and giveaways… there are many ways to present the new processes or to promote acceptance.
CONCLUSION: REPLACE OR EMBRACE?
Short answer: Mostly replace. Long answer: Many modern features do not come with an update of the old system. New solutions are needed. But not only the if, but also the how of a changeover needs to be well considered. Change management is the be-all and end-all. So: don’t be afraid of a system change! A good concept, a fast migration process, adequate training methods and above all a good software solution will make the changeover a success. All this has an impact on the working atmosphere – and on sales.
* AIIM: Three Considerations BEFORE You Upgrade or Modernize Your Content Infrastructure
** AIIM: Five Warning Signs It’s Time to Ditch Your Legacy Document Management System
****AIIM: Capitalizing on Content: A Compelling ROI for Change
(3) M-filesThe 2019 Intelligent Information Management Benchmark Report