Should You Be Scared to Sunset Your Legacy ECM Systems?
by Rikkert Engels, on Feb 20, 2020 12:00:00 PM
What is keeping legacy systems alive? Fear. So why are people so afraid of getting rid of their legacy ECM systems? Let’s discuss!
I keep hearing the same three reasons why organizations continue to choose to keep their legacy ECM systems alive:
Reason 1: “There is no available alternative!”
Let’s take an honest but harsh look back at the last couple of years: There were certainly alternative systems in the market, but they were probably just marginally better than the systems you wanted to replace. Did the clients really believe that a newly chosen content management systems will be different? They likely won’t. The ugly truth is that there are only a handful of viable alternatives that can live next to or instead of SharePoint. The rest will most likely end up in someone’s graveyard model. How ironic? You might end up with the same account manager anyway? If it ain’t broken yet, is it worth the risk?
Reason 2: “The organization is afraid to migrate the project.”
In reality, most organizations are scared to confront their current vendors about how challenging it is to get the content out of the system that they are locked into. You have to understand that this is intentional. They make it hard by design. The threat of an audit is just one phone call away. And with no new sales for the last years, legacy vendors sales representatives have become masters in the audit. Your current vendor is blocking you from getting the content out. Unfortunately, it is an effective – and nasty –strategy to keep you locked in.
Reason 3: “We’re scared to perform the active migration ourselves… we could lose something!”
This is a legitimate concern as many things can actually go wrong: You can lose valuable data during the migration, you could run out of budget and you can possibly miss a key deadline. This reason can be painful and result in you having to renew your legacy ECM license. This means you end up paying double.
Can any of these reasons be justified?
Let’s jump into these “reasons” and see whether having any fear is justified:
Reason 1: Not anymore, because now there are alternatives: As Office 365 compliancy features have improved and Cortex is around the corner, Office 365 offers (nearly) all features needed. As most of clients pay for Office 365 anyway, there is no need to pay double. And there are also other vendors out there, like Hyland, that take a more holistic and open approach.
Reason 2: Yes! Bad news: Your current legacy supplier will probably actively block you and won’t stop. Good news: There’s technology out there that can get the data out without any cooperation of the source provider. It’s called Xillio.
Reason 3: Yes! A migration can definitely go wrong if you don’t use the right technology and expertise. However, with the right approach, it is actually quite easy and there’s nothing to fear. You just need the right people and the right technology. At Xillio, we’ve successfully done this a thousand times. Lastly, and probably most important, we know our business depends on the reputation we always deliver. So, we simply have to! There are posters of Karl Malone all around the office as reminder. We always deliver!
Conclusion: Do what your business needs to succeed
When you partner with the right people and brands, you should feel confident and comfortable shedding your Legacy ECM systems in favor of new technologies that enhance production and dramatically improve your company ROI. To quote Karl Augustus Menninger: “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” Never be afraid to take a risk. Your business will thank you!