What to do with Legacy Data?

Many companies sit on a big pile of old data (information or old file formats, such as Excel 2.0 from 1987 or Excel 5.0 from 1993 for example) or use outdated systems to manage valuable company information. These legacy data and applications are still valuable to the organization, but their inefficiency, poor usability and high maintenance cost do not weigh up against the benefits. To get the most out of your legacy data you should convert these files to new file formats to keep them accessible, readable and searchable in the long term.

What is legacy data? What is the definition of it?

Legacy data are enterprise essential information that is stored in an old or obsolete format or computer system.

Meaning in legacy in computer systems: “denoting or relating to software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use.”

Companies often rely on old applications to perform important business functions and to retain crucial business data and documentation. Legacy data is everything that today’s technology isn’t able to open.

Is there value in your legacy data?

It is in our nature to collect and keep as much information as possible because it might be valuable today or in the future. Due to our natural fear of throwing away possible critical information, we maintain everything as long as possible. But, how useful is that really?

When information is created for the first time, it is always of high value. In time, when new data storage systems are introduced or new file formats take the lead, the value of this data diminishes. Companies must take a critical look at their legacy data and decide which are still valuable enough to maintain for the future and which are not. This calls for a generic data valorization and classification approach. There is still a big potential value in unstructured legacy data that is contained in old applications or files. As businesses become more and more data-driven, it is essential to reclaim the potential of your essential legacy data.

Does legacy (data) mean dead and inaccessible (data) then?

Legacy means forgotten, but it doesn’t mean dead and inaccessible. All those documents and data still contain valuable information for your organization. And there is a solution to access these again.

An automated document conversion solution like DocShifter, can easily convert your legacy data and documentation to accessible, searchable file formats. Fully automated conversion of your obsolete documents to newer formats in 1 click.

Do you need to evolve your legacy application(s)? Here are 6 tips why you should.

Working with old legacy applications and software has many disadvantages for your organization:

  • Waste of time: The low performance and inefficiency of old applications slow down your business processes. Outdated software has a higher crash-risk, offers poor usability and takes a lot of time to figure out.
  • Incompatibility with new technology: Old applications are not accessible via mobile devices and incompatible with the latest apps, systems and tools that your company uses.
  • High maintenance costs: The maintenance of old IT-environments and applications calls for expensive customized interventions of experts.
  • Zero flexibility: Since the development of legacy applications is stopped, they are not scalable for growth.
  • No support: Hardware and software vendors only support their products for a certain period of time. Legacy applications have long surpassed their end-of-life (EOL) which means the vendor will not support it anymore.
  • High security risks: Legacy applications are not adapted according to modern-day security requirements which means they are extremely vulnerable to security breaches.

What are you going to do with your legacy data?

Have you already decided what you are going to do with your legacy data? The simplest solution is to get rid of all your old data and legacy applications. Collect them all and throw them out of the window! It would make sense because in the current condition they are of little to no value for your organization. On the contrary, they take up a lot of your employees’ time. Furthermore, the maintenance of old hardware and software for the purpose of accessing old and unsupported file formats is costing your company a lot of money. Additionally, you need to train new employees how to master legacy applications.

However, given your legacy data is holding potential valuable information, the better choice is to use transformation software like DocShifter to easily transform old file formats to new formats in an automated stream. That way you do not have to worry about the costs of expensive software tools and licenses. Read more in this blogpost about why you should update your file format from time to time.

How easy is it to refresh your legacy data?

Sometimes, because of legal obligations, you do not have another choice than to keep data accessible. Specific data like health, government or insurance related information, need to be kept for 10, 20 or 30 years. At DocShifter we understand the risks of file format obsolescence and inaccessible organizational data.

That is why we have added document refreshing functionalities to our DocShifter software. It is a server-based solution that allows you to automatically convert any source format to any other format, in bulk. The list of file formats that are supported by DocShifter seems endless. Even if you need a file format that is not included, the DocShifter platform can easily be extended thanks to its modular plug-and-play concept. This means your data is safe and set for the future!

Would you like to keep your files accessible, readable and searchable in the long term?

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About DocShifter

Speed, quality, scalability, and configurability are reasons why Life Sciences organizations choose DocShifter to generate technically compliant, submission-ready PDF. High volume, high-quality document conversion, on-premises, or in the cloud. Super easy to set up. Automate. Centralize. Eliminate manual intervention. Reduce Risk. Reduce IT infrastructure costs.