Don't Take the Trash With You

Don’t Take the Trash With You

When business users want to move to a “next generation” enterprise application, it’s an exciting time for them. Take for example the HR manager moving from Oracle to WorkDay, eager to move to a modern user interface with native support for mobile and all kinds of new functionality.

But for the IT organization, that move presents a series of challenges. And that includes figuring out what to do with all the content stored within the current, soon to be legacy, application.

Leave the Junk Behind

The volume of database records, documents and other content stored in a legacy application can be enormous. But you can’t just delete it all and start from scratch when you move to a new application. Active records must be migrated to the new system and records retention regulations require that some records be retained for a specified period.

Which means you have two choices when migrating to a new enterprise application.

  1.     Move all existing content to the new application, or
  2.     Move just active content to the new application.

The argument against the first alternative is that there is no reason to take the “trash” with you. Think of it like moving to a new home — what better time to get rid of the things you no longer need. Do you really want to clutter up your clean, new space with the unused exercise machine or the three toaster ovens you got as wedding gifts?

The second alternative is obviously the right choice. It doesn’t make sense to load old, dormant content into the new environment. You would simply be loading the new system down with unnecessary volume and complexity.

So it is pretty clear you don’t want to take your trash with you. But what about the inactive content that you need to retain, whether for business reasons or to meet regulatory requirements?

Tuck Away What You’re Required to Keep

At this juncture, many organizations make a very expensive decision. They elect to keep the old application running as a “read only” environment for the five-, seven- or ten-year period during which they need to retain those records.

In my work with companies across all industries, I find that despite the costs, this is a very common approach. Many are not aware that an “application archiving” strategy would enable them to retain the content that they need in an accessible, managed environment and, at the same time, reduce costs.

How does an application archiving strategy do this?

  • It allows you to analyze the content in your legacy system, identifying what you need to retain and what has “aged out” or is a duplicate.
  • It requires you to “lift and shift” content to a new repository where it is retained at a lower cost than the legacy application environment.
  • It provides a facility for authorized users to search, retrieve and report on content
  • It enables you to track retention requirements and trigger workflows to destroy records when their retention requirements are met.

Application archiving simplifies and clears the path for the move to new enterprise application. It lets you move forward with decommissioning and retiring the existing application. The result is savings in storage costs, licenses, and maintenance, as well as time savings for the IT staff members managing and maintaining the old environment.

Make the Move Easy, Fast and Trash Free

The move to an exciting new application environment does not have to be a compromise. The organization can make a clean start with the new application, unencumbered by records and content accumulated over years of use.

The “trash” can be left behind and the new application populated with active content. The inactive content that must be retained is moved to a separate archive where it is available if required and managed according to retention rules.

Just like when you move to a new home, the move is easier if you do not have to bring all the accumulated contents of your attic and your basement with you. It’s easier and faster, it saves money and the new space is nicer if you don’t take the trash with you.

Ken Lownie
VP Customer Success

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