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Modern ECM: Overcoming information siloes without the ‘rip-and-replace' approach

Enterprises know that rip-and-replace projects have high implementation costs and low adoption rates — and there’s a more powerful way to upgrade your ECM.

If rushed, organizations that scrap their existing enterprise content management (ECM) system to replace it with a new, shiny solution could have it backfire on them.

The ‘rip-and-replace' approach (when unaccompanied by the right strategy) could risk higher implementation costs, further operational bottlenecks, ad-hoc file sharing and lower employee satisfaction.

The best practice is to approach your application modernization efforts in a more intelligent manner; with a modern and highly adaptable platform serving as the connective fabric that links to your existing information systems.

Truly modern content services platforms ensure that your team isn’t limited by the central repository model.

Instead, using a modern platform, you can connect information from decentralized systems while allowing teams to continue working in the applications and information storage systems they prefer.

That simple approach can deliver a significant return on investment (ROI) and lower total cost of ownership (TCO), without the need for a rip-and-replace model.

Achieving better ROIs and TCOs

You probably know that the promise of a single ECM repository for all your business needs was a dream that never came true.

The truth is, there’s no way to stop the spread of information across different systems deployed throughout your organization. So, rather than fight it, why not embrace and exploit it?

Step 1: Connect

Select a platform that provides an extensive list of prebuilt connectors to today’s information management solutions, as well as your legacy systems.

It should allow you to quickly construct connectors to non-standard information stores as well.

With the ability to quickly and easily access content that resides within existing legacy systems, you unlock years (perhaps even decades) of valuable information that can be immediately leveraged to make faster and better business decisions and to drive an enhanced customer experience.

Once you’ve connected and exposed all of this valuable information to your users, business applications, and customers, you can move to step two.

Step 2: Consolidate

Begin to consolidate outdated legacy systems and redundant repositories that no longer deliver business value.

Now that your business systems are connected, information is accessible from anywhere, and you can begin to execute your consolidation strategy at your own pace. There’s no need for a big migration project and the result is little-to-no business disruption.

> Read more | Why fast-paced enterprises need secure file sharing

By connecting your existing systems to a modern content services platform rather than attempting the risky rip-and-replace approach, you can achieve a much quicker ROI.

Then, by consolidating your information systems, you reduce your TCO, which leads to increased profitability. It’s a win-win proposition! 

Connect Systems with APIs

Most legacy systems can connect to and integrate with other systems via an application programmer interface, or API. Using APIs is not for the faint-hearted and requires a technical software developer to create custom coded applications to work with the legacy system.

To get access to all of the information and functionality within a legacy system, and replicate it via a second interface, requires a lot of work - and because of this, many legacy systems remain disconnected and isolated from other core business solutions.

But a relatively new technology concept is changing that.

The introduction of content services platforms has coincided with the advent of several tools and techniques for connecting disparate systems.

These include easy-to-use connectors that hook into legacy (and other) systems and provide a common language for how to use the information and functionality within them. This does not require the end-user organization to perform huge amounts of custom coding but uses pre-built tools to simply create a link between the legacy application and the business.

This mapping is known as a metadata layer and can be used from other applications to provide a modern way of accessing the information, and until now, it was locked within the legacy system.

This approach means that all the information and functionality can now be used in a number of different ways within the business - but absolutely does not limit usage to those trained in how to use the legacy application.

As a modern content services platform, Hyland’s ECM platform makes it easy for you to leverage your critical business information regardless of where it resides.

Explore services exposed through API’s and deliver the information-rich touchpoints needed to support your business applications today and long into the future.

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