Organizations today often find themselves having to manage petabytes of content that’s spread across billions of documents throughout the enterprise. The amount of data that enterprises collect today is tremendous, and it’s only going to keep growing. To aggravate the issue, many companies struggle with maintaining and managing all of this data within native repositories that are simply not agile enough to adapt to the modern business environment. Should these organizations find themselves in the middle of a merger or acquisition, they’ll quickly find their legacy systems incompatible and costly to integrate.

Legacy systems lack simplicity in their approach to integration and interoperability functions, and it’s something with which we’ve had to help many of our customers. These systems are simply unable to match modern enterprise content management (ECM) requirements. Today, we see higher standards than ever before in regard to interoperability, integration, usability and security.

Unlike modern ECM systems, legacy systems is often unable to effectively interoperate with other existing systems within an organization, slowing down productivity and causing inhibitive bottlenecks. It also falls short in meeting the security and compliance requirements of today’s regulated environments. In a nutshell, this system lacks the ability to align with the future of information management: the ability to meet the needs of a consumer-driven technology landscape where agility, interoperability, and usability dominate.

Unfortunately, many users feel trapped by their systems, particularly because not many vendors are able to efficiently (and cost-effectively) migrate data from and decommission their legacy repository. But, why is a conversion project so difficult?

When an organization moves from an legacy z/OS mainframe implementation to their less expensive distributed systems, they’re going to stumble across a variety of challenges. In a situation like this, keep in mind with legacy systems you’re dealing with two distinctly different technology stacks are not able to adequately match each other in features. Moving off a mainframe may mean your users will lose features that they previously had. Security, usability, and content enablement functions are easily neglected; not to mention that distributed environments often suffer from stability issues.

It’s important to look for a vendor that offers a proven approach to this type of conversion. Create a checklist: Can the vendor perform conversion analysis? Do they offer data cleansing (fixing orphan data and enhancing indexing)? Is quality control a priority for them? These elements should all be a part of the conversion process, and should therefore be criteria in the vendor selection process.

It seems that many vendors claim that they’re able to perfect a conversion project, but the reality is perhaps a little bleaker. Navigating through an legacy conversion project and coming out at the other end having saved money and improved process is an enormous challenge. Successful conversion strategies should be based on a full understanding of a customer’s environment and take into account the customer’s needs. If your migration vendor puts your business needs first, the slow and cumbersome job of conversion can be faster and more efficient.

We can say from experience that few vendors are adept at legacy conversion – and Systemware is likely the only that’s able to master it.