Despite the availability of new and innovative technologies, many businesses are still relying on aging ECM systems to manage their enterprise content. Often, these legacy systems – with architecture unsuitable for the modern era of IT – have been in place for a decade or longer. These systems were not inherently designed for current security standards, interoperability, compliance controls, business continuity or usability for the modern user. Legacy ECM platforms are noticeably underservicing organizations, ultimately becoming a roadblock for businesses to realize the true value of their information.

In many cases – unbeknownst to the organization – legacy ECM systems can be a huge liability. Silos create operational inefficiencies and maintenance costs put strain on budgets. Unfriendly, archaic architecture makes it difficult for users to access enterprise content when and where they need it. On top of that, many aging systems don’t meet today’s standards for securing and protecting critical, high-value business data.

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Security risks of legacy ECM

Beyond enabling organizations with content, a large part of an ECM solution’s job is to ensure that it remains governed and secure. If an ECM solution does not align with current standards and controls, it will fail. Ultimately the responsibility is on the organization to perform the due diligence required to ensure that the solutions and configurations in place are kept current. It is telling that all of the top nine security threats that have recently compromised legacy systems are not cutting edge. In fact, the most dangerous threats in the news today are based on code that is over three years old. Legacy systems are at risk because they were not designed to address even these aging security threats. Compounded by new risks designed specifically to expose systems, legacy ECM solutions don’t stand a chance, regardless of the number of Band-Aids organizations place on them.

When it comes to user security, legacy ECM solutions can force the hand of organizations to adopt less than ideal administration scenarios. This is partially because these systems do not interoperate robustly with security and identity management systems, ultimately resulting in organizations trying to manage security in multiple places. Updates in one location do not replicate automatically in others. Suddenly, you’re faced with multiple points of failure. Have you allowed somebody access rights to something in one system that they do not have in the other systems? Are you auditing across all of these systems? As a user’s job changes, security rights and roles also change and the complexities are compounded in managing these in more than one location.

Unless carefully considered and handled, organizations put human error squarely in the middle of key security measures. And many of the breaches happening today – particularly on the government side – are related to this. Security concerns are expanded further when legacy ECM systems are left stagnant, making them an easy target for data breaches.

Make security a central part of ECM strategy

The needs of the modern enterprise are rapidly changing – especially in leveraging the value of information. Data is such a critical asset; protecting and securing it should be central to ECM strategy. With aging, inflexible systems in place – and not always easy to replace – what’s needed is not just an overhaul of your solutions, but a reevaluation of your entire information strategy. Information is only going to increase in business value over the coming years. Prioritizing how that content is managed, leveraged and secured is essential to a company’s success.

Ultimately, you need to understand the role of ECM in your organization. Although ECM solutions that enhance productivity and operational efficiencies may easily align back to departmental dollars; it is imperative that organizations from the top down use their information initiatives and ECM strategies to routinely reevaluate the state of security and compliance and ensure their ECM solutions do not become legacy roadblocks and risks that compromise an organization’s success.

With the constant evolution of technology, legacy ECM systems are no longer up to par. If your existing infrastructure is not providing the security and control your business needs, then it’s time for a change – a big one.

As Gartner puts it, IT Modernization involves a “complete overhaul of the culture of IT.” And if that sounds extreme, well – that’s because it is. Moving on from a legacy ECM system or strategy is a substantial project, but it’s well worth the effort. With the right approach to ECM strategy, your business can focus more on growth and less on security and compliance risk.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]