This week I had the privilege of participating in an event held in Sydney, Australia, with Bill Dawes, publisher and editor of Image & Data Manager, and Chris McLaughlin, Chief Marketing Officer of our Enterprise Content Division. During my presentation, I (hopefully) entertained the audience while advocating the importance of archiving.

Prior to the event, Mr. Dawes had conducted a survey to better understand the challenges that organizations face around managing legacy applications and data. One of the most surprising revelations for me was that some organizations would rather maintain legacy apps, or migrate legacy data, than find a more efficient solution.

I guess it should not be overly surprising. Newton’s First Law of Motion, often termed simply “the law of inertia,” states: 

An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

So in a nutshell, organizations will have a natural tendency to keep on doing what they’re doing unless there is a catalyst to do otherwise.

The reality is that there are multiple catalysts to start moving now:

  1. Find the hidden gem. Repurpose archived data to create new insights and business values using analytics tools. This is becoming increasingly important as organizations disrupt their current business models to be relevant in the new digital economy.
  2. Clean the garage. Up to 70% of IT budgets are being spent on maintaining legacy applications. Free up this budget for new innovation and SaaS solutions by retiring legacy applications.
  3. Stay out of jail. Regional and industry-specific regulations continue to multiply. It’s become critical that archiving solutions maintain compliance across all enterprise data.
  4. Boost performance. Don’t get dragged down by data you don’t need. Make production systems efficient by offloading static data into an archive.

And if that isn’t enough, the right solution to these challenges can pay for itself. A great example of this is BMO Harris Bank.

So while 75% of those surveyed by Mr. Dawes indicated that they are currently maintaining legacy applications and data, and more than 50% of them see value in having a single compliant repository for all information across an organization, some are still struggling to extricate themselves from the status quo.

Those organizations that truly comprehend the value of archiving will thrive as the industry continues to be disrupted by digital transformation.

So my advice to those of you who are maintaining legacy apps and data is this: never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The viability of your organization may depend on it.

Jeroen van Rotterdam

Jeroen van Rotterdam

Chief Technology Officer, Enterprise Content Division at EMC Corporation
Jeroen van Rotterdam

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