Essentials for archiving and decommissioning document management systems

Thumbnail | Blogpost | Maximizing ROI: Best practices for archiving and decommissioning legacy systems
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migration-center team

April 23, 2024

In today’s rapidly evolving digital business landscape, many organizations face the problem of managing legacy systems that are no longer efficient or cost-effective. To overcome this challenge, companies need to implement effective strategies for archiving or decommissioning their (often outdated) systems. Explore the essentials of archiving and decommissioning in our blogpost.

Understanding archiving and decommissioning

First, let’s clarify the use of the terms and their connection: Archiving is about strategically preserving inactive data in its final state and applications from obsolete systems for long-term storage, preservation, and compliance.

On the other hand, decommissioning refers to the process of retiring and removing outdated systems from the active environment. While archiving focuses mainly on preserving historical data so it is accessible, decommissioning aims to eliminate the costs and risks associated with maintaining obsolete data.

Archive vs. backup

Archiving and backup serve distinct purposes. A backup usually provides a copy of data or an entire system for recovery in case of unexpected data-loss, while archiving involves moving selected data to a separate repository for long-term retention and regulatory adherence. A backup is restored in a whole, in which the archived data can be accessed and searched at any time. Don’t use your backup as an archive but use an archive as part of your IT infrastructure.

01 | Blogpost | Maxiziming ROI: Best practices for archiving and decommissioning legacy systems

Static data growth of backup window over time

The benefits of a strategic decommissioning and archiving approach

Just like old cars, outdated systems come with inherent risks such as high maintenance costs, security vulnerabilities, and performance issues. Implementing a comprehensive decommissioning and archiving strategy offers numerous benefits:

  • Cost Savings: Reduce maintenance, licensing, and operational expenses.
  • Improved Performance: Archiving historical data frees up resources and enhances the performance of active applications, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
  • Enhanced Compliance: Properly archived data ensures regulatory compliance and facilitates audit readiness, mitigating legal risks.
  • Streamlined Operations: Removing obsolete systems or data simplifies IT management, streamlines workflows, and accelerates decision-making.
  • Future-Proofing: By modernizing their technology portfolio, organizations can adapt to evolving business needs and stay ahead of competitors.

Elements of a sophisticated decommissioning and archiving strategy

A successful decommissioning and archiving strategy should include:

  • Inventory and assessment: Conduct a thorough inventory of legacy systems, identifying candidates for decommissioning and archiving. Don’t assume that a 1:1 migration to an archive will bring benefits – it will only shift the problem to another system!
  • Data migration and cleansing: Develop a plan for migrating data to archival storage while ensuring accuracy, integrity, and security. Cleanse and normalize data to optimize storage efficiency.
  • Compliance and governance: Establish policies for managing archived data in compliance with industry regulations and internal governance standards, including data retention and disposal protocols.
  • Change management and training: Create a decommissioning plan with stakeholders and provide training on new systems to maximize adoption.

Role of ETL tools in decommissioning projects

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) tools play a crucial role as they automate the migration process from legacy systems to archival repositories, ensuring data integrity and completeness, while reducing the required resources. Additionally, ETL tools enable companies to cleanse and enrich data before archiving.

With a sophisticated migration solution like migration-center the transfer of data to an archive is seamless. It helps you identify, extract, and enhance metadata as well as modify or add content renditions (e.g. PDF) for long-term storage. When importing records to your archive, it ensures complete and correct data transfer. Thanks to its built-in monitoring functionality, the migration process can be conveniently controlled and data can be searched and reviewed any time.

Ready to optimize your archiving and decommissioning strategy?

Don’t let outdated legacy systems hold you back – take proactive steps for effective archiving and decommissioning. Contact our Migration Services team for expert guidance and explore how migration-center can streamline your legacy data management processes!