Why Your Legacy System Needs An Upgrade

In today’s market, organizations must evolve with digital innovations to remain competitive with one another. Although technology is only a piece of the equation, it paves the way for further innovations throughout various business processes. It can be difficult to shell out the resources to upgrade a legacy DMS or ECM system, but this initial transformation process is necessary for continued organizational growth. As more organizations across each industry trade in their legacy systems for modern cloud technology, it’s becoming clear that cloud migrations create more efficient business processes.

Growth and Innovation

When IBM surveyed executives across 18 industries, they reported significantly achieving enterprise innovation initiatives after moving from a legacy system to the cloud. 74% of organizations improved client experience, while 71% created new revenue streams. 83% of high-performing organizations had either fully integrated cloud technology into their technological growth plan or had plans to do so.6

Cloud systems are not only resulting in success, but also growing in adoption and becoming essential for competitive edge. When the International Data Group interviewed 550 tech buyers across 9 industries, 73% had at least one portion of their technology framework stored in the cloud,3 while on average, 30% of their total IT budgets were dedicated to cloud computing for the following year.4 Prospective employees also have growing interest in digital maturity efforts, with 80% saying they want to work for a “digitally enabled company or digital leader.”2 Most importantly, client expectations are driving the need for more efficient systems. When 8,000 global consumers and business buyers were surveyed by Salesforce, 75% expected companies to create better experiences through technological advancement.10

Time and Cost Efficiency

As technology and information move faster, legacy systems are struggling to keep up, wasting time and resources that equate to thousands of dollars lost. As of 2019, 85% of an average organization’s data was deemed redundant, obsolete, trivial, or had an unknown purpose. The storage of this unneeded information was projected to cost organizations $3.3 trillion cumulatively by 2020.1 Time spent digging through this data creates immense issues, with 30% of the average employee’s working hours dedicated to searching databases for essential information each week.9

In contrast, cloud-based systems offer solutions to the operational deficiencies of legacy systems, including:

  1. A seamless end-user experience with agile operating capabilities
  2. Expansive network availability for on premise and remote employees
  3. Elimination of IT costs associated with legacy hardware storage and maintenance
  4. AI technology that optimizes search and storage procedures

AI included in cloud systems offers organizations content processing capabilities that are more efficient and 66-75% less expensive than processing performed by humans.2

Upgraded Security

System security risks are a growing concern for organizations, with new threats arising each day. The average size of a security breach now amounts to over 25,000 records, with the average breach costing an organization $3.92 million.Legacy systems are often highly ungoverned, leaving data unregulated and employees without barriers to prevent breaches. An AIIM Industry Report found that over 50% of industry leaders interviewed reported email to be an ungoverned, high-risk content source for their organization, and that most of their content was insecurely stored in a file-share outside of their DMS or ECM.7

Within the last few years, organizations have engaged in cloud system migration to address security concerns. The cloud offers increased data governance, risk management, security policy enforcement, and email management, giving organizations a streamlined approach to data protection. Cloud adoption has grown exponentially, demonstrating increased trust in the process of moving away from legacy systems. Between 2016 to 2019, law firms’ use of the cloud as a primary backup storage location increased by 24%, and anticipation for cloud-based solution adoption within firms grew by 10%.In response to growing demand, secure migration solutions including SeeUnity’s Velocity tool have expanded to serve not only major DMS/ECM sources, but file-share repositories as well.


A legacy system’s biggest weakness is arguably its lack of scalability. As organizations grow and evolve, it’s crucial that their systems can smoothly make the transition. Legacy systems are more difficult to keep up to date, creating frustration among an organization’s stakeholders (and again, wasting time and money). On average, enterprises spend 60-85% of their IT budget maintaining legacy software systems.1 This lack of efficiency also impacts employees, with legal industry representatives reporting their firm’s ability to keep up with new versions of software as one of their biggest annoyances. This concern grew with time, increasing by 8% between 2016 and 2019.5

Because of automatic updates, storage and processing efficiency, and data capacity, cloud systems offer scalability and room for future enterprise advancement. Bottom line, a legacy system upgrade is a worthy consideration for any enterprise-grade organization that wants to remain relevant and competitive.

How SeeUnity Can Help

Our team creates innovative growth opportunities for organizations with our enterprise-class content migration solution. SeeUnity’s API-based products and data connectors ease the process of digital modernization by helping organizations capitalize on modern digital technologies. For the past 16 years, we have helped our global customers of all sizes modernize legacy systems with our Velocity Content Migration solution. Read their success stories to learn more about how Velocity was leveraged for their digital strategies.

Is your organization considering a migration? Read our white paper, “Tips from the Trenches for a Successful Cloud Migration” for more information about strategic planning and implementation.

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Craine, K. “Five warning signs it’s time to ditch your legacy document management system.” AIIM. 2019.

“Digital transformation for professional services.” iManage. 2018.

International Data Group. “2018 cloud computing survey.” IDG. August 2018.

International Data Group. “Understanding the cloud-specific purchase process.” IDG. January 2020.

International Legal Technology Association. “ILTA’s 2019 technology survey.” ILTA. November 2019.

Karpovich, B., Kesterson-Townes, L., & Rishi, S. “Beyond agility: How the cloud is driving enterprise innovation.” IBM Institute for Business Value. April 2017.

LaMonte, T. “ The cost of standing still: Top 6 reasons to renovate legacy ECM.” AIIM. 2017.

“Why you need a zero trust security model.” NetDocuments. September 2019.

Roe, D. “Where does legacy software fit in the digital workplace?” CMS Wire. March 2019.

  1. Salesforce Research. “State of the Connected Customer.” Salesforce. June 2019.
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