Moving to a new Agisent solution often requires integration with, or replacement of, existing legacy systems. And while this encompasses lots of issues: training, transition, equipment, configuration, etc., the biggest challenge usually is data. After all, there may be a gazillion records in your old system that reflects years of activity, all of which contributes to your knowledge-base that helps save lives and put away the bad guys.
This is a very familiar area for us and a number of choices exist that can help you maximize your ongoing information asset, including:
- Cut-Off. This is the least desirable option as it literally means stop using the old system and let go of any digital representation of the information. Sometimes, however, it is the only choice such as in the case of a catastrophic legacy system failure, or massive legacy data corruption. Still, while it may be the least desirable, it is also the easiest to implement… ‘cause there’s really nothing anyone has to do except mourn the loss of the information. Hard-copies can mitigate the loss, but all other options are preferable to this one.
- Concurrency. If there are no consequences to leaving the legacy system running (if even in a reduced capacity), then this option allows you to continue digital access to the legacy information, however there is no direct connection between the old system and the new. That is hardly ideal, however the good news is that while it is certainly preferable over the Cut-off option, and while it does not provide direct integration with the new stuff today, you are able to preserve the possibility of direct integration at a later date.
- Conversion. The optimum solution is to convert legacy data to the new system, thereby gaining all of the benefit of the existing knowledge base. The problem is that a full conversion may be prohibitively complex, expensive, and take an extended amount of time to accomplish. The benefits are enormous, and once the data is in the new system you will never have to go through this again. Partial conversions mitigate many of the objections to a full conversion and can still provide key data into the system.
- Legacy Data as a Service. A hybrid solution is to install a customized wrapper around the legacy data that provides integrated access of key data in real-time from the new system to the old without all of the challenges and expense of a full-blown conversion. And while this does not provide every piece of information to the new system, it can be a cost-effective way to provide the important data where it can best be utilized. And, the wrapper can be expanded in the future as necessary to gain further access to additional information.
Regardless of the legacy integration methodology, Agisent’s experienced data teams can help guide you through this complex and important process.