When Nuxeo interviewed key players at top financial institutions, the #1 business challenge they identified was an inability to quickly search for and find information.

According to financial industry leaders, information exists in an archipelago of disconnected departments and applications, making it incredibly difficult for users to quickly find and access the most current and up-to-date information they need to do their jobs. But what happens when the cure for disconnection causes more problems than siloed information did?

It’s time to rethink “rip and replace.”

For decades, it’s just “how things were done”: Fragmented, isolated information silos kept the right information from getting to the right people at the right time. This negatively impacted sales and product development cycle times, customer experiences, and internal team morale.

Then, a new range of companies started using information differently: the disruptors. Instead of entering as a typical competitor, disruptive startups turned established industries on their head with new ways of thinking that made the old guard seem expensive, stodgy, and inflexible (Kind of like our system modernization approach vs the old ECM approach). Now, yesterday’s disruptors are today’s bigtech giants, leaving the old guard scrambling to keep up.

In a changed innovation landscape, enterprises can’t afford for teams to spend large amounts of time chasing data instead of engaging in more skilled, valuable work. When top companies start to feel the heat from potential disruptors, there’s a temptation to disrupt their own systems: tear apart everything that isn’t connected, and make it all feed into one central repository.

Rip-and-Replace = High Cost

Information silos can create major headaches, as well as direct and indirect costs — but rip-and-replace IT projects often require high implementation costs that don’t always make sense from a business perspective.

Completely dismantling information silos can start to seem like the chore that never ends: there’s always another place where data is being stored, and always another rabbit hole to go down before it’s done. At Nuxeo, our customers tell us that previous attempts at rip-and-replace projects often took two or three times longer to implement than initial estimates, due to the difficulty of finding all information and moving it to a central repository for access and distribution.

Rip-and-Replace = Low Adoption Rates

After spending a huge amount of money and time on projects that promise to make information accessible and secure, enterprises are often shocked to discover that their new system is underutilized and faces persistent difficulties with company-wide adoption.

Some departments may consider themselves “holdouts,” unwilling to buy into a centralized system that doesn’t accommodate their specific needs. These small pockets of unseen information can slowly develop into “shadow silos” that further expose the shortcomings of the monolithic single content repository approach. In the end, it can be just as difficult to fulfill information requests as it was before the rip-and-replace project started — a frustrating state of affairs for executives and end users alike.

Why Is Rip-and-Replace Ineffective?

What many businesses forget in their rush to implement radical change is that individual teams have strong preferences about the applications and workflows they use. These ad hoc content workflows softwares may be idiosyncratic and sometimes inefficient, but — at least initially — people work with them because they’re simple and easy.

Team members can feel like a rip-and-replace project completely changes the shape of their days, how they are supposed to do work, and how they divide their time. Often, these changes are seen as unwelcome, and team members resent being told to use a new system (often, in an era of changing technologies, not so long after they finished learning the last one).

Formerly happy, productive teams begin to feel bogged down in technicalities, and start getting “creative,” implementing workarounds (aka “shadow IT”) with more flexibility than their information management systems would allow.

Alternatives to Rip-and-Replace

Enterprises know that rip-and-replace projects have high implementation costs and low adoption rates — so why do they keep happening?

Often, it’s because the people in charge of making vendor decisions for information management simply believe that full centralization of information management is the only alternative to the status quo.

Truly modern content services and information platforms ensure that your team doesn’t have to be limited by the central repository model. Instead, using a modern platform like Nuxeo, you can connect information from decentralized systems while allowing teams to continue working in the applications and information storage systems they prefer.

While it’s critical to make sure that information is visible across your organization, modernization doesn’t have to mean leaving behind what works best — or alienating hard-working teams that may be resistant to change.

Get a tip sheet from AIIM on what does information management modernization mean

Today’s executives should consider a balanced approach: seek out a solution that works with the way your information is stored and accessed today, but that is flexible and forward-thinking enough to ensure scalability and compatibility with the technologies of tomorrow.

Disruptive competitors don’t mean that you have to disrupt your business in order to compete. Check out this resource to learn how Nuxeo can help you stay ahead of GAFA in Financial Services] — and talk to us today to schedule your custom Nuxeo demo.