Impact Insights

Lessons Learned in Obtaining Financial Data for Archival Applications

Connor Morse

In order to properly prioritize the archive of an organization’s legacy applications, thorough and up-to-date financial data is required in order to make a comprehensive analysis. However, obtaining this information presents its own set of challenges and obstacles that must be accounted for in order to ensure a successful transition to the new platform. A few challenges that are typically prevalent include:

  • Lack of readily available contractual information for legacy systems
  • Identification of user or vendor contacts who can provide financial and billing data
  • Hidden fees and associated costs for maintaining legacy applications

Lack of readily available contractual information for legacy applications

Depending on the age and usage of the legacy application, locating current invoicing information may be tedious. As organizations grow and acquisitions increase, billing information may be handled by multiple parties. Furthermore, updates to the organization’s application inventory lists may not be current and may exclude key financial figures for application upgrades and components due to the changes not being properly documented.

Finding this information will more than likely require reaching out the organization’s various internal departments (legal, financial, administrative, etc.), the practice where the application is/was in use, and the application vendor. The acquisition of conflicting financial data while contacting these various departments is an additional concern that will require analyzing all pieces of information received and validating that the most current financial data is being used.

Identification of user or vendor contacts who can provide financial and billing data

Organizational change is inevitable. These changes may require organizational naming updates and transitions, governance restructuring, and legal ownership responsibilities to new applications. Depending on when the application’s contract was executed, there is a high probability that the contract and invoicing information may contain the organization’s previous legal business name, hindering the ability to properly identify current account information from the vendor or other third party.

Having all available organizational names (LBN, DBA), as well as any known account/customer names and numbers, can streamline the process of acquiring up-to-date financial information. Locating internal contacts who have familiarity with the legacy application is not guaranteed, as well, due to the frequency of organizational turnover. This can cause barriers in determining the application’s history, directly impacting the availability of historical financial data.

Hidden fees and associated costs for maintaining legacy applications

Invoice and contract financial data only tell a portion of an application’s true cost and impact to an organization. Internal discussions are necessary to accurately identify additional expenses such as ongoing maintenance costs, FTE costs necessary to keep the application functional, server fees, extraction and termination costs, and various “one-time” fees that can be hidden in the contract language. These are all factors that directly impact the bottom line and need to be accounted for while gathering financial information for legacy applications.

Maintaining a detailed record of the newly acquired financial information for the legacy applications is important to ensure the organization possesses the most current financial data moving forward. Having this information readily available can reduce and further prevent the occurrence of these challenges as future applications are archived.

Although there are many variables that factor into the archive of legacy applications, the current costs and the potential cost-savings associated by archiving and retiring a legacy application are typically among the top priorities that an organization considers first. In order to properly assess and prioritize legacy applications in line for archive, current and precise financial information is a critical component in developing an in-depth analysis.

Acquiring all available organizational information, utilizing every available resource, and thoroughly analyzing the financial data on hand can greatly reduce any potential data gathering gaps or barriers. This ensures the archive analysis is backed by a breadth of accurate and up-to-date information.

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