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Keeping Legacy Data: Why it's Critical for Asset Management


Software and other IT upgrades may be essential when it comes to maintaining your organisation's asset management capabilities and staying in line with competitors. However, what happens to the data you have stored on your old system? We look at what's legacy data, why you need to keep it for asset management , and how to migrate it.

What is legacy data of assets?

Legacy data is historical data about your assets that was generated and stored on an older system. Nevertheless, it's still an evergreen resource likely to be essential for years to come, so you need to retain it. This data could be in an obsolete form and hard to access, process, and retain. So when your organisation upgrades its asset management information system (AMIS), this data can get left behind if you don't have an effective plan for migrating the data. Note legacy data as a term can apply to any other type of data, like customer or business intelligence data.

Why do you need to retain legacy data for assets?

Legacy data can play an important role in asset management systems because it's comprises the historical information on your assets. Since asset management is about managing assets through their entire life cycle, it's crucial for any asset management plan to have the full data history on its assets.

Reasons why you need to retain legacy data include the following.

  • Maintenance and repairs - Without legacy data, you don't have the asset's full maintenance and repair history. This could affect you preventative maintenance schedule as well as things like warranty and insurance claims.
  • Costs - In the absence of legacy data, your asset management system can't properly assess whole-life-cycle costs of assets and work out accurate asset ROIs. This means you won't have the right data to make informed procurement, vendor, and asset-ownership decisions.
  • Tax and accounting - Losing legacy data could mean your assets aren't properly accounted for and you lose out on tax benefits. For example, you need to have an accurate depreciation schedule for tax reporting.

Interested in finding out more about Smart Asset's Asset Management Information System?


Tips for streamlined data migration

Because IT systems, software, and technology evolve so quickly, businesses can be dealing with the issues of legacy data for their assets more often than expected. With an effective management plan, you can make sure your organisation retains and has access to legacy data - by migrating this legacy data and converting it into usable, up-to-date formats in your current system.

1. Migrating your legacy data

Work to a plan when migrating your legacy data. Make it a project in itself so your organisation is giving it the priority it warrants.

  • Data analysis - Start with an initial analysis of your legacy data. Only with a clear picture of your current data can you work out the best and most cost-effective way to transfer the data.
  • Plan - Don't underestimate how challenging migrating legacy data can be or how poor in quality the legacy data might be. Legacy data could be more complex, messy, or inconsistent than you expect. Make sure you work out a detailed plan for the process.
  • Data-error-handling strategy - Incorporate a data-error-handling process into your migration plan. It can be as simple as converting the data, dropping the data, logging the error, or fixing the source data. Whatever it is, have a plan so you have an established, uniform way for dealing with data errors.

2. Review and verification

Depending on the volume of legacy data, it might be worthwhile to consider migrating the data in steps, through a phased-in or agile-like approach. You could do a first-stage migration before reviewing and verifying the data. This helps test the integrity of your data as well as the efficacy of your migration methodology.

Once it's done, you can move onto the next stage of migration before verifying it again. Only once you've verified all the data has been correctly migrated do you then dispose of the legacy system.

3. Get team input

Your asset management team, field technicians, and other staff members could be the ones that truly understand your legacy data. Obtain their input on what data to keep and what you could safely discard. They might also be able to provide useful insights on the best way to present, structure, and categorise the migrated data since they're the ones using it in the new system.

4. Obtain expert advice

Seek the advice of experts before you plan your migration, as they can assist you with a streamlined migration plan. An expert can recommend the right automation and software tools for migration. They might be able to ensure continuity or eliminate asset management downtime by giving you access to legacy data both before and while it's being migrated. In addition, expert input could make your migration less risky, reducing the possibility of lost data.

It's essential to retain legacy data from your asset management information system so you have a complete historical record of each asset for cost, tax, maintenance, and other purposes. By getting advice from experts and working to a detailed migration plan, you can maximise your chances of a streamlined, successful legacy data migration.

Smart Asset offers best-in-class asset management solutions supported by exceptional customer support, consulting, and training. Schedule a free, private demo online now or contact us to discuss your specific business requirements.


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