When is the right time to structure your legacy documents?

Legacy documents should be maintained by business enterprises for future references. Some of these documentations are preserved to avoid future disputes and others are maintained as per the law. When two companies decide to enter a merger & acquisition contract, both parties ought to present documents to maintain transparency. This is one among many other situations where companies are asked to present their documentation work. In addition, companies are incorporated as distinguished legal entities therefore, the owners, employers, and employees must maintain proper paperwork on its behalf in case any disputes arise in the future.

We are often asked if structuring legacy documents is important. We have realized over time that maintaining unstructured legacy documents may not even serve the basic purpose of management. So, the actual question is – when to start structuring the legacy documents?

A company should structure its legacy documents as early as possible. However, if anyone or more of the following situations arises, it would point towards the need for structuring the legacy documents:

Document handling

The purpose of structured documentation is to pave the way for effective information management. When legacy documentation is structured, content is grouped under meaningful topics and metadata is associated. Therefore, when it gets difficult to get hands-on an important document, the organization should start considering investing in structuring the legacy documents.

Reduced costs

The cost of structuring legacy documentation should not precede its benefits. When there is a need for maintaining consistency in documents, the organization must consider investing in structuring. To illustrate, in situations such as mergers & acquisitions, tax compliances, etc. structuring of legal documentation should be focused on.  Organizations can lose considerable amounts of profits due to data mismanagement in these situations.

Migration to cloud

The threat of physical damage to physical documents has channelized investments into migration to the cloud. Under these circumstances, the organization should pursue structuring of the documentation for easy future reference.

User experience

The employees in some organizations continually need to work on or with legacy documents. In these conditions, the productivity of the organization goes down when information is unstructured. Employee’s user experience with legacy documents should play a key role in deciding about investment in structuring.

Legal requirement

The companies are required to adhere to multiple standards based on their area of operations. In order to maintain transparent records of compliance, it is advisable for organizations to keep their legacy documentation structured.

To be precise, if you keep an eye on your information requirements, you will realize that after a certain point it is impossible to procrastinate structuring of documents. One can wait for that situation to arise or foresee the benefits and start structuring at the earliest. In either case, it is important to work with companies that have rich experience in structured documentation. In addition, the cost shouldn’t exceed the benefits.

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