Do we have old systems or processes that we no longer need?
In this Compliance versus Complacency article, I am looking at our complacency with legacy systems or processes. I recently visited Campbell's Covered bridge, the only remaining covered bridge in the State of South Carolina.
Campbell's Covered Bridge was constructed in 1909. At that time, covered bridges were the perfect solution because they provided extra protection for bridges covered in snow and ice. Many of our legacy systems or outdated processes or controls were implemented for a need "at that time." As we start to look at our control structure for areas of complacency – perhaps we should be looking into the legacy systems or processes. Is there still a need for that "covered bridge" at your company?
It is also interesting to note that while they have turned Campbell's Covered Bridge and the surrounding area into a park, the conversion cost was around $180,000. How much are our legacy systems and processes costing us?
In our current environment, we may have found some legacy systems that we were unable to convert to a cloud-based system. How did this impact our ability to allow our employees to work from home? Are we maintaining some offline systems for fear of ransomware or other hacking attacks?
Did we also find that we are continuing to do some manual steps in a process that could be fully automated? Conducting a "Return on Investment" (ROI) analysis of the cost of automating versus the continued cost to execute may be an eye-opening exercise. In some cases, it may show that the manual execution is cost-effective! Just watch out for the failures that come with a manual process (think spreadsheet).
We are often victims of our tunnel vision and get caught thinking, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." However, a "fresh eyes" approach often reveals even better, more current solutions leading to increased ROI.
Stay safe and let me know in what other areas you think we have become complacent. We are always happy to lend a fresh set of eyes to any project.