How Legacy Systems are Holding You Back

By: Hyperscience
Published: March 23, 2020

Are you ready for a tech reckoning? Because it’s time to face the truth: if you’re still relying on manual processes and legacy systems, that reliance is more than likely holding your business back.

Look, we’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know — even if you haven’t fully admitted it to yourself. But sometimes straight facts are called for. That’s why we are laying out the key problems associated with manual, data-centric tasks, as well as some stats to drive home the very real pain these processes are causing you.

Delayed processing times

“…about 50 percent of the overall time of the workforce in finance and insurance is devoted to collecting and processing data, where the technical potential for automation is high.”

Ask yourself: can you really continue to lag behind when it comes to speedily processing medical claims, responding to a change of beneficiary on a form, or underwriting a life insurance policy? Manual data entry is unacceptably slow compared with the processing speed that can now be achieved with reliable automation. What’s more, automation technologies deliver much more accuracy than manual processes, which saves even more time.

Not to mention that employees are forced to devote a large percentage of each workday to the mundane tasks associated with manually collecting and processing data, when that time could be better used for higher (and more profitable) purposes. These outdated workflows lead to employee dissatisfaction and misspent effort. In contrast, automated tools and other uses of AI free up more time for workers by eliminating their need to focus on menial tasks.

Looked at from a customer’s point of view, delay in claims processing — as one example — can cause frustration and unnecessary financial worry and hardship. And that can spell lost business for you:

Customer churn due to declining loyalty and poor customer experiences costs $470 billion in Life and Property & Casualty premiums.

Accenture Strategy Report

Higher costs

US companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time (source:”

When you rely on manual processes, your back office tends to invent new hoops to jump through rather than streamlining operations. That’s because of the extra steps needed to accommodate this outdated mode of doing business. Whether it’s constantly reformatting and reissuing forms, only to have them quickly become moot, or having to outsource data entry and then develop systems to manage that stream of work – legacy systems cost you money.

And manual processes introduce errors and bad data that take a further toll on your bottom line. How much are you losing? According to Gartner, “organizations believe poor data quality to be responsible for an average of $15 million per year in losses… and this is likely to worsen as information environments become increasingly complex – a challenge faced by organizations of all sizes.”

Errors and bad data

The estimated global annual invoice volume is 550 billion, and about two thirds of this volume is still in unstructured formats like paper and PDF (source:

Human error is an ongoing part of any initiative. People are human, and they’re going to make mistakes. Without modern technology’s power to swifty and intelligently mitigate these errors — and better yet, learn how to prevent them in the first place — bad data will continue to plague your operations.

Digitizing unstructured documents using mostly manual processes causes mistakes, frustration, and other issues that drive a wedge between your goals and your reality. And nowhere does the likelihood for error exist more than during the conversion of paper records to electronic files and data:

“…the process of converting paper records to digital makes pre-existing errors worse and introduces new ones. A Center for Public Integrity analysis of comparable data from paper filings and data from electronic filings found 20 percent of digitized paper filings had at least one significant error, compared to 2 percent of regular electronic filings.”

Once in your system, inaccurate data has the potential to spread exponentially. An account number or invoice tally that is off by one keystroke can cause confusion that impacts more than just your day-to-day – throwing your decision-making a curveball, too.

If one or more of these problems sound familiar to you, it’s time to seek solutions. Don’t let an outdated tech stack keep you from innovating at scale, meeting quarterly and yearly goals, and staying competitive.

The good news is that modern intelligent document processing (IDP) solutions solve these problems and offer additional benefits besides. Automating manual tasks is mission-critical for your company. By kicking off a thoughtful and strategic digital transformation, the pain you’re experiencing can soon be a thing of the past.

Ready to get started? Download our latest E-Book to learn how to choose the right IDP solution for your organization.