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How Legacy Systems are Holding You Back

March 23 2020

3 min read

It’s time to face the truth: if you’re still trying to use legacy systems, such as OCR and RPA as an intelligent automation solution, you are more than likely holding your business back.

The higher costs of OCR and RPA

OCR and RPA legacy systems and cumbersome manual workarounds cost you money.

When you rely on rule-based approaches like Robotic Process Automation [RPA], your back office tends to become even more complex, further bound to existing inefficiencies because of the extra steps needed to accommodate this outdated mode of doing business.

RPA automates processes as they exist today without accounting for problems with the underlying system or workflow. It is also resource-intensive to make changes to your environment, like adding in a new tech integration without needing tons of people to attend to the bots and monitor the system to make sure processes don’t break.

OCR’s template-based approach causes financial strain by requiring human effort to constantly create templates for each new form variation. Worse yet, these efforts quickly become moot: “US companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time (source:”

Errors and bad data

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.”


OCR’s shortcomings introduce errors and bad data into your organization when trying to lift data off unstructured documents. If faced with high volumes of real-world, diverse documents with handwriting, cursive, and document imperfections like scan distortions, patterned or textured backgrounds, OCR fails to accurately perform.

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. This is why most enterprises using OCR today end up having to manually check and redo the work of the system- slowing processing times.

Delayed processing times

Ask yourself: can you really continue to lag behind the competition when processing medical claims, responding to a change of beneficiary on a form, or underwriting a life insurance policy?

Most of our customers who use OCR found themselves validating the output and redoing the extraction because the data was not accurate in the first place. So much for automation.

“With our OCR tool, we had optimized the keying process around the technology as a result.”

Squad Leader, Capture Services & Utilities

Worse yet, if a discrepancy is not caught, it can lead to an incorrect business decision being made like denying someone a mortgage loan. From a customer’s point of view, these delays or incorrect decisions can cause frustration and unnecessary financial hardship, which can result in 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

And, if you have no solution in place at all, your employees are forced to devote an even larger 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.

“…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.”

An intelligent automation platform can introduce meaningful automation and efficiency gains by prioritizing accuracy.

The intelligent road forward

If one or more of these OCR and RPA problems sound familiar to you, it’s time to seek a true automation solution. 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. 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 take the next step? Learn what to look for in a reliable IDP solution for your organization.