By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

In today’s digitalized world, customers value transparency and accessibility above all else. As a result, organizations are taking a proactive approach to provide critical content to end users at the click of a button.

For over 130 years, Hastings Mutual Insurance Company has served and protected its clients throughout the Midwest. The regional insurance agency, with nearly 600 offices and 500 employees, has provided security and peace of mind to customers of all shapes and sizes, from small personal family policies to larger insurance packages that have helped to protect farmers and businesses from the unexpected. With over $1 billion in total assets, the company has grown significantly since its humble beginnings in 1885. Still, Hastings continues to pride itself on its relationships and the care it provides its customers. That is why Hastings Mutual decided to look closely at how it managed and distributed its content to its clients.

Since the early 1980s, the company has used an in-house Policy Administration System (PAS) with what is today Rocket Software’s Mobius Content Services Platform to classify, manage, and grant access along its mainframe to more than 4,000 unique document types. Although current operations were running optimally, Hastings understood that its PAS’s lack of integration with modern technologies would eventually create issues. Hastings management decided on a proactive approach, taking on the challenge of modernizing its existing mainframe operations to an open-source environment to remain competitive in future markets. In its push to modernize, the regional insurance provider also believed updating its client viewing system to provide a more intuitive, user-friendly experience would benefit its customers and employees alike.

The challenges of preserving historical data

While migrating information from the mainframe to open source comes with its own obstacles, Hastings Mutual faced even greater challenges. The company had been developing and storing mission-critical documents and information on its old infrastructure for over three decades — including regulatory, accounting, and workflow documents. Not only would Hastings need to find a way to continue generating these documents throughout the migration process, but it was also essential to maintain the integrity of its historical documents and information during its transfer onto open-source systems. Failure to do so could lead to regulatory sanctions and even legal implications.

With limited resources and a lack of experience with mainframe migration, Hastings realized it needed help to clean up its Logical Partition (LPAR), preserve the integrity of its historical documents, and successfully downsize its mainframe operations — all while maintaining fluid operations.

Finding the right support for mainframe migration

Hastings turned to Rocket Software, whose Professional Services team got to work immediately to assist Hastings’ operational team in the clean-up of its existing LPAR environment. Together, the teams went through each historical document within the LPAR to rename and properly segment it for migration to the correct open-source system. 

Once documents were properly classified and stored within the LPAR ecosystem, Hastings turned its attention to mainframe migration. Hastings was able to modernize its mainframe operations while still utilizing its PAS in conjunction with Mobius Content Services to generate critical documents on its mainframe. After generation, the documents were automatically duplicated and safely transferred to the proper open-source environment. And Hastings was able to begin the migration of its historical documents safely and securely from the mainframe to its open-source systems. 

Improving customer experience

Hastings’ pivot to a more innovative web client has also been essential to the migration’s success and the company’s growing customer satisfaction. Now, end users can access Hastings’ digitized documents with the click of a button — reducing document latency and making high-priority documents available within seconds rather than minutes. And having an intuitive open-source viewing system has empowered Hastings’ end users to find critical information faster and without the hassle of asking for assistance.

The benefits of great partnership

As a result of the project, Hastings Mutual continues to successfully move toward a hybrid open-source infrastructure. The company was able to modernize its operations to produce, store, and distribute documents to its clients faster, more securely, and at a lower cost.

Throughout the migration process, Hastings has not missed a beat. As a regional insurance provider, the ability to continue to provide outstanding service to clients when they need it the most has been pivotal.

As Mainframe experts, Rocket Software helps businesses avoid complications and enhance the management and security of their most critical information. To learn more about our suite of Mobius products, click here.

Digital Transformation

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

If you ask business leaders to name their company’s most valuable asset, most will say data. But while businesses recognize the value of data, few have the processes and tools in place to access its full potential. In our most recent Rocket survey, 46% of IT professionals indicate that at least half of their content is “dark data”— meaning it’s processed but never used.

A big reason for the proliferation of dark data is the amount of unstructured data within business operations. Research shows that more than 60% of today’s corporate data is unstructured, and a significant amount of it is in the form of non-traditional “records,” like text and social media messages, audio files, video, and images. These numbers are growing with the continuation of remote work and the continued adoption of collaborative cloud software. Organizations that have not evolved their data management processes to reflect this exponential growth in data are vulnerable to missed opportunities and non-compliance. Therefore, many have accelerated digital transformation efforts to modernize operations and ensure they are reaping their data’s potential value.

In August of 2022, Rocket Software surveyed more than 500 corporate IT and line of business professionals to better understand the current challenges content management teams face and the steps to overcome these obstacles. Let’s take a closer look at the key findings in Rocket’s 2022 Survey Report, Content Management: The Movement to Modernization , and how content management software is helping businesses take advantage of the vast amount of information while staying compliant in today’s fast-paced, complex markets.

The challenges of today’s content management

The transition to remote work and migration to open cloud systems has allowed businesses to provide employees with more flexible working schedules and introduce cutting-edge technology to operations. However, remote work has led to employees communicating and sharing information on personal devices, which has increased the amount of valuable business content scattered being stored on shared and personal drives. Scattered and hard-to-track data — also known as data sprawl — has posed significant threats to companies’ ability to govern their content and has left them susceptible to regulatory infractions and missed opportunities. Our survey found that 37% of IT professionals believe employees saving content on shared and personal drives presents the greatest challenge to content management.

Along with data sprawl, IT professionals have grown concerned over the amount of redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data building up in companies’ systems. In fact, over a third of those surveyed reported ROT as the greatest threat to data management. Teams’ inability to properly locate, process, and remove excess or unnecessary data has led to data overload, higher costs, data discrepancies, and increased risk of data corruption and non-compliance.

While modernization may be the answer to data sprawl and ROT, IT professionals say that disruptions caused by the movement to cloud systems have also significantly hindered employees’ ability to manage data. Thirty-six percent of respondents consider cloud migration the greatest challenge to content governance moving forward.

While cloud migration may pose short-term challenges, unstructured and unmanaged data is a greater risk to operations as it will inevitably affect productivity, compliance, and a company’s overall success. Teams need the visibility and resources provided by cloud technologies to keep up with and eliminate data sprawl and ROT. Businesses that neglect implementing innovative tools into content processes put operations at a significant disadvantage.  

Taking advantage of unstructured data with content management software

Nearly one-fifth of professionals admitted that all of their organization’s data is unstructured. While most unstructured data goes unused, 59% of IT professionals say their company’s unstructured data and content is extremely or very significant. This revelation should leave business leaders with the fear of missing out (FOMO) when it comes to their unprocessed and underutilized content.

To get the most out of their data, businesses have begun introducing integrative content tools into operations. Integrating content software with popular collaboration and communication tools, like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, provides content teams with a unified view of all their company’s data from a single platform. This enables data professionals to easily monitor, process, store, and remove all their companies’ data while helping organizations get the most out of their unstructured data.

The need to automate content governance

The introduction of complex data privacy regulations globally has made data governance more challenging. In fact, only 33% of IT professionals feel their organization’s unstructured data is adequately governed. This lack of accountability leaves businesses vulnerable to regulatory infractions, substantial fines, and potential criminal prosecution. Many IT professionals are pushing for automated data governance processes, with over three-quarters believing their company would gain a significant competitive advantage if information security and compliance operations were automated.

While innovative content management technologies that automate and streamline content governance exist, they are still unavailable in many of today’s business operations due to ongoing misconceptions about the limitations of mainframe technology. However, by utilizing the right combination of content modernization solutions, like Rocket Software’s Mobius Content Services suite, teams can bring the power of automation and innovative practices to content operations along any infrastructure. 

The role of content management software moving forward

While outdated processes and a lack of automation continue to hinder content management efforts, it appears that businesses are finally recognizing their importance. Over the next 18 months, about one-third of IT professionals say their companies plan to continue modernization efforts by introducing more artificial intelligence, reporting and analytics tools, and integrative content software into operations.

[call to action]

Moving forward, businesses will continue to deal with stringent compliance regulations, the growing adoption of remote work, and increasing customer demands for faster service. Organizations must implement solutions into their operations that enable them to govern and leverage all of their content to gain a competitive advantage. By utilizing content management software, like Rocket Software’s Mobius Content Services , businesses can provide IT professionals with an unparalleled overview of a company’s entire content system and reduce human activity with automation capabilities. This will enable companies to ensure compliance while also taking data operations and utilization to the next level.

Data Management

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

In today’s fast-paced digital business world, organizations have become highly adaptive and agile to keep up with the ever-evolving demands of consumers and the market. This has pushed many organizations to accelerate their digital transformation efforts in order to remain competitive and better serve their constituents — and there is no sign of slowing down. Statista estimates that global investment in digital transformation is expected to increase significantly between 2022 and 2025, from $1.8 trillion to $2.8 trillion. While a recent Rocket survey on the  state of the mainframe showed that the mainframe — due to its reliability and superior security — is here to stay, many organizations are moving to hybrid infrastructure with a “cloud-first approach” to operations. A key component to the appeal of cloud-first business models is cloud technologies’ ability to simplify processes and streamline workflows through integration and automation.

This is especially true for content management operations looking to navigate the complexities of data compliance while getting the most from their data. According to IBM, every day people create an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (that’s 2.5 followed by 18 zeros!). IT professionals tasked with managing, storing, and governing the vast amount of incoming information need help. Content management solutions can simplify data governance and provide the tools needed to simplify data migration and facilitate a cloud-first approach to content management.

Let’s take a closer look at the essential features cloud-first businesses should look for in a content management software.

Enhanced content-rich automation

Data analysts looking to streamline content processes need a content-rich automation software that allows them to easily design and deploy workflows, integrated processes and customize applications. The best modern content solutions leverage low-code/no-code process and presentation services to streamline the construction of business applications and provide a secure and collaborative platform for execution. This gives companies the ability to quickly adapt software and processes and implement innovative methodologies — like DevOps and Continuous Integration Continuous Development (CI/CD) testing — to continually improve operations, bring products and services to market faster, and develop better customer outcomes.

Expanded collaboration support

Digital transformation brings about a lot of change — in technology, processes, communication channels, and so on. To minimize business disruptions and avoid misunderstandings or important information being overlooked, it is critical for teams to maintain healthy communication and collaboration throughout transformation. Nothing can hinder digital team collaboration more than a lack of connectivity. As much as content management teams need to stay connected in order to maintain data integrity and compliance, so too does their content software. Teams need a highly integrative content management technology that can connect them across third-party vendors and popular communication (Slack, Microsoft Teams) and management tools (Microsoft Sharepoint® and 365) to centralize internal communications and shared information.  

Extended cloud governance

The move to cloud-first operations brings both positives and negatives for content management teams. Implementing a cloud data management operation provides teams with unparalleled data availability, mobility, and visibility. However, cloud applications are less secure than mainframe environments and increase vulnerabilities to data breaches. To combat these cloud-based challenges, businesses must look for content management solutions that support immutable cloud storage technologies, like AWS Object Lock, which allows users to store data using a write-once-read-many (WORM) model that mitigates tampering by disabling the ability to edit content once it is stored.

Modernized infrastructure deployment

Manual data migration can be a heavy lift for content management teams. Each piece of valuable information must be manually pulled, copied, reformatted, and moved to the new cloud system. While these tasks are not difficult, they are tedious and vulnerable to mistakes that can delay operations or jeopardize valuable information. Also, these tasks pull employees away from more important content governance tasks, which can leave an organization vulnerable to missed opportunities and regulatory infractions. Organizations need content management tools to facilitate migration efforts, streamline processes, and mitigate business disruptions. Teams need software that can automate the tedious manual processes involved in deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications while maintaining the integrity and security of essential documents throughout cloud migration. By eliminating the potential for human error employees will be free to focus on more business-critical content management tasks.

Organizations looking to optimize their content management operations throughout data migration must leverage content management technology. Tools like Rocket Software’s Mobius Content Services Suite of technologies deliver the agility and adaptability needed to make the most of your content while maintaining compliance. Mobius Content Services provides content-rich automation, modernization deployment and connectivity to streamline processes, facilitate collaboration, and support a business’s transition to a cloud-first approach.

To learn more about Rocket Software’s Mobius Content Services Suite, click here.

Digital Transformation

The data, information, and analytics economy runs on well-curated, structured data. No matter your industry?having good curated data and content is critical. It’s increasingly important as more data and content are generated. Intelligent tools to sift through content are more robust and at the same time, more “needy.” That means modern technology platforms, systems, and even content consumers require well-structured data and content to perform well. As most artificial intelligence (AI) practitioners state?”nothing starts without good data.”