How to Decommission Lawson

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When William Lawson, Richard Lawson, and John Cerullo founded Lawson Software in Minneapolis in 1975 they probably had no idea it would serve customers for nearly 1/2 a century. It has been a very impressive run that has created entire communities along the way. Whether you have been a user, an implementer, or somehow otherwise involved in the ecosystem, you have no doubt felt like you have been part of a community. As a consultant who started out with the Summit Group back in 1999 and later worked directly for Lawson software I have spent nearly every workday of the past 22 years working with Lawson. It is bittersweet therefore to be talking about this subject of decommissioning this brilliant application. With more and more customers migrating to CloudSuite applications and other ERP systems over the next few years, it makes sense now more than ever to begin planning the proper way to decommission the Lawson application.

The easy part of decommissioning is unplugging the servers. The hard part is to figure out a plan that ensures continuity with minimal disruption to the business. Therefore any discussion of decommissioning and archiving of an ERP application has to include the following three components:
  • Data Retention
  • Accessibility and Auditability
  • Security
Data Retention
Most organizations have data retention policies that are derived from industry or regulatory requirements. This is a good starting point. Working with subject matter experts within HR, Payroll, Finance, and Procurement, will flush out additional requirements around specific items like pay stubs, open invoices, or personnel action history to name a few. The important thing is to ensure whatever plan you have for decommissioning satisfies these requirements.


Accessibility and Auditability
Retaining data is fine and good, but you will need access to it if it’s going to serve its purpose. There is a lot to unpack here but the main requirements with accessibility are:
  • Intuitive User Interface – Given that this data is historical it doesn’t make sense that any interface to it should need extensive training.
  • Integration with AD – Future proofing your archived data means user accessibility must be supported for the duration of the data retention period and remain compliant with your IT standards for years to come.
  • Auditability – One of the main utilities of archived data is to serve the needs of auditors. In this capacity, your archival solution must provide reporting capabilities that can satisfy all audit requirements without the need for further skills or professional services.
Under normal circumstances, your Lawson data is heavily secured with specific access rules in place to ensure prevention of improper access, segregation of duties, and malicious intrusion. The fact is that the security of this data is just as important in archive status as it was when it was in production. Any viable solution must have the ability to secure the data in such a way that satisfies all your data security requirements.
We built the APIX platform from the ground up with these specific requirements in mind. Our clients have been able to completely decommission Lawson in as little as six week and still get full access to their data through the APIX lightweight interface. Contact us to schedule a demo of the APIX Lawson Data Archive solution today!