Legacy Contracts What To Do With Outdated Agreements

Legacy Contracts: What To Do With Outdated Agreements

Legacy contracts hold untapped potential that can revolutionize your business operations. In this guide, we'll delve into the world of legacy contracts, explore their benefits, and provide actionable steps to leverage their power.


While digital contract management solutions have been slowly gaining traction, only some businesses are on board. The rest still function in the dark ages of paper contracts and antiquated systems. Thus, they remain oblivious to their responsibilities, rights, dangers, and possibilities. It can lead to liabilities, revenue loss, contract breaches, etc. How do you deal with such outdated legacy contracts? Well, that’s what today’s blog is all about.

Automated Contract Management System

What are legacy contracts?

Legal agreements from the past that are still in force today are known as legacy contracts. These contractual agreements are often stored in physical form or on outdated digital systems, making them difficult to access. Due to their substantial time and resource requirements for effective management, legacy contracts are a burden for most businesses. 

Many businesses still rely on traditional physical storage methods for their legacy contracts. It can include filing cabinets, storage rooms, or offsite storage facilities. While physical storage can provide a sense of security, it also has limitations, such as limited accessibility and a lack of searchability. Legacy contracts can be challenging to collaborate on, even in digital formats like Word or PDFs.

Why should businesses address legacy contracts?

Despite the name, legacy contracts can still hold weight for businesses. Whether active or inactive, organizations must stay on top of them to establish performance and compliance. These have been around for many years—sometimes even decades—and are still in use today with little regard for the conditions attached. 

1. Legal compliance

One of the key reasons to address legacy contracts is to ensure legal compliance. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, and what may have been acceptable in a contract years ago may now violate current laws. Reviewing and updating legacy contracts enables businesses to avoid legal issues and costly penalties.

2. Risk mitigation

Legacy contracts often contain outdated clauses and terms that may no longer be relevant or compliant with current laws and regulations. Businesses expose themselves to potential legal risks and liabilities if they don’t bring these contracts under their control. Updating these contracts can help mitigate risks and protect them from unforeseen legal issues.

3. Cost savings

Outdated contracts can be inefficient and costly to maintain. They may contain terms no longer favorable to the company or may not reflect current market conditions. Digitally transforming these contracts enables businesses to save money and streamline operations by entering more cost-effective agreements.

What are the limitations of legacy contracts?

Traditional method-based legacy contracts have to go a long way to keep up with the growth of businesses. They can restrict the ability of parties to adapt to changing circumstances or negotiate more favorable terms.  One of the primary limitations of legacy contracts is poor storage practices. Many businesses still rely on physical copies of contracts stored in filing cabinets or scattered across various departments. 


With contracts stored in different formats and locations, retrieving specific information or terms can be time-consuming and arduous. This lack of centralized access can impede decision-making processes, hinder collaboration among team members, and ultimately slow down the pace of business operations.

Lost contracts

Over time, legacy contracts can become lost or misplaced, especially as personnel change. It can have serious consequences, as important terms, obligations, or rights outlined in these contracts may no longer be readily available. Lost contractual agreements can lead to misunderstandings, disputes, and potential financial liabilities.

Lack of insight

Legacy agreements are stored in different formats, locations, or departments within the company, making it difficult to track and monitor them effectively. The lack of insight into contract terms in legacy agreements can have lasting consequences for businesses.  Organizations may unknowingly breach contract terms without understanding their rights and obligations. It leads to costly legal disputes and damaged relationships with clients or partners. 

How to handle legacy contracts?

Legacy contracts can be a headache for businesses, especially in different formats and locations. However, with the right strategies, companies can effectively manage and migrate these contracts to streamline operations. Here’s how:

  • Contract migration

Contract migration is transferring contracts from old systems or formats to new ones. It can involve converting physical documents to digital formats or moving contracts from outdated software to a modern contract management system. By migrating your legacy contracts, you can ensure easy access, searchability, and security of your documents.

To effectively migrate your contracts, start by assessing the volume and types of contracts you have. Companies can decide which contracts are integral to the business and need migration. They must also identify key stakeholders who must be part of the migration process and establish a timeline for completion. 

  • Centralize storage

Centralizing storage is crucial for efficiently managing legacy contracts. By storing all contracts in a centralized repository, businesses can avoid duplication and ensure version control. It improves collaboration among team members. It also allows companies to categorize contracts, set access permissions, and track changes. Businesses must regularly back up their data to prevent loss when centralizing storage.

  • Utilize structural metadata

Metadata refers to the descriptive information attached to each contract, such as contract type, parties involved, effective dates, and terms. Businesses can categorize, organize, and analyze documents more effectively by incorporating structural metadata into legacy contracts. This structured approach allows them to generate insights, track key metrics, and identify trends across your contract portfolio. Furthermore, structural metadata enables legal professionals to create customized reports and dashboards.

Why migrate legacy contracts to Dock 365?

Businesses are migrating important content from outdated legacy infrastructure to increase agility and collaboration. Digital contract management solutions have become a game-changer for enterprises looking to streamline processes, improve accessibility, and reduce risks.

However, moving contracts can be challenging, and companies may need to adjust their processes accordingly. A well-thought-out plan is necessary for an efficient contract migration. Dock contract management software allows businesses to migrate their metadata and documents to the centralized platform. They utilize OCR and AI capabilities to transform any legacy contract into a machine-readable format. 

It enables real-time tracking of changes and updates to the contract document. It ensures that all parties have access to the most current version of the contract, reducing the risk of errors or misunderstandings. With version control features, team members can easily track changes, view previous versions, and collaborate more effectively on contract revisions.

  • Data analysis

One of the most significant advantages of digitizing contracts is extracting valuable insights through data analysis. Dock stores contracts in a centralized system. It improves the searching, retrieval, and analysis of contract data. Businesses can gain valuable insights into contract performance, compliance trends, and potential risks by leveraging analytics tools. This data-driven approach empowers organizations to make informed decisions and optimize their contract management processes.

  • Enhanced tracking and management

Organizations can easily monitor milestones, deadlines, and obligations with Dock. Users can set up automated alerts and notifications to ensure timely action on relevant tasks. It reduces the risk of missed deadlines or overlooked terms. This enhanced tracking and management capability improves efficiency and minimizes the potential for errors or disputes.

  • Secure signing process

Dock offers a secure signing process that can expedite the execution of agreements. Electronic signatures, such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign, and Sertifi, provide a legally binding way to sign contracts without physical paperwork. It accelerates the signing process and enhances security by reducing the risk of tampering or unauthorized access. Secure encryption protocols and authentication mechanisms further safeguard the integrity of the contract signing process, instilling trust and confidence in the agreement.

  • Remote collaboration

With teams spread across different locations or working from home, having Dock 365 for managing contracts ensures everyone is on the same page. Team members can access the latest versions of contracts, track changes, and collaborate in real time, regardless of their physical location.

Leveraging Microsoft Office 365, the contract management solution eliminates the need for endless email chains, multiple versions of documents, and the risk of miscommunication. This seamless collaboration leads to faster contract turnaround times, increased productivity, and ultimately, improved business outcomes.

OCR Contract Management Tools


Managing legacy contracts can be a challenge for businesses of all sizes. They are inherently vulnerable to non-compliance and data loss. It is primarily found in physical format, making it easily lost, broken, or stolen. Consequently, it puts sensitive business information at risk. 

In today's digital age, where efficiency and data protection are becoming increasingly stringent, relying on legacy contracts can expose businesses to compliance violations and reputational damage. Companies can start by compiling a list of all their legacy contracts and assessing their current status and relevance to your business. Our expert team at Dock will take care of the contract migration. Schedule a demo today to learn all about it.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended to be legal advice; rather, all information, content, and resources accessible through this site are for purely educational purposes. This page's content might not be up to date with legal or other information.
MicrosoftTeams-image (24)

Written by Deepti Gopimohan

As a creative content writer, Deepti has spent years assisting brands to share their unique voice with audiences, complying with the latest marketing trends and strategies. Her educational background in Literature & Journalism has helped her research and publish content for diverse industries & mediums.
1 photo added

Reviewed by Naveen K P

Naveen, a seasoned content reviewer with 9+ years in software technical writing, excels in evaluating content for accuracy and clarity. With expertise in SaaS, cybersecurity, AI, and cloud computing, he ensures adherence to brand standards while simplifying complex concepts.

Book a Live demo

Schedule a live demo of Dock 365's Contract Management Software instantly.