There are several reasons why content migration may be necessary.
In some cases it’s because of a merger or acquisition in which the companies involved have been using different systems. It’s also often necessary when a company is upgrading to more modern ECM tools. Some of the other most common reasons to initiate large-scale content migration involve such scenarios as moving documents into a new ECM application, consolidating data from across the enterprise into a single content management system or replacing the company’s legacy systems with a newer or better one; upgrading to the latest version of the company’s current ECM application.
Whatever the reason, the primary goals of ECM migration should always be to increase the level of efficiency and control throughout the different distribution layers of the enterprise. Migrating content can also cut total costs of ownership, increase accuracy and accountability, reduce risks and ensure a more positive experience for users at every level.
Unfortunately, migrations can be a painful process, or even an outright failure, for a number of reasons: they may be messy and unorganized, or delivered either extremely over budget and/or extremely late and they can easily be derailed near the end by one thing or another.
As it is with most business processes, thorough and meticulous planning is the best immunization against these woes.
Every organization has its own needs and will face its own unique set of challenges when data migration is in order.
However, there are three fundamental principles that can be applied in any migration.
Perhaps the most important part of the strategic planning process is to take stock of the stakeholders within the organization, including any departments, teams and individuals who will be involved in or impacted by the migration. Not only must management be aware of their needs and capabilities as they relate to the migration, but they also must be briefed in advance of the process so that they can make any concerns known. A similar accounting must be made for assets involved in the migration, such as information architecture, content sources, business processes, regulated content and standards for compliance, formatting and templates.
A methodology defines what the migration process will look like. This generally includes a set of accelerators, templates, documentation and quality guides meant to help enterprises with the successful implementation of even the most complex ECM migration projects. A well-planned migration methodology often includes templates such as a migration plan template, a migration mapping specification template and a migration execution summary report template.
Adopting a change management methodology is fundamental to the success of an enterprise content management migration, but long-lasting change will take more than just a methodology; it will require specific actions from the leadership in charge of this transition. Users will more than likely perceive the migration process as a disruption, but by making the incentives of this transition clear, it’s possible to ensure total organizational commitment. The program is much more likely to be a success with leadership that is dedicated to supporting staff and other users at every level of the organization, or throughout several impacted organizations, as they adapt to this new system.
When put into practice with the aid of a dedicated consulting team, these three principles are essential to successful content migration. For businesses looking to change, upgrade or consolidate their ECM solution, it is vital to follow these steps and pay close attention to these details. In this way, businesses will reap the benefits of effective migration.