An enterprise runs on content. Even in our digital landscape, moving all that data somewhere can be as daunting and complex a challenge as transferring a brick-and-mortar headquarters across the country. No executive would ever embark on such an important physical task without a plan – a digital move is no different.
This is magnified by the fact that information management has become an essential element of doing business. How a large company manages the streams of data coursing through it is becoming one of the central questions for management. As business moves increasingly into new forms of digital media, vast oceans of data slosh in and out of an enterprise with the undeniable force of the tides.
There’s promise in this world of vast data: Ready access to deep reservoirs of content can streamline decision making, unlock efficiencies and even keep corporations on the right side of regulators.
The downside is that an enterprise is built to stand the test of time, but to survive, it must be nimble enough to respond to the day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute, demands of technology that’s evolving at a pace unmatched in the history of business.
This is especially true in terms of the way content is created, stored and managed.
The Necessity: Data Migration 2016
In order to migrate enterprise data, organizations must properly evaluate information architecture, content sources, business processes, regulated content and standards for compliance, formatting and templates.
Migrations must be evaluated and planned based on a number of factors.
- The needs of an enterprise.
- The quantity of the enterprise’s source documents and metadata.
- The quality of the data
- The complexity of the legacy and target sources
Equally important is full understanding of the technical requirements for integrating data and any execution requirements for scheduling and timing, as well as the post-migration support needs.
When planning a data migration, enterprises must also consider the security of the data and establish if there is a need for external links and other types of data, as well as the structure of references and data dictionaries, if applicable, and the types of forms, templates, objects and document indices that users will be working with regularly.
With so many different factors to keep in mind when planning for a migration, it’s essential to start with the fundamentals. Many different questions must be asked regarding the scope of the project before it’s possible to move forward, such as:
- How many documents need to be assessed?
- How many different types of documents are being migrated?
- What number of attributes are contained within those different types of documents?
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 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.
Such items as analysis checklists and quick reference guides are also typically included, so it’s easier to understand essential guidelines and other vital information at a glance. And, of course, there are a number of tools and technologies that may play a crucial role in the overall success of a migration methodology.
Proven methodologies are designed to achieve specific goals as well, including analysis, mapping, high-level design, detailed design, configuration, testing, deployment and other critical objectives. Most importantly, a proper methodology will ensure that each migration timeline and cost is assessed based upon its own unique business processes, volume, data requirements and technical requirements, including system information.
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. When executed properly, data migration is the essential key to positioning an enterprise for the digital level of content management required to create and sustain operational efficiency and compliance.
Migration at an enterprise level means that data from all business applications is archived in a consistent way into an enterprise archive solution. For the enterprise, this affords considerable operational advantages, including solid data governance, significant reduction in IT portfolios and costs and the knowledge that the enterprise is prepared to manage its exponentially growing data.