As the business landscape increasingly moves into new platforms, vast oceans of data gush in and out of every enterprise with the undeniable force of the tides. Moving all these documents and data to a new location can be as daunting and complex of a challenge as moving a brick-and-mortar headquarters across the country.
No executive would embark on such an important project without a plan, and moving digital content is no different.
Successfully migrating data without compromising its integrity and accessibility, and effectively managing that data after its migration, is essential to the longevity of a business.How to manage the streams of data coursing through a large company is one of the central questions that executives must answer today. Ready access to deep reservoirs of content can help streamline decisionmaking, unlock efficiencies and keep corporations on the right side of regulators.
Enterprises must remain nimble, however, in order to respond to the day-to-day and minute-to-minute technology demands that continue evolving at an unmatched pace so that they stand the test of time. The constant changes in technology are especially demanding when it comes to the way content is created, stored and managed.
An enterprise can quickly find itself underwater if it mismanages the flow of data.
A successful migration that lays the groundwork for an effective ECM solution will take all these factors into consideration and pay dividends down the road. No one migration scenario is exactly the same as the next, because there are so many different reasons that may lead firms to consolidate and migrate data. Every organization has its own needs and will face its own unique set of challenges.
However, there are some key principles that can be applied in any enterprise data migration strategy.
A migration can be a painful process, or even an outright failure, for a number of reasons. It may be messy and unorganized, or delivered either extremely over budget and/or extremely late, and it 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. These are some of the most important elements of solid data migration planning.
- Stakeholder Expectations: Perhaps the most important part of the strategic planning process is to interview 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.
- Accounting for Assets: A similar accounting must be made for any assets involved in the migration, such as information architecture, content sources, business processes, regulated content and standards for compliance, formatting and templates. But that isn’t all. Migrations must be evaluated and planned based on a number of factors. The needs of the business and the quantity and state of the business’ source documents and metadata are major components to take into account.
- Taking Care of the Details: There are also many complex elements within these different areas of consideration, which must all be accounted for when planning an ECM migration. These include the people who will be using the new or consolidated enterprise content management application, the different ECM versions being migrated and any associated dependencies.
- Considering Data Security: Migration planners must consider the security of the data, establish whether there is a need for external links and other types of data and determine the structure of references and data dictionaries (if applicable), as well as the types of forms, templates, objects and document indices personnel will be utilizing.