If your organization is facing a content migration, and you are responsible for helping make this process a success, you may find Paragon Solutions’ latest whitepaper, 5 Keys to a Successful Migration, to be an extremely useful read. The whitepaper can now be found on Paragon Solutions’ blog, along with a wealth of other informative posts.

This paper is written with business leaders and information managers in mind, taking into consideration the people who will be accessing and using this content, and most importantly the consistent integrity of this content before, during and after the move. Perhaps your company is migrating content in order to switch to a new platform, update to the latest version of an existing platform, consolidate information and documents from several different platforms or handle a merger or acquisition in which several combining companies have been using a diverse range of systems. You might even have another reason altogether for undergoing this process. Whatever the case, this whitepaper offers strategic advice to help your organization plan and complete the content migration process in order to achieve its goals efficiently and effectively over the long term, without losing the support of the people using this file sharing system along the way.

A Major Undertaking

The team at Paragon likens content migrations to moving a physical business location across the country, which makes sense, considering the huge amounts of data most large organizations are working with, and the multitude of factors that go into managing this data. In order to make such a move successful, experts recommend making increased efficiency and control the primary goal. This goal should be followed closely by cutting the costs of owning and managing an enterprise content management system, reducing risks, ensuring compliance and increasing the levels of accuracy and accountability throughout the enterprise. And, at all times, the user experience must be taken into consideration – and this includes the experience of everyone who will be using the new or updated enterprise content management system. If the user experience isn’t positive, then it will be an exercise in futility and inefficiency just getting people on board with the new system, let alone ensuring that they are using it properly.

In order to achieve all these weighty goals, the team at Paragon recommends the following five “keys to success,” which they explain in great detail:

  1. Solid Planning
  2. A Well-Defined Methodology
  3. Data Quality and Enrichment
  4. Adequate Testing and Verification
  5. Change Management

Spending a good chunk of time on the planning stage may be the most important key to success, because once things are underway, it is difficult to go back and re-plan. This is why it is recommended to work with an experienced consulting firm that understands how to plan an effective content migration, with knowledge of what works and what doesn’t from a wealth of prior experiences. This includes, according to the whitepaper, such critical aspects of strategic planning as considering stakeholder expectations and data security, accounting for assets, taking care of all the details and ending with data enrichment and project execution. And, of course, it is recommended that content migration planners begin with asking (and answering) fundamental questions about the organization’s goals, the scope of the project and other core factors.

After explaining the importance of solid planning, the whitepaper goes on to discuss how to define a strategic methodology for a successful migration, including accelerators, documentation, quality guides, technology tools and templates. A successful and well-defined methodology is one that builds quality outcomes in stages while continuously focusing on user adoption and usability, but as the paper explains, it must take data quality and enrichment into consideration as well. Without usable data, the content migration will ultimately be a failure, so the team at Paragon recommends several strategies for refining and enhancing raw data and sets of data in order to improve performance and identify potential risks following the migration. A big part of this is building routine data quality assessment reports into the content migration process. On the same note, the paper recommends several critical areas of testing and verification that are vital to successful content migrations. And finally, the paper explains several strategies for adopting a change management methodology for long-lasting results.

This whitepaper is a must-read if you’re looking to achieve success with a new, updated or consolidated enterprise content management system.

5 Keys to a Successful ECM Migration