December 2, 2019

7 Steps of a cost-effective migration

7 minute read

Have legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems become a thorn in your side? Record Managers and IT admins are increasingly more aware of their aging legacy ECM systems and the impact those systems have on their overall information governance process. The most common problem with sustaining a legacy system is the increasing cost of maintenance and the technical debt of old methodologiesWith the prevalence of readily available, off-the-shelf software and cloud options, businesses should consider a strategy when moving to a more sustainable information governance plan. While migrating content is not the only option when dealing with legacy systemsif your organization chooses to eliminate legacy systems altogether, you should be aware of how to perform migration activities while being financially conscious. 

Before migrating any content, there are some best practices you need to consider in order to increase the chances of a successful migration.  

Identify what you have 

One of the simplest, yet arguably most challenging task you will face when beginning a migration project is locating all your content. Identifying every repository that content is being stored in as well as determining the amount of content is key in planning for effective information governance immediately and in the future.  

Identify high and low value content

Not all content is equal.  It is important to determine what you and your organization consider high value content and low value content.  High value content usually includes documents like procedures, employee files, contracts, and critical business information. Low value content includes redundant, obsolete, and transitory (ROT) documents like lunch schedules, outdated equipment manuals, or obsolete project documents. 

Determine what the end goal is for high value content 

What are some goals surrounding the information you deem as high value content?  Do you want this information to be searchable, secure, and available for future collaboration?  Is your main goal proper classification and governance? 

Determine the end goal for low value content 

Does your low value content really need to be migrated to a new system or can it be deleted? If can be deleted it should be disposed in a structured and compliant manner.  As mentioned earlier, all content should not be treated equally.  Correctly disposing of ROT will not only simplify your migration, but also enforce proper records management.  

Implement new content management system 

Now that you have a good idea of you how much content you have, where it is, and what is high verses low value content, you are ready to implement a new system.  

Implement new business processes 

Implementing new processes usually involve new workflows, automation, robotic process automation (RPA), and a new document management system.  

Train and Communicate to users 

It is extremely important to have a well thought out change management strategy. Users will be the ones most affected by this migration to a new system, so they need to be properly prepared and fully understand the new processes. 

 There are many options when it comes to utilizing new ECM systems and gracefully deprecating legacy systems. The key is to develop a strategy and implement a flexible solution that meets the business needs.  Legacy records management systems can be a headache, but with the proper strategy and utilizing best practices, your organization can have a new content management system that aligns with your information governance strategy.   

 Want more consultative advice?  Learn more here. 

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