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02. April 2021

Migration: Risks & Points Determining Success

Migration: Risks & Points Determining Success

Sometimes, a car needs an oil change. And sometimes, a car is so worn and torn that the only viable fix is a complete car replacement. It’s a similar feeling for companies using legacy systems – they feel a bit like driving an old Volvo in a time where Teslas are outpacing everything else.

Businesses all over the world are saying goodbye to their old systems and moving to the cloud. But it’s certainly not done on the turn of a dime.

So what are the risks, features, and technical aspects of a migration?

The Exciting But Complex Process

Enterprises don’t migrate overnight. It’s an exciting but often complex and expensive process. For enterprises, we’re talking six months to several years to do a successful migration.

Clouds feature an almost unlimited capacity. But that doesn’t mean you should take all organisational data with you. Compliance plays a big role here. You might hold on to data you shouldn’t, and why migrate that when you can let go. But it’s also about the time it takes to migrate everything – including the cost associated with the storage.

The key to a successful and effective migration is planning. You need to fully understand your content to decide what you take with you or leave in an archived state. This data clean-up process is the biggest exercise companies and stakeholders face.

Bye-Bye DROT

A large part of what you will leave is DROT data – meaning duplications, redundant, obsolete, trivial information which doesn’t benefit your business or data landscape. But it’s not as easy as installing an application that finds and archives your DROT data.

Identifying content and their classification gets tricky when different areas and departments have different requirements for data retention. People also love to copy things and often have multiple copies of the same file – but do you need to keep all versions of the same file?

If your business has data that no one has touched for one or ten years, should you keep it, archive it, or dispose of it completely?

While it’d be easy to set up rules and delete everything left untouched for the past ten years, product companies can hold international property and patents. While they may not actively use that data, they might need it one day. Someone might infringe on it. Identifying what data to keep and dispose of is critical.

The Tech Perspective

While planning is an essential part of a successful migration, there’s also the technological perspective. Choosing the right tools that fit your strategy is important.

It’s about answering questions like who goes first, what you take, when you take it, if you take active content first, and archived content later. Your plan informs your strategy – and you need to choose the right tools depending on which route you take.

When you’ve decided on a plan and worked out a strategy, you can configure the tools to batch migrate according to your predetermined steps.

Other factors also inform your choice of tooling — deadlines, for example. If you’re on a tight migration deadline, a basic tool isn’t going to cut it. But there are smart tools that allow you to do multiple migrations simultaneously for express or large enterprise migrations.

Planning Is Key

Companies underestimate every migration we see. It’s important to prepare for what is ultimately going to be a long, complex process.

We will say it again; planning is key. With the right planning, you can ensure your migration doesn’t run longer than expected. Automate as much as you can and start with the most important content first. You can do the rest later – and set expectations for when things are going to happen.

The structure is also important. Only you know how your business organises content. And if you’re coming from one system to a new one – you should find out if the old structure is still relevant today. Organisations change, and so does your structure. And what worked ten years ago might not be the best as you venture into the cloud.

Migration comes with opportunities to make things better. Take them. Include ways to improve your organisation’s processes and ways to manage content in your strategy.

Communication is also key. Your stakeholders need to be on board with the migration and process. Let people know what the impact will be and how long it’s going to take. Share touchpoints and milestones and be transparent throughout the process. Users need to know what the differences will be between old and new. Tell them.

When you migrate into WorkPoint, make sure you have the right information architecture to support your business moving forward. Getting your data, architecture, and structure right is vital when entering a new system.

With the right planning, strategy, and tools to power your migration, you can reduce costs, time and more effectively communicate the benefits to all stakeholders and users.

Need advice migrating from your legacy system? Contact us today!