The past years have seen an increase in the number of businesses migrating from on-premise document management systems like Documentum to newer, alternative ECM systems that offer more flexibility and room for business growth. Any major data migration can have its challenges, but uprooting decades of content and interwoven systems, or replacing servers that have been collecting dust over the years can be particularly overwhelming. Not to mention, when moving from a full-featured ECM solution like Documentum, covering all the bases to ensure your entire organization benefits from the switch is critical.
There are a range of reasons why organizations are looking to move away from legacy systems. From version sunsetting, to obsolete technologies, to lack of scalability, extreme maintenance costs, or even security concerns, continued operation of legacy systems poses obvious business challenges. Whatever your intention for migrating away from OpenText Documentum, and no matter what destination system you choose, your project will require careful planning and preparation. This blog offers six key steps to follow when planning your migration to ensure a smooth, fruitful move to your choice ECM system.
Getting Started: Planning Your Migration
Once you’ve chosen the best-fit destination system, properly planning your future migration is perhaps the most critical phase. As part of the planning process, you need to fully understand your business drivers, user requirements, and short and long-term objectives. Outlining these requirements and implicating all relevant stakeholders can help clarify exactly what needs to be migrated, when, and for what purpose — to help optimize business processes down the line. While migrating a Documentum system to a new environment requires technical expertise, any such effort should always be business-led. The success of migration depends on a thorough understanding of your future requirements, and meticulously mapping the movement to meet those needs.
1. Assess the Source System
The first step in any ECM data migration project should be taking inventory of your existing information. This data is the key subject of the entire process, so it goes without saying that teams need to understand exactly what is to be migrated. Here are a few key questions to drive your assessment:
- What types of documents are stored in your current system?
- What indexes and metadata are used for describing each document type?
- What are the relationships between individual documents?
- Where are my records, and are they being managed properly?
Beyond simply establishing what information is stored where, it’s critical to evaluate the dependencies across different systems or applications currently operated. You should create a list of the applications and services that need to be migrated along with the required dependencies. In addition, you should list the integrations associated with these systems and decide if they will be migrated to an on-premise site or up to the cloud.
2. Clean House
Content migrations provide a great opportunity to clean up data to avoid migrating content that is no longer needed, and eliminating any redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data. Some sources estimate that up to 33% of enterprise data is ROT, which can lead to unnecessary storage costs and only aggravate information silos. Now is the chance to determine what you need and extract only that information.
Migration is also the optimal time to rework content workflows, massage metadata, rearrange folder structures, and reassess your security parameters. Since migration will impact your entire content base, why not use the opportunity to make content architecture changes that are otherwise very difficult and time consuming to do in-place?
3. Perform Benchmark Testing
For large migrations, duration is an important factor to consider. Performing test migrations of sample batches of documents can help estimate how long the full migration will take. This is also an opportunity to trial your migration settings: verify permission settings on different document types, confirm that the infrastructure, metadata, settings, and documents are migrated correctly, etc.
4. Break your Migration into Batches
In a perfect world, you’d be able to lift and shift an entire system or directory all at once. Unfortunately, this isn’t realistic if you’re looking to achieve an accurate migration, with minimal business impact. More likely, you’ll need to split the migration into manageable jobs, or batches.
Most organizations opt to batch content based on metadata, such as document type, creation date, or folder path. Migration statistics can be gathered and analyzed upon the completion of each batch, making it easier to report status and estimate how long the migration will take to complete. Smaller batches also make it easier to restart a migration if a problem arises, such as a network outage or planned maintenance on the source system.
5. Plan for Failure
Reliable migration tools like Fast2 offer a robust mechanism for reporting on counts of content migrated, and logging any migration errors or data that failed to migrate. You may benefit by going a step further and using a sample set of content as your control set to ensure that content, metadata, folder structure, security, etc. are all mapped correctly to the target system. While verification can be tedious, rectification of careless errors downstream can be even more costly and time-consuming.
6. Cover Your Bases: Adopt the Right Migration Partner
Even with the most rigorous migration plan, the likelihood of your migration running perfectly without any failures, glitches, or errors is slim — especially when migrating from legacy systems like Documentum that have exceeded their life expectancy. Even with detailed planning, there are almost always instances of corrupt files, missing metadata, and other unexpected scenarios that can arise.
In order to best anticipate these anomalies, and avoid any potential risks to high-value enterprise assets, seeking support from an experienced migration partner is the best insurance. A skilled partner with a complete migration solution can provide valuable expertise while offering the toolset you need to seamlessly migrate business-critical content quickly, without interrupting daily functions.
Get Ready to Execute
Every major data migration is susceptible to unexpected obstacles, but the listed best practices for planning your migration from Documentum — or any legacy ECM system — can help you anticipate, avoid, and better prepare for any challenges that may present themselves throughout your legacy migration process. Adopting the right migration solution can help minimize the burden and reassure your teams that their data is in good hands — from the planning phase, through to execution.
If you’re ready to get started in moving your enterprise content away from Documentum or other ECM systems, contact Fast2 today and get the ball rolling!
To learn more, visit the ECM with Fast2.