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What is Content Migration? Why Businesses Migrate and Why They Often Fail

Mar 26, 2019 | Data Migration

What is Content Migration?

Content migration is the process of transferring information from one system or repository to another, and is often used interchangeably with the term data migration. The process includes numerous steps such as selecting, preparing, extracting, transforming/cleansing, validating and decommissioning legacy systems. Examples of systems that content is typically migrated between include;

  • Enterprise content management (ECM) systems
  • Digital asset management (DAM) systems
  • Document management systems (DMS)
  • Electronic document and records management systems (eDRM or eDRMS)
  • Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS)
  • Web content management systems (CMS or WCM)

There is a lot of crossover between the first five terms/systems, especially as enterprises tend to have their own internal lingo. Examples of systems that span these definitions include:

  • TRIM/Content Manager
  • RecordPoint
  • FileNet
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Google Drive
  • Alfresco

Examples of web content management systems include WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager, Drupal, Sitecore, Umbraco, Episerver and Liferay.

Reasons Why Organisations Undertake Content Migration

A content migration project can be undertaken by organisations for numerous reasons, such as;

  • A move from one system to another (i.e. a move away from network drives to SharePoint Online), which often has multiple underlying reasons such as improved;
    • Cost savings
    • Information security
    • Functionality and performance
    • A move to cloud-based technology
    • Compliance and governance
    • Scalability and flexibility
    • Data storage capacity
    • Collaboration
    • Network performance
    • Integration and compatibility
    • Reliability
  • Merging and streamlining of disparate systems (i.e. employees store content on network drives, DropBox and SharePoint, and the organisation wishes to improve governance of information by mandating a single ECM)
  • Reorganisation of content / an overhaul of information architecture
  • Server or storage equipment replacement
  • System maintenance or upgrades
  • Website consolidation
  • Disaster recovery

Why Content Migrations Often Fail

Content migration is a challenging undertaking that often proves to be a bigger task than initially estimated. Quite often we see migration projects fail due to;

  • Poor strategy and inadequate planning
  • Lack of knowledge in both systems – the source and destination
  • Lack of collaboration and failure to involve end users from the outset
  • Adopting a ‘lift and shift’ approach without taking the time to improve information architecture and remove ROT (redundant, trivial and obsolete information)
  • Data loss or corruption
  • Failure to follow migration best practices, and thoroughly test and validate migration results

Issues that occur during a content migration project can greatly impact the business, which is why many organisations choose to hire a content migration specialist, such as ourselves. If your organisation is considering a migration project, please get in touch with our team of experts. We’ve been migrating content and data for large Australian organisations since 2008, and have a wealth of experience your team can draw upon.

Thien Nguyen
Thien Nguyen

Technical Consultant

Thien is a technical consultant with an instrumental role in leading content and data migration projects, utilising our migration tool Xillio. Thien has expertise with SQL Servers, database and system administration. 

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