Logo Rob Buckley – Freelance Journalist and Editor

Migratory patterns

Migratory patterns

Shifting content from one system to another is never easy. But following a few key steps can ease the process.

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | All 3 Pages

Very few IT systems last forever. Vendors go bust, get taken over or just stop developing particular products. More frequently, organisations change direction or simply want to offer new products and services and find that their existing systems will not be able to support the required changes.

So navigating the migration of content from one system to another is often an important and necessary task for many IT departments. Yet it is also fraught with difficulty.

Vendors often do not make it easy for users to abandon their products - it is not in their interests. But equally, the way one system works and stores its data is rarely similar to the way that any other system does, so a straight import and export is almost never possible.

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to minimise the pain and expense of such a move.

The first step is to identify the business case for the move and to see which migration aspects can be justified - and what data can safely be abandoned or archived. This needs to be decided by both business and IT staff.

Bernard Cadogan, a content management technical specialist at computer giant IBM, says that often, “business people start off with a proposition that everything needs to be migrated, but without necessarily having an appreciation of what this involves in cost, timescale or disruption to existing processes.”

The content of the data needs to be closely examined first to determine what, exactly, needs to be migrated - and what can or should be dumped.

The organisation should therefore make an assessment of the volume of data there is, whether it can be left on the existing system, which might be kept on as a read-only data source, and how much data is disposable or superfluous.

Once that has been accomplished and signed off by appropriate sponsors within the business, an assessment is required of what systems are in use and how much knowledge of their workings is available.

If it is a relatively recent system, there may well be a high degree of understanding about how it works, either internally or among consultants and systems integrators. But often it is an old or bespoke system that the organisation hopes to retire, about which little information might be available.

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | All 3 Pages

Interested in commissioning a similar article? Please contact me to discuss details. Alternatively, return to the main gallery or search for another article: