Content Migration: Risks and Benefits


Content migration is a common issue when an agency decides to change ECM vendors. Sometimes it makes sense to migrate all the content into Laserfiche, and sometimes we only migrate some of it. Occasionally, we don't perform a migration at all.


Remember, there are always risks to moving documents and metadata between systems, but most of our clients feel the benefits of migrating to Laserfiche vastly outweigh the risks, assuming you've partnered with a Partner with a deep technical skill set. Of course, the path to risk mitigation starts with knowing where the risks lie, and here are issues you may confront:


  • Resistance to adoption- Humans can be pretty resistant to change. We've written about it at length here and here. They may be nervous about the transition to a new way of working. Communication is crucial and careful planning is as is training.

  • Training on a new system- A vital component of any system change, training can produce anxiety in staff. Plus, it can take employees away from regular duties so that there's a backlog to catch up. Finally, if the implementation encounters delays, staff may forget training and require a refresher.

  • Dependencies- It is possible to break a mission-critical integration during a migration. That's why it's essential to confirm your Partner's bona fides during your reference check.

  • Roll-out- It's important to disrupt the organization's operation as minimally as possible. Take the time to develop a strategy for keeping communication open during migration.

  • Roll-back- If for some reason, the migration needs to start and then stop or fails, effort must be spent on creating a roll-back plan so systems (temporarily) can be returned to the previous state.

Conversely, the migration benefits are numerous. For instance:


  • Now is the time to consider where you store your records in the cloud, on-premise, or hybrid models. Also, is it time for a Trusted System?

  • Take an inventory of your records. You may be surprised by what you discover.

  • Migration gives you the opportunity for a fresh slate. It's the perfect time to review your folder structure, metadata scheme, and business processes. Laserfiche provides some excellent questions for this exercise:

  • Are you currently storing unnecessary documents or files? Are there any files that aren't being stored but that you'd like to store?

  • Can you optimize your folder structure?

  • Are you storing all the information you need in your metadata, or are there different types of information you'd like to store?

  • Are there any other systems with which you'd like to integrate?

  • Can you improve your workflows? Are there other business processes that you'd like to automate?

While there are always risks involved with moving from one system to another, the benefits of modernizing your ECM system vastly outweigh those risks if a trusted Partner's implementation, content and data migration, or upgrade is executed correctly.

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