Content Migration. A series intro by Chris Blake

We recently finished a modernisation migration for a large government department. It has transformed their working environment from a traditional email and file storage-based approach using classic SharePoint to a modern, agile, responsive approach, with improved security and policy application, based on Microsoft 365, MS Teams and modern SharePoint.

My colleagues and I have been instrumental in the planning, architecture, delivery and, ultimately, the project’s success. Technically, it was daunting. We had to migrate around 40TB of file content, all of which had to be accounted for post-migration. In doing so, we transformed the way that the organisation operated. And that sums up the size of the prize. Content migration offered an entire government department the opportunity to pivot from their traditional approach of policy collaboration and document storage to a modern, responsive approach.

The success of the project inspired me to write this blog series, during which I’ll offer insights and advice on how to execute a successful content migration. But before I do, let’s cover some basics…

What is a content migration?

Content migration is the planned act of moving content from one place to another. In theory, it is simple. You move content from, say one document management system to another and job done, right? Not really. In practice, it’s rarely just a “lift and shift” exercise. Content migration is an opportunity for an organisation to rethink how content is organised and designed. For this reason, content migrations often involve processes such as an information architecture redesign, a page redesign, a content audit, a new taxonomy, or even a content rewrite.

Content migration and digital transformation

The phrase ‘digital transformation’ is widely used, so I won’t dwell on it for long. The goal of any digital transformation is to create value by deploying technology at scale. It’s a strategic process that re-wires an organisation so that they are better equipped for today and tomorrow. It’s invariably a disruptive process too, with pressure to maintain business as usual and retain the content’s integrity while it moves out of legacy systems and into new platforms. For this reason, it is unusual to work on a digital transformation project that doesn’t include a content migration strategy.

Content migration – The do’s and don’ts

In this series, we will cover the following areas:

  • Planning – What to consider when planning your content migration.
  • Verification – What it means and why it’s necessary at the migration’s beginning and end.
  • Communication – How to create a two-way communication strategy, and why it’s important.
  • Collaboration – Why collaboration is key and how it will influence your stakeholder strategy.
  • Training – How to ensure that the business is ready for the change that is coming their way.
  • Continuous improvement – What continuous improvement means in the content migration context and how it will help.
  • Technical – What to look for from a technical perspective and common traps to avoid.

Click here to read blog #2: Planning.

If you have a question for Chris or the Triad team, please get in touch.