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Taking the leap: Migrating to a new platform

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At some point, most organizations need to migrate information from one platform to another, for any number of reasons. Their current platform may not have certain features that have become essential. For example, suggested Ruchir Shah, platform migration specialist at Zealous System, “Perhaps the company’s legacy ecommerce platform does not support mobile commerce. As mobile shopping becomes increasingly popular, this limitation could hinder the company’s ability to reach customers effectively.” Zealous System specializes in developing digital products for a wide range of industries. In many cases, this requires migrating data from a legacy platform to a new one, so the company has developed expertise in this area.

As digital transformations progress, being able to integrate multiple applications becomes increasingly important, since this capability enables organizations to get a full picture of the customer and to automate customer-facing applications and enterprise processes. “An example is a manufacturing company that uses a legacy ERP system that doesn’t integrate well with the newer supply chain management software,” Shah commented. “The lack of integration capability can lead to inefficiencies in data flow automation. By integrating to a new platform, the company can streamline its operations and improve overall efficiency.”

Another typical reason for an organization to migrate to a different platform is the necessity of meeting new regulations, such as those related to compliance or privacy. “In financial services, regulations change, generally becoming more restrictive,” observed Marni Carmichael, VP of marketing at ImageSource. “The platform in use may not be viable in the long term if it does not provide robust compliance capability or adapt easily to changes.”

ImageSource began as a systems integrator and historically needed multiple components to build customized content management systems. Over the years, the company developed its own platform to fill gaps it was finding in other systems or to meet specific needs of customers. The resulting platform, called ILINX, focuses on enabling organizations to convert content to knowledge with AI-driven workflows, ultimately delivering user-specific business process experiences.

Legacy systems and silos comprise another motivation for moving to a new, unified platform. “Many companies have old systems with a lot of content sprawl,” noted Carmichael. “Even with Office 365 as a primary platform, documents end up everywhere. It can be difficult to apply consistent retention policies and know where the content is.” The existence of multiple repositories relates to another reason for migration: cost. With various content management systems having grown up over the years, maintenance and licensing costs may not be sustainable, so a new approach can become attractive.

Big bang or trickle?

Several methods of data migration can be used. “If the volume of content is relatively small and the organization can tolerate some downtime, all data can be transferred from the old platform to the new one in a single large operation,” said Shah. “However, this can be risky for larger datasets or critical systems.” With trickle migration, data transfers incrementally. “This is done in batches or based on specific criteria,” he continued. “It is well-suited for situations where downtime must be minimized and reduces the risk of errors.”

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