Migration Is a Good Opportunity for Some Immediate Quality Wins
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on March 15th, 2018

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Migration Is a Good Opportunity for Some Immediate Quality Wins

Content Migration

The movement to the cloud is past the tipping point. Cloud solutions are no longer a question of “should we?” but rather “when?” Organizations may not be ready to go 100% to the cloud, but for nearly 80% of organizations, cloud is a critical part of their strategy. Consider this data from a Fall 2017 AIIM survey of 182 end-user organizations:

How do you view your delivery/deployment methods for content management over the next 2 years?

4% = more towards outsourcing.

17% = more toward on-premise.

28% = more towards the cloud.

51% = more towards a hybrid of cloud and on-premise.

All of those legacy content solutions are not going to transform themselves into cloud solutions magically. This means that how content is migrated is now a strategic priority. But as you approach the content migration question, what short term benefits can you get along the way to make the journey easier? How can you use content migration to migrate not only content but also improve its quality?

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The starting point for a content migration is an analysis of the current situation. This analysis results in immediate benefits from a strategic approach to content migration. Here are 3 potential immediate benefits:

1. Deduplication and Version Recognition

For years -- decades! -- the wide variety of content repositories in a typical organization (network drives, file shares, Google Docs, OneDrive, Dropbox, DM and ECM systems) has created an enormous version and duplicate files problem. It is difficult for users to discover whether a document is already present in a system, and as a result duplicate documents are created.

Deduplication is usually done on the basis of file name, file size, extension or exact matching. However, this method is not foolproof. Even when a file is modified only minimally or only opened and saved again, there is often no longer an exact duplicate. During content migration, a more sophisticated approach that finds “look-alikes” based on the actual analysis of the content can take deduplication and version control to the next level.

2. Automated Classification of Documents and Information

Ahhh….the pesky metadata problem.

Most legacy repositories contain not only vast quantities of content, but content that is lacking in the fundamental metadata that would allow you to manage it effectively. Organizations have tended to view this as both a “someday” and a “manual” problem, which means it never gets done.

Manual classification of documents is time consuming, and it is not consistent. Although librarians and information specialists are highly skilled, it is difficult for a team to classify content consistently and unambiguously, even if they are following a standard template. Give a set of documents to different specialists and there is discrepancy in the way they will classify the documents.

Content classification nowadays is also not always performed by specialists. It is often performed by people within the organization at the moment they introduce a document. Often, they don’t see the importance of proper classification, and problems arise with the quality of the classification (no training, so inconsistent allocation of metadata).

While automated solutions now exist to tackle this problem, most classify based on the structure and the appearance of a document. Newer solutions classify and apply metadata and tags based on the actual content of a document, including grammar, spelling, word choice and repetition. A content migration project is a good opportunity to tackle this problem.

3. Fileshare ROT

Even though document management solutions have been around for decades, well-documented usability problems for average knowledge workers led to an explosion of file share repositories. While many content management solutions have dramatically improved usability and mobile interfaces in the past few years, as recently as three years ago over 60% of ECM user organizations reported that usability of their solutions was still their number one problem. Which means that file shares never went away -- over 60% of organizations reported a continued reliance on file shares.

So what is wrong with this? In many ways, file shares are the “Wild West” of the content management landscape. Most organizations have little structure on how employees use file shares, and with cloud solutions, now have little control over how and where they are set up. As a result, file shares are typically a great Digital Landfill, where a large volume of ROT content (Redundant, Obsolete & Trivial) goes to die.

The long-term impact is significant. ROT creates network instability. ROT makes it impossible to find the right version of a document. ROT means there is no insight on documents containing highly sensitive information, creating compliance and security problems. And lastly, ROT means increased costs for storage and maintenance. A content migration project is a great opportunity to also tackle the file share ROT problem through a comprehensive file share analysis.


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.