Migrating to SharePoint is not done by pressing a button
by Ernst van Rheenen, on Jan 9, 2014 4:30:00 PM
Moving from an existing platform to SharePoint is challenging: it’s a flexible system without much predefined structure. Don’t underestimate data migration.
It can be hard to put a label on SharePoint. Is it a CMS, a DMS, or a collaboration tool? The reality is, SharePoint is an ecosystem that can be whatever you want it to be. This flexibility is its greatest selling point and its greatest pitfall.
Most popular systems have a well-structured content tree and clearly defined content types. SharePoint, however, is anything but well-structured. Even while your implementation partner can put custom functionality in place, SharePoint remains essentially flexible in an uncommon way.
When you are considering migrating your data to SharePoint, it is important to be aware of this paradigm shift as it will affect you on all levels:
- Organization - people need to learn to work with a loosely structured system.
- Implementation - the new system needs to support your work processes.
- Content - you need to rethink your data modeling.
From a migration perspective the last point is of particular importance. A seemingly easy transition from LiveLink or Documentum to SharePoint can prove a challenge when data structures do not match, required metadata is missing, or the data needs cleaning before import.
No 1-Click Solution
And this is where out-of-the-box SharePoint migration software fails. The promise that a single tool can magically solve all the challenges that come naturally with a migration is a false one. Real-life systems are complex. Migration means more than just carrying your data from one bin to another.
Hire an Expert
An effective migration starts with the internal realization that it won’t happen at the press of a button. A migration expert can help you with the analysis, technology, and planning. An experienced partner helps you to steer clear from common pitfalls, and have the project delivered on time and budget.