Surely we can now say that the migration of an Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system is an unnecessary waste of budget. Because let me be honest. I think it makes more sense for the spendable amount to be spent on creating apps as the interfaces where the users make their contribution to the bottom line. Are you on the eve of an EIM migration? Parry the urge to change systems. I’d be happy to explain why Information Migration 2.0 is the wise approach.

Migrating the Enterprise Information Management System

The software under an information management system has reached a point where the back end – the repository – is functionally complete. That is, the database where all documents and information are stored and managed. This central repository is robust, scalable and can be accessed in many ways. Regardless of whether the software is from brands such as Alfresco, Documentum, FileNet, Hyland or Nuxeo. Not only the supplier has come a long way to get there. So has every organization where an Enterprise Information Management system (or as we used to say, an Enterprise Content Management system) has been implemented. They often have a rich history of trial and error. And now there is a result where almost always one recurring problem is current or dormant. Because what matters here is the usability of the user interface in the face of ever-innovating needs.

Changing user wishes and requirements

I will certainly not be the last to acknowledge that the user interface of an average EIM platform falls short. User requirements are always subject to change. So are the requirements of the organization. Combine that with the impossibility for the average IT organisation to meet these changing wishes and requirements quickly and cheaply. This creates the typical breeding ground for the migration from one brand to another.

Increasingly unnecessary costs when migrating Enterprise Information Management System

Often I see a recurring pattern. The front end of one EIM implementation is not good (enough) and they solve that problem by choosing another EIM vendor. Of which they think the front is good (enough) today. As a result, they also have to migrate the back-end to this new supplier. Besides the costs for the migration, this also results in the purchase of new licenses. A simple calculation shows that it takes 5 years before the license and maintenance costs are less than what is paid now. Provided the license fee is 50% of the current license value.

For example, is that percentage 75% of the current license value. Then it takes even 15 years. Far beyond the normal payback period in a business case. Are the license fees equal to the current license value? Well then you never earn your investment back. I think it’s clever if you dare to include that in your business case and get it approved. Because in summary. Choosing a different EIM platform, migration, user adoption and everything else involved is not rocket science. It’s actually much more complex than that. And even worse, it works slower and costs a lot more money.

Look at what works

Doing nothing is not the solution either. Instead of looking at what doesn’t work, look at what does work. Look at the back, for example. Keep it up. If it is an up-to-date version, services will be available to use the content, add to it, etc. If the services are missing, it is usually a simple adjustment to make them available. You then have a trusted Content Services platform at your disposal. Then you use a different approach to replace the part that does not work, the front-end, in such a way that the wishes of the users and the requirements of the organisation are met.

How does Information Migration 2.0 work?

First of all, use a low code platform to appify the front end. Such as various applied applications that work on the desktop in the browser, but also on a mobile or tablet. Each for a homogeneous user group with a specific function. For example, approval requests from various business processes. Or an initiation of a case of a specific business process. At the point where the reason arises or access to the user-accessible part of documentation. For as long as access is required. Not a comprehensive agglomerate because it is information from the same repository. No single mode of access. Because sometimes a file/case is already the logical access. Sometimes the time or simply the origin.

Benefits Information Migration 2.0

The additional advantage of this approach is that they are all easy to implement, maintain and use. Although many applications will emerge. Changes to business rules, new legislation or user requirements can be implemented quickly and cheaply. You can even make better choices for supporting static archiving, unstructured collaboration and structured case-oriented work. In addition, low code platforms such as those from OutSystems and Mendix are ideal when you want high involvement from the user organization. Or want to use modern working methods such as SCRUM or DevOps, or want to get rid of expensive, risky customised solutions in Java, for example.

And suppose you do want to move to another EIM platform. Purely hypothetical. You already know it’s expensive, time-consuming and therefore not wise. Even then, of course, you can only implement content services from the back end in your new preferred brand and the front end with a low code platform.

Take the right step towards EIM migration

In short, be sensible and parry the urge of migration by using your wits. Information Migration 2.0 is the wise approach by not focusing on what doesn’t work. Build on what works. With modern technology at a rapid pace. It not only saves time and money. It also gives a huge boost to your digital transformation.

Because in the basics, it starts with these steps:

  • Position your current EIM repository as a Content Services repository
  • Replace your user interface(s) with single purpose applications on a low code platform

Are you on the eve of an EIM migration? We will listen to you and help you determine the best way forward for your organisation.

  • Migrating the Enterprise Information Management System

About the Author: Ed Steenhoek

Ed is manager Business Solutions at Informed Group and a Management Team member by virtue of this role. He is also on the Leadership Team, the technical thinktank of Informed Group. Ed is moreover a highly valued member of the AIIM Leadership Council

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