The 4 Most Common Challenges When Migrating from Legacy ECM

November 5, 2022

Data migration may seem simple in theory. The reality is that any data migration projects have intricacies and potential pitfalls one cannot overlook. Whether you want to perform a single, major migration to replace your legacy content management system or migrate a range of systems and applications over an extended period, the same logic applies. Migrating applications or systems is a major undertaking that requires careful planning and organization to succeed. Whether you are migrating between on-premises and cloud or migrating multiple applications at a time, the same methodology applies.

ECM migrations are about more than Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL), yet many organizations still try to use the methods and tools of the past to migrate their valuable content from one ECM to another.

Though there have been improvements in the ECM migration process, many organizations still face data migration challenges. These challenges include high costs, lengthy timelines, lack of quality, and reliability during the process. The challenges multiply when the migration is from a legacy ECM system.

Here are 4 common challenges businesses may face while migrating from a legacy enterprise content management system.

1.) Lack of API on Source Systems

It might be challenging to connect to a source system with no API to retrieve documents and metadata from it. At Helix, our proprietary and purpose-built software MARS (Massive Archival Retrieval System) has connectors for over 45 sources and can read just about any filetypes, which avoids this problem. Using MARS, you can extract data across any filetypes and sources and view documents in any filetypes on demand from any data source within any web or desktop client.

2.) Old Databases

The contents stored within old databases can be tedious to migrate to the new data model as they need to be mapped to migrate to the new database. The mapping can be done manually or automatically with the help of migration tools and workflows. It is a complex task but doable. Using DataMiningStudio (DMS) of Helix's MARS platform, you can apply any rules and transformations on extracted files and contents as you need.

3.) Limited Support from Old Vendor

The vendor of your legacy enterprise content management system is likely not quite excited that you have opted to migrate away and not renew the licenses. Moving away from a legacy ECM system can be a difficult task. If the vendor of your legacy system is not enthusiastic about helping you migrate their data and content to another platform, this can make the process harder. You just might find yourself having to work around the lack of collaboration from the vendor. Fortunately, MARS platform from Helix can help you extract any data and content, bypass licensing, and read any file formats from legacy ECM systems.

4.) Data Loss and Compatibility

Data migration from a legacy ECM system to a new platform is not just a simple ETL process. When businesses have terabytes upon terabytes of data in the old ECM systems, many of which date back decades, there is a high possibility that some of that data might be lost without a proper migration process and methodology. And in many cases, as content is moved, compatibility and access permission issues prevent users from accessing data.

Painless ECM Migrations with Helix International

Helix International's purpose-built platform MARS can extract data from any legacy ECM system and migrate data across any file format to virtually any target system. With over 80 ECM developers and data engineers, Helix International has the expertise, knowledge, and experience to deliver painless ECM migrations for any enterprise.

Migrating enterprise content can be a risky and expensive exercise, or even an outright failure, for a plethora of reasons. Meticulous planning and a good migration partner is the best solution against all these risks.

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