Moving to a Cloud Document Management System? Get ready in 3 steps!

Cloud migration is an intimidating concept for many IT teams and company stakeholders! 

Most organizations undergoing digital transformation initiatives actively consider migration to cloud technologies—as it helps them keep up with market trends and customer demands while remaining competitive.

The Cloud lowers operating costs and gives the organization a modern IT environment capable of rapid, integrated, highly automated development and operation. Companies that move to Cloud are more agile and more efficient.

Both on-premises and cloud-based Document Management Systems provide rich features and capabilities. A critical factor setting the two apart is cost. It is hardly surprising then that Document Management Systems provide more features and functionality on the Cloud than their on-prem counterparts.

3 steps to consider for a successful migration to a cloud document management system

Migrating to the Cloud may seem like a daunting task initially, but given proper information and a strategic approach, organizations reap rich rewards from the migration. 

Step1: Make the Decision to Migrate

So you've decided to move to the Cloud—and the reasons to move are clear. Indeed a good move—but be prepared to face a few implementation challenges. Cloud migrations tend to fail when there is a lack of planning. It is critical to select the right approach. Avoid going too big too soon, and certainly don't overlook the human element. While it is crucial to address issues like budgets and logistics, be sure to consider other matters that may affect the future of the company:

Create a migration plan

A successful migration starts with a definitive plan. Define your migration strategy, decide on workloads to be moved, and the order of their migration. A common misconception is that cloud migration is a one-time trip to move your current DMS to the Cloud. But the reality is migrating data to the Cloud must happen gradually. A successful migration must feel as seamless as possible for the organization, with minimal disruption to daily operations. Some firms prefer to test and validate the migration step-by-step, so everything works the way it is supposed to. That is why preparation is everything when it comes to data migration! The process may take a few months.

The important thing is to consider which approach is best for your users and processes.

Consider Your Data

Your current data footprint impacts your migration significantly. You may opt to take your on-prem Document Management solution and move it to the Cloud. Or you may want to look at how you are currently using your documents and data and see if there is a possibility to implement new automated workflows and processes to manage your data better in the future.

Your data repository grows with time, and so do the storage costs. Put a data maintenance strategy in place when you start, and it becomes an embedded process in your new cloud solution, ensuring success from the start.

Other issues you must keep in mind from the beginning include:

  • Ensure reliability and performance of business-critical services during the migration for business continuity.
  • Implement the required levels of security and regulatory compliance.
  • Choose the right cloud environment delivering on performance, price, and data security.

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Step 2: Get your staff on board

Migrating to the Cloud is a long and demanding process—it may take a few months. And successful migration requires your employees to participate in it from the very start. Prepare your staff for it. They must know the plan so that they adapt to their new work environment seamlessly.  

Cloud migration will usher in a completely new work culture. Involve people early on and explain to them how their day-to-day lives will change. The longer people have to warm up to migration, the more ready they will be when it finally rolls out.

Training is mandatory for all as the Cloud environment differs significantly from a traditional on-prem environment. Employees must have foundational IT training as well as specialized role-based training in maintaining and operating cloud services.

Encourage employees to get certified on cloud technologies. Certifications are proof of their competence, making them more productive, and boosting morale.

To gain employee confidence, put in place open-door feedback channels to address user concerns and queries in real-time.

Step 3: Outsource migration to professionals

Migrating data to the Cloud is not child's play! (unless it is your core competence!)

Migration is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it takes professional competence to deal with the various challenges that crop up during cloud migration. Experienced vendors with their specialized tools are best equipped to meet those challenges. It is easier to pull off a successful migration using an outsourced migration partner rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

An experienced document management services company migrates your existing data, and designs new processes and workflows, keeping in mind the volume and type of data.

Professional providers assist you in creating a cloud migration strategy that meets your business needs. They work out the finer details of your migration project, such as:

  • Which cloud environment to migrate to
  • At what pace to move the data – in steps or all at once
  • Which workloads to move first
  • What are the anticipated security risks
  • What will the migration cost – will there be any savings for the company.

Professional document management service providers have the expertise and capability to monitor the migration process from the start till after completion. They establish baseline metrics before the migration starts; they monitor performance during migration and immediately attend to any deviations from the established baseline. After migration, a comparison with the baseline metrics determines if the migration has been a success.

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In Conclusion

Migration is much more than moving data to the Cloud. It offers excellent opportunities to find new ways to gain efficiencies and make effective use of your processes and information. Having a plan and strategy and knowing your goals are keys to a successful migration and getting the maximum out of your new DMS.  

DRS Imaging is your ideal partner in cloud migration. We provide end-to-end cloud-based document management system implementations, giving you a secure, compliant cloud infrastructure suited to your business needs.

Contact us to migrate seamlessly to a cloud-based document management solution.