What to know before migrating records management to Microsoft 365

Each company is unique, which means that no two migratory journeys are identical. That said, there are some common themes that information managers should consider when migrating to Microsoft 365 from a legacy system.

Over the past few years, there has been a very clear trend for organizations to adopt an “in-place” document management approach, where content is managed in the location or system in which it was created. With more and more organizations moving their core collaboration systems to Microsoft 365, it makes sense that they would want to move their records management there as well.

It doesn’t make sense to pay for multiple repositories and often many legacy RM systems in the market have not been able to keep pace with market expectations. For this reason, records managers need to be much more involved in migrating content from traditional systems to platforms such as Microsoft 365.

One point of clarification: when we talk about legacy systems, we’re really talking specifically about legacy records management systems, rather than productivity or file sharing platforms in general. Migrating file shares is usually a “lift and shift” exercise, moving content from one area to another.

Legacy records management systems have a unique set of requirements that set them apart from other migration domains; they contain highly structured information, with extensive metadata, audit trails and strict compliance requirements. Additionally, document managers may need to bring in subject matter experts who have never been involved in a technology migration before.

Business-to-business collaboration

Installing and deploying new technologies is only part of a sustainable digital transformation. Planning a new unified system is an interdisciplinary effort that requires input from across the enterprise.

With this in mind, CIOs should work closely with IT and proactively ask questions about migration projects to ensure migration of records and information is considered alongside other workloads. of work. Records management systems can have a significant impact on the business in terms of security and sensitive information. So the sooner information management can be incorporated into migration plans, the better.

Collaboration beyond IT is important when it comes to document management. Additionally, identifying subject matter experts (SMEs) from each part of the business is an essential tool for a successful migration. They can help you understand the priorities and needs of different areas of the business, as well as the type of information they need for their day-to-day work.

They can also provide information on who should be able to access what types of information and share their knowledge of where their team’s information is stored.

Additionally, SMBs can have an important input when it comes to your information risk/value matrix (we’ll explain that soon), and they can help verify that automated migration tools have correctly processed documents or elements in the early stages. of emigration.

Fundamentally, to achieve a successful and sustainable migration to Microsoft 365, you need allies from across the enterprise to support the effort.

Eliminate rot

Auditing and analyzing business information before migration will ultimately save time and money, reduce the attack threat surface, and ensure the new system is secure. efficient and compliant. Information audits are easier said than done, but they are essential to the success of any migration project.

Every business will have some amount of redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) information. Fortunately, migrating to Microsoft 365 provides information managers with the perfect opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Take this chance to identify and categorize ROT and enlist the help of your SMB migration team.

Information managers may want to start categorizing information into broad categories of active items that are essential to day-to-day operations, archived or stored items that are relevant but not regularly accessed, and ROTs that can be disposed of. before moving the information to the new Platform.

Following an analysis of the information, decisions can be made on what should ultimately be migrated. A useful tool for making these decisions is a risk/value matrix or framework. It is a way for the information and records manager to identify the content that presents the most value and the highest risk to the organization. In terms of migration, organizations can then use this framework to make decisions about what should or should not be migrated, or where it should be migrated.

For example, content identified as low risk and low value that has not been viewed or modified for a period of time (eg 18 months) may be moved to archival storage prior to eventual disposal. High-risk, high-value content can be migrated to Microsoft 365.

Another example of what to consider when considering what should be migrated, document versions. Some systems may also save versions of documents as individual items, so information managers (with the help of their SME migration team) must determine whether all of these items should be migrated, archived, or destroyed in accordance to approved disposal practices.

For information on maintaining record integrity during a migration, download the full version”Microsoft 365 Records Management Roadmap » ebook here.