So, you’ve decided to deploy managed services for your EIM systems. Although you know your organization is ready for EIM managed services, you’re worried about the many challenges of migration projects. The simple truth is that IT migration projects – whatever they consist of – aren’t easy. They can be complex, time and resource intensive and prone to failure without the right expertise. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for ensuring a smooth migration to EIM managed services.
As most EIM managed services assignments involve either moving entirely to the cloud or implementing a hybrid cloud environment, it’s worth looking at common reasons for failure – of which two stand out for me. The first is that 33% of IT managers admitted they didn’t know what users were doing with what. Secondly, companies weren’t sure who should own the migration process – 39% thought it should be the internal IT department and 43% thought it should be the provider.
Let’s be honest: if you don’t know what you’ve got, who’s using it and how you’re going to run the migration program, the chances of everything being a success are not very high. However, there are some steps you can take to facilitate your transition to EIM managed services.
Choose the correct provider
EIM migration programs deal with business critical applications, and as such it is crucial for the provider to have a deep understanding and experience of the EIM solutions you’re using. If they offer managed services, it is highly advisable to speak with the EIM software company to give yourself access to the backup of the product teams that developed the software. In addition, the provider should have in-depth understanding of your industry, enabling them to address the compliance and regulatory frameworks that you have to work within, and incorporate them into your service.
Involve the business team
Often migrations are seen as technical or IT projects only. This adds substantial risk to a migration to an EIM managed service. To be able to migrate to EIM managed services successfully, it is advisable to bring in the people who work with the current services and understand what they really do with it. With their agreement on data mappings and functional changes you can capture all information from previous systems and increase user adoption of the new service.
Ensure the correct skillset
There are many skills required to manage EIM systems. This is not just skills in optimizing the EIM software but also the technology and infrastructure where it resides. Your provider should deliver full EIM program management capabilities covering aspects such as technical implementation, day-to-day management, incident handling and on-going maintenance. In addition, your provider – through a dedicated security team – should be willing to engage directly with your security experts to guarantee the highest security levels through the migrations and beyond.
Concentrate on the contract
The contract is a critical document in a managed services relationship. Work out exactly what you expect from your provider and what you want them to be responsible for. Set out from the start how much of the migration they are responsible for and the depth of service you require during day-to-day operations. Once all this is clear, enshrine it within your contract. If you want the provider to offer value added and consultancy services, outline them here as well. Once you’re satisfied with the contract, it should be translated into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that set out the performance levels you expect from each part of your managed services.
Plan a staged migration
“Rip and replace” is not an option for any migration program, certainly not for EIM. The migration to managed services must be able to be staged so that every part is put in place and thoroughly tested prior to going live. All software and technology transitions, as well as infrastructure alterations, must take place without affecting the performance of your existing frontline systems or users’ productivity. When you’re sure that the managed services is working as required, then you can begin to switch over between the existing systems and your new solution.
Don’t forget about user adoption
For companies moving from on-premises (off cloud) to cloud-based or hybrid EIM managed services, there will be changes in how users access and use the new systems. These changes can be quite substantial – especially if you use the migration program as a means to upgrade to the latest versions of your EIM solutions. As we explain in this blog, the quicker you bring users up to speed on the new systems, the quicker you reap the benefits. It is a good idea to build a change management strategy around regular communication and training where required.
Demand a single point of accountability
Managed services for EIM technology can include the management of data, applications, solutions, servers and infrastructure. That’s a lot of areas to cover. Look for providers that assign you a single point of contact, such as a dedicated program manager, that understands your business and ensures that if something does go wrong, the escalation procedure is fast and effective.
Migrating from on-premises delivery to EIM managed services can be extremely challenging. However, choosing the right service provider willing to work in partnership with you and provide a flexible service based around your specific needs, can take a great deal of the risk out of the migration process.