Data migration is arguably the most overlooked part of a change initiative. That’s because it’s labor intensive, repetitive and requires meticulous attention to every minute detail. And it assumes that the data you have to migrate is clean. Here is what you need to plan for in order to migrate to the Box cloud and take full advantage of its functionality. Consider:
• Metadata: The metadata helps categorize content and helps to retrieve the content easily. You’ll have custom data associated with your files that need to be imported so you’ll want to be sure your metadata is accurate and up-to-date. If you don’t have metadata defined now, it will be a good opportunity to set them when importing.
• Tags: This gives users the ability to mark, sort and easily search for related files. Very often, the originating content might not have sufficient custom metadata specific to how an individual user would like to search. You may want to tag the content based on how the user community would like to search using some keywords.
• Comments: Often discounted when you migrate from one system to another, forcing you to lose the trail of changes when you omit comments. Plan to include the comments during the migration into Box.
• Collaborator roles: In the Box cloud, you’ll have full controls to set permissions. You can set permissions for users and groups to files and folders, similar to access control lists. You may either bring in the same permission set that the source system has or you can set a different permission set that is being defined in Box.
• Versions: The source system might have multiple versions of the documents in different lifecycle states. Decide which versions or which state of the documents you want to migrate. Sometimes, you may not want to bring all the drafts and just bring the important content to the Box cloud.
• Tasks: There might be documents in pending workflows with some users having tasks in their inbox. Consider creating tasks for those documents while importing them so that users will have the tasks created in the inbox of their target system once migrated.
Many organizations moving to the Box cloud plan for all of the benefits of an enterprise-class content management platform that offers a single place to manage and share content. What’s not to like? It’s easy to deploy, it has a graphical user interface (which always gets people hooked), and it sure beats most platforms in terms of collaboration and document versioning, which is essential for compliance and internal tracking. But excitement can quickly turn to despair if organizations don’t plan in advance to take full advantage of what Box offers and have a way to get their data into the system fast.