In our previous post, we addressed four common challenges for organizations seeking to fully leverage new cloud collaboration and content opportunities. To briefly recap, the project phases involved include:
- Discovery, to create a full inventory of already-deployed collaboration and content resources
- Analysis, making it possible to have a detailed and fact-based review of the current collaboration and content environment
- Rationalization, enabling the business users and technology team to jointly produce a detailed and prioritized transition project plan
- Transition, harvesting the still-valuable resources from the previously deployed systems and taking full advantage of new cloud capabilities
In this post, we provide more detail on the first two phases, highlighting goals and concerns for two primary stakeholder roles: CIO/CTO and project managers. Our perspectives have been informed by thousands of successful collaboration and content conversions over more than twenty years, and we have seen consistent patterns ranging from legacy on-premises platforms to state-of-the-art cloud deployments.
For most organizations, the discovery phase is complicated by the use of multiple types of systems — typically a mix of legacy collaboration/content platforms, Microsoft SharePoint (on-premises), and file sync/sharing services (such as Dropbox and Google Drive). For new cloud collaboration and content deployments to be successful, they must both replace and improve upon the previously-deployed resources. However, many organizations don’t have complete inventories of their existing collaboration and content systems, or a sense of which resources are actually providing value to the business.
Key requirements for successful discovery phases include:
- Seamlessly addressing all of the systems currently in use, while also fully adhering to related security policies
- Inventorying existing resources without disrupting system performance or stability
- Using an automated approach in order to minimize administration requirements and overhead
The discovery phase gathers a comprehensive inventory of existing systems, serving as input for the analysis phase, which is used to determine the most widely-used resources, along with producing preliminary complexity and scope assessments. A comprehensive and fact-based approach, leveraging usage logs to identify usage patterns, makes it possible to determine which resources are good candidates to move to the cloud, along with estimates of what’s involved in making the moves. Effective automation is critical for the discovery phase, as using a more manual approach can result in inconsistent and/or incomplete results and protracted project schedules.
In terms of stakeholder perspectives, CIO/CTO goals and concerns for the discovery and analysis phases include completeness and cost-effectiveness. Discovery must address all related collaboration and content resources, and must be accomplished with minimized expense. Analysis must make it possible to identify which resources are most business-critical, and to prioritize and realistically budget conversion project plans. Another CIO/CTO goal is to identify resources that are no longer required, usually making it possible to significantly reduce software licensing, support, and administration costs.
For project managers, the primary discovery and analysis goals and concerns include efficiency and not disrupting production systems. Discovery tools must be highly efficient but not discernibly impact the performance of collaboration and content resources currently in use throughout the organization. Analysis needs to be comprehensive but pragmatic, making it possible to sequence and project the costs and schedules for conversion tasks. Project managers also realize significant benefits from working with discovery and analysis tools that support all of the primary systems in use, as doing otherwise (e.g., using one tool for IBM Notes/Domino, a second for on-premises SharePoint, and a third for a file sync/sharing service such as Dropbox) can result in cumbersome and inconsistent discovery and analysis.
Our next post will drill-down on the rationalization and transition phases. In the meantime, for more information about CASAHL’s discovery, analysis, rationalization, and transition capabilities, please explore the DART product suite.