Over the past 5 years, nearly every Community IT infrastructure project has included some cloud document management component. As we have helped clients plan and migrate their platform for managing documents to the cloud, several trends have started to emerge.

In this new series of posts we’re going to cover different aspects of a migration project and how to be successful.  As you think more seriously about migrating to a cloud based document management solution please consider our tested and proven methodology:

Outline Your Requirements

There is a myth that the many benefits of a cloud solution will, by fiat, solve most of an organization’s IT problems. To ensure the success of a cloud information system project you need to start by clearly defining the business case for this specific project. Nonprofit organizations are often well suited to analyzing their own business case – when they apply the same scrutiny and diligence that they would to designing a program or applying for a grant.
What set of problems do you want to solve?
This first step is to get a clear understanding about the business context for this project in your organization.  This will enable you to develop a list of business requirements. Some good questions to answer as part of this exercise are:

It is also important to understand and inventory your content. What files does your organization generate?  Draw up an outline of the content types in your organization. At Community IT we use a variety of techniques to better understand content:

Understanding the key technical and functional requirements of the new system is also an important part of the process.  The following questions can help to identify critical requirements.

Keep in mind any integration needs that might come up as part of this transition. Except in rare circumstances, it is unlikely you will be replacing all your systems at once. You will need to build integration capacity into your requirements between any systems you keep, that need to interact with your new document storage.  Some common examples of this are Salesforce or Docusign.

You will also need to pay attention to compliance requirements. For instance, if your organization’s work involves healthcare you might be required to keep certain files for more than 5-7 years. Developing these requirements will help you narrow down your choices between different solutions.

If you’ve missed any of our past webinars or posts on cloud document storage platforms or planning, you can find more resources here.
In the next post we’ll describe how to define your scope, and set realistic expectations among your staff and champions at your organization.
You can download a pdf (1.2MB) or share this entire series online here.

Johanny Torrico, Johan Hammerstrom, Abdul Musa and Carolyn Woodard contributed to this series.