Make a frictionless transition to Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service
In a digital-first world, your marketing technology forms the cornerstone of all customer experience (CX) initiatives. An outdated infrastructure can lead to poor efficiency, performance, and customer experience (CX) — impacting business results adversely.
Moving to the cloud is a good idea
Modernizing your enterprise with a strong cloud foundation can accelerate your CX initiatives and bring out more value to business owners, developers, and marketers alike with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), faster performance, and greater scale.
Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service is a modern, purpose-built, unified solution for experience management that provides cloud-native agility to accelerate time to value and is extensible to meet your unique business requirements.
Here’s what makes Experience Manager as a Cloud Service better than your legacy content management system (CMS) solution:
- Current — constantly evolving with new capabilities allows teams to focus on innovating.
- Scalable — autoscaling capabilities with zero upgradation costs to ensure optimal performance for customers and employees.
- Resilient — monitoring and minimizing redundancy to provide mission-critical service-level availability.
- Secure — automating infrastructure maintenance and pre-configuring all environments to Adobe-backed security rules and enterprise best practices.
Migrating is a challenge
While enterprises understand the overwhelming advantages of moving to the cloud, getting the process right is crucial to a successful migration. Migrating from a third-party legacy CMS to a more agile and scalable infrastructure like Experience Manager as a Cloud Service can be a complex transition that poses challenges at both engagement and execution levels.
Coordinating with multiple partners for cloud migration, content migration, and content validation can lead to multiple delays. Complex governance systems and the lack of single ownership and accountability increase dependencies — resulting in longer time to value and a delayed, inadequate return on investment (ROI).
On the execution front, migrating to the cloud requires a robust strategy and methodology to stay on track. The content management industry lacks adequate tooling to customize the process and ensure a faster transition with minimal risks. This may also result in the need to migrate content manually — increasing delivery timelines, IT time and resources, and business planning costs.
Plan your migration
Asking some key questions is important — how does a content author, a content manager, a programmer, an IT owner, or a business owner start the transition process? Who is responsible for what, and when and where should they step up during the migration process?
Moving from one CMS to the other is like moving from your old home into a brand new house. It’s a complete overhaul that needs to be well-planned and well-timed. But before that, a clear roadmap needs to be built. Your migration process will pass through multiple stages.
Step 1 — assess
Do a 360-degree assessment of your existing CMS to understand the capability gaps and opt for a self-assessment to evaluate your migration readiness.
Step 2 — plan
Create a project plan before kicking off the migration. Seek the help of professionals to outline the key milestones, estimate the effort, and allocate resources for each stage.
Step 3 — proof
Run a proof of migration with a few pages, assets, users, groups, and their access controls. Make the process iterative and then scale.
Step 4 — test
Before going live, use performance testing as a tool to review and optimize the performance of your site built on Experience Manager as a Cloud Service.
Now that we have the process laid out, here are key considerations and best practices to accelerate your migration from a third-party CMS to Experience Manager as a Cloud Service.
- Embrace your new CMS with an open mind
No two homes are the same. Neither are two CMSs. Just like your old furniture may not fit perfectly with the space and needs of your new house, your old CMS may not meet your evolving digital needs. Investing in a new CMS, with its components and architecture different from your legacy CMS, may be uncomfortable initially. But with an open mind and some time, you can adapt to its components and functionalities and put them to good use — maximizing value to your business.
- Accelerate time to value with reusability
Why waste your time and resources on building something from scratch when you have the option of reusing prebuilt templates and wireframes? Experience Manager as a Cloud Service has modular fragments, built-in templates, and components that not only make the designing and authoring process easier but also speed up your transition process.
And that’s not all. Adobe Professional Services has proprietary frameworks, accelerators, tools, and templates — built from years of experience in migrating countless websites successfully — to ensure you get a fast, risk-free migration.
- Simplify content migration with structures like JSON and XML
There is no out-of-the-box tool for content migration. You will have to follow the standard extract, transfer, and load (ETL) process to migrate your content from one CMS to the other. However, storing your content in a standard data interchange format like JSON or XML can make the extraction process easier compared to web scraping.
For one of our 600 customers currently on Experience Manager as a Cloud Service, the content wasn’t structured in a usable data format, so we had to perform web scraping. A script had to be written, which was used to scrap content on all pages, line by line. But this method exposes one to a huge risk of errors. Having the content in a structured data format is an ideal way to reduce extraction time and thus speed up the migration.
The proprietary content migration framework of Adobe Professional Services has a system-built standard data format that ensures flexibility to extend to various source systems, higher accuracy — with the ability to validate the migrated content, and shorter time to market. The framework provides a toolset, process, and know-how to accelerate and simplify the migration of content from your legacy CMS to Experience Manager.
- Rethink site architecture and design
While a flat site architecture is preferred by most back-end teams, Experience Manager is a page-based CMS with a hierarchical site architecture that’s easier to manage. Leverage this by creating and building a content architecture based on your organizational needs — by logically segregating content and assets belonging to different organizational entities in separate hierarchies. This will make the transition smoother.
Engaging an experienced UI/UX designer can help you leverage the core components of Experience Manager for your new hierarchical site design. To make this process easier, Adobe also provides a UI Kit, which includes ready-to-use templates built using the core components of Experience Manager.
- Set up governance and assign accountability
Migration planning is a good time to take another look at your governance systems and restructure them to ensure a smooth migration. Based on your organizational maturity, define the criteria for your governance and stick to them through the go-live and post-go-live phases.
Decide if you need centralized governance or a fragmented structure of control based on localization. Identify a single key owner who will be responsible for seeing the migration right through to the end since joint ownership can dilute accountability and lead to unnecessary delays.
- Plan ahead
While Adobe experts can execute the migration of large enterprise systems in six to nine months — 25% faster than others — the call to migrate should be taken well in advance.
Work backward from your go-live date and set up key milestones to achieve along the way. Sometimes, you may need to start up to two years before the actual go-live date to accommodate and cover all bases, including stakeholder requests, department handovers, and so forth before executing the actual plan.
Make a smooth transition with Adobe Professional Services
With hundreds of implementations and more than 40 established delivery templates, best practices, and guides developed over many years of experience, we can help you with a tailor-made migration plan and methodology that lowers risks and improves speed to market.
And if you’re interested in learning more from our Professional Services thought leaders, visit our blog series page.
Santosh Mishra is a senior technical architect at Adobe. His primary area of focus is Adobe Experience Manager. He has been working on Experience Manager for the past 12 years. During his tenure with Experience Manager, Mishra has worked closely with different customers, partners, and vendors to deliver large scale Experience Manager implementations and migrations. He specializes in different aspects of Experience Manager, such as Commerce Integration Framework and Experience Manager as a Cloud Service.
For the past three years, he’s been helping customers in migrating to Experience Manager as a Cloud Service. He has active interest in artificial intelligence and serverless cloud platforms like Apache Openwhisk and Blockchain.