As the calendar year turns over, many organizations are taking a look at their digital infrastructure to see if there are any major needs as they plan for the rest of the year. To help ensure the continued growth of your digital strategy, the beginning of the year provides an excellent opportunity to evaluate your Ektron site - including the ROI it provides and to identify any risks.
The first thing I always recommend is determining if you are on one of the latest versions of Ektron. If you are not, your implementation will not be supported. What this means is that if you have an issue with your Ektron site, the first thing Ektron support will do is tell you that you must upgrade to the most recent version to see if that resolves the problem. Unfortunately, if you are on an older version, your upgrade path is not easy and will likely break functionality on your website. This very scenario is why we recommend keeping the website on the most recent version of Ektron – it guarantees you have the most recent functionality, ensures you have all the security upgrades, and keeps your website implementation supported. All three of these can be big issues if not proactively addressed.
But what if I’m migrating to Episerver?
Even if you are migrating to Episerver, we strongly recommend maintaining your current Ektron environment. Because of the reasons above, it’s especially important to maintain the website until the Episerver site is ready to launch. If there were an issue with the Ektron website, but the Episerver website is not yet ready to go live, you do not want to have to scramble to solve the problem in the middle of your migration project.
If you are starting to scope and plan for your migration to Episerver, it’s important to remember that the two platforms are different – it’s not just an upgrade from Ektron to Episerver. With any migration project, keep in mind all the moving pieces to ensure a successful migration. Some ways that I've seen organizations hinder progress includes waiting too long to plan for content migration, not fully scoping the Episerver migration, not accounting for all the integrations, not planning for future website improvement or trying to use Episerver like Ektron. When you are in the midst of planning and evaluating Episerver implementation options a good rule of thumb is – if something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. I hear too many stories from our clients about how they didn’t identify an issue early in the planning phase, leading to delays and even derailing some migrations.
I’m not trying to scare you away from migrating to Episerver. In fact, I strongly encourage migrating from Ektron to Episerver. However, it’s important to get it right the first time. Part of doing so is having realistic cost and timing expectations.
In recent months, we helped more than a few new clients help clean up the mess left behind after trying for a cheap, quick migration. In each case, the clients spent twice as much with their previous agencies as had been originally quoted; and in these cases, the projects lasted twice as long as was originally quoted by their former agencies. Unfortunately, for these organizations their websites still weren’t live by the time they came to us for help with their Episerver migrations. What they didn’t realize until it was too late was this – if they would have properly planned and scoped the migration, they would have ultimately saved time and money. They learned that there are no shortcuts.
What if I don’t know what my plans are?
Don’t panic. You don’t have to have all the answers right now. You still have time to either scope out your migration project or determine your Ektron strategy for the near future. We understand that you might have a lot of questions as you evaluate your path forward, which is why we are here to help. There can be a lot of risk involved in strategic CMS planning, but with the right partner that risk can almost be eliminated. Most importantly, take the time you need to plan out your next steps and get it right the first time. If you need a little help figuring out what those next steps are, feel free to reach out to us for some guidance.