ServiceNow is a powerful platform that allows companies to manage their processes, workflows and data all in one place. One important aspect of ServiceNow is content migration. Content migration is a process which involves moving content and data from legacy systems to the ServiceNow platform.

Content migration is probably the most important step in the process. This process ensures all the important information is available within the ServiceNow platform. We'll look at different challenges you may face, best practices and the tools you'll have for seamless migration.

Understanding ServiceNow

Before we get into the specifics of content migration, it's important to understand what the ServiceNow platform can do. ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform that offers services like IT service management (ITSM), IT operations management (ITOM), and IT business management (ITBM).

The ServiceNow platform allows companies to create a custom application to best suite your needs. The system also allows you to create your own workflow automation. This makes it a really versatile platform for companies in any industry to use.

One of the key features of ServiceNow is being able to put all of your data and processes into one place. This allows companies to streamline operations and improve their overall efficiency. The platform has an intuitive interface and also has powerful integration capabilities. ServiceNow is a popular choice for companies who want to bring their IT and business processes into the modern world.

You might be thinking, we already have a great Content Management System (CMS) we keep all our content in, so why would I need to know about ServiceNow? While the two are similar, they have their differences.

The Search Engine Journal defines a CMS as a function "that allows users to update, maintain, create, and manage content". This can be done without even needing developers or IT to help with the coding on the backend. While Jade Global states ServiceNow is the framework that allows companies to build a custom experience for their customers and employees.

Content Migration in ServiceNow

The wide range of content you can transfer into ServiceNow is endless. When you're moving content from one system to another, be sure all of your important information gets moved. All of your users should be able to access the data they need with ease. Now, where should you start?

Questions to ask During Content Migration

There's a lot of questions to ask your team when migrating content from an existing system to another. We pulled a few from the ServiceNow website as examples of things to think about before starting your migration process:

  • What does your current IT infrastructure consist of?
  • What does your current IT infrastructure consist of?
  • What teams within your company will be impacted by this migration?
  • What are the pros and cons of moving specific content and not others?
  • How can we optimize the current IT infrastructure prior to starting the migration process?

Once a lot of these questions are answered, you'll have a great structure and base line to work off of. You might even come up with solutions to problems you didn't know you'd have.

Challenges and Solutions within Content Migration

It's important to understand all aspects in the process of moving your legacy content into a new system prior to getting the process started. This can help prepare you for issues that might come up during the migration process. Some of the common challenges of content migration include:

  • Data Mapping: You should be able to accurately map the data from your current system to the ServiceNow data model. This can be a complex task, especially when the data structures and formats are different. ServiceNow provides specific fields and tables where your existing data can be entered making the migration process much more seamless.

Try to develop a clear mapping strategy to be sure the existing data will align with the ServiceNow data model. This may involve a little transformation with your data to ensure that the migrated data is structured and consistent.

  • Data Analysis: Going through all the data you need can be overwhelming. Be sure to conduct a thorough review of the existing data to identify the scope and complexity of the migration. This includes going over the quality of the data, volume and dependencies to develop a comprehensive migration strategy.
  • Business Process Alignment: Successful content migration should align with the business processes and requirements. This means you'll need to identify the specific data and documents that need to be migrated.

To help with this, be sure to implement rigorous testing and validation processes to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the migrated content. This may involve conducting user testing, gathering data and performance testing to verify the success of the migration. 

  • Data Cleansing: Legacy data is often not consistent. Duplicates and errors can happen and need to be addressed before migration starts. Data cleansing ensures the data being transferred to ServiceNow is accurate and reliable. Try to identify what information is redundant, underutilized or some content may even be currently over-used in your current system.

Consider breaking up your content migration into phases based on priority. This allows companies to validate the migrated data and lets you address any issues before proceeding with the full migration.

  • System Downtime: Depending on the size and complexity of the content migration, some organizations may experience downtime during this transition period. Reducing downtime and ensuring operations continue is important during migration. People don't want to be caught off guard and being stuck in a stand-still. There might also be some issues with employees not knowing how to use the new system yet.

Be sure to communicate the migration plan to all stakeholders and end-users. This helps to manage expectations and minimize disruptions for them in their job and the company within the migration process. Some change management strategies should include training in the new system or platform, documentation and support to facilitate a smooth transition to the ServiceNow platform.

Tools for Content Migration

ServiceNow provides a range of different tools and capabilities to facilitate the content migration from your original system. Some of these key migration tools and features for content migration in ServiceNow include:

  • ServiceNow Import Sets allow organizations to import data from various sources, like spreadsheets and XML files. Import Sets provide a flexible approach to deciphering data. This allows you to map and transform the data before importing it into ServiceNow tables.
  • Transformation Maps in ServiceNow allow companies to define data transformation rules and mappings. This helps to convert data from external sources to the ServiceNow data model. It also allows for a seamless integration and alignment of data during the migration process.
  • The ServiceNow MID Server facilitates secure communication and data transfers between the ServiceNow platform and other external systems. Companies can leverage MID Servers to establish connections with existing systems and automate the transfer of data during content migration.
  • The ServiceNow Integration Hub provides a set of tools and connectors to integrate with third-party systems and applications. Integration Hub can be utilized to streamline content migration by orchestrating data flows and automating integration processes.

Content migration is a critical aspect of ServiceNow implementation. It requires careful planning, execution and validation to ensure a successful transition to the platform. By understanding the challenges, best practices and tools available for content migration, companies can better leverage everything ServiceNow has to offer.

Once a company has successfully completed the content migration within the planned timeline, they're able to leverage the full capabilities of ServiceNow. This allows them to streamline its business processes and operations. The end goal is to provides users with access to a centralized and structured place for all the information.

As companies continue to embrace changes to their digital platforms, content migration will remain a key factor in getting the best value out of the ServiceNow platform. In turn, it will then help with the customer experience.