According to Forbes, data migration involves the process of relocating data from one system to a different one. Conducting a data migration can benefit your company in many ways. For instance, shifting from a legacy system to a relatively advanced one can enhance your company’s productivity while minimizing frustration. Moreover, having the ideal data migration strategy can be useful in ensuring your company’s data migration process is seamless and effective.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for migrating data. That’s because each data set is unique, and each company has different data migration requirements. Consequently, you must evaluate your organization’s data migration needs and objectives. Once you understand your company’s needs and objectives, you can create a unique and smooth data migration strategy.
Here are six essential steps you should consider including in your data migration strategy:
1. Establish Your Current Data’s Format, Sensitivity, And Location
The first step of your data migration strategy should be to establish what data you’re migrating by identifying its current format and storage location. It’s also important you establish the format you intend your data to be once the migration is complete.
Establishing these facts will equip you with the right knowledge before kick-starting the migration project. During this step, you may also identify certain potential risks that you might have to address before the migration. Conducting this pre-planning step can eliminate possible critical errors while undertaking the actual data migration.
2. Establish Your Data Migration Project’s Size And Scope
The second step entails determining the scope of the data migration project. Here, you’ll need to create a thorough data migration record indicating all the requisite resources needed for a successful migration process. Additionally, this is the ideal time to lay down an elaborate budgetary plan. While determining the scope and creating a plan, ensure you attribute your budget to various resources and make sure the scope of your data migration project is realistic.
Moreover, ensure you assess the source and target systems to devise a flexible schedule for executing your data migration project. It’s also advisable to conduct a critical path analysis to identify the most crucial steps during each data migration stage. Lastly, you should carefully plan your data migration strategy to reduce any interruptions to organizational productivity. Such a plan should also cater to cases where the migration process takes longer than anticipated.
3. Evaluate Your Ability To Implement The Data Migration Strategy
After establishing the scope and developing a data migration plan, you must evaluate your current ability and capacity to execute the data migration. More often than not, data migration processes are complex and require expertise. Consequently, you must be realistic about your in-house team’s ability to execute a data migration strategy successfully.
Remember that during the migration process, there may arise hurdles. For instance, some files may be missing or arrive corrupt in the new system. Moreover, some of the data migration stages may fail suddenly. Therefore, you’ll need a team with the right expertise to determine, analyze, and address such issues.
4. Ensure You Back Up Data Before Migrations Starts
Before you kick-start the data migration process, you must ensure you back up all your data, particularly the files you’re trying to move. During this phase, it’s also important you deploy reliable data backup systems and resources like Microsoft Office 365 backup. With a working backup in place, you can easily restore data to its original state if, during the migration, an error occurs.
5. Implementing The Data Migration Plan
You’ll need to grant the necessary system permissions during this step to facilitate a successful data migration exercise. These permissions will allow the migration team to extract all data moving to the target from the source system.
Also, during this step, you must ensure all the data for migration is cleaned to safeguard the target system before converting it into the required format for moving. At this point, your data will be ready for upload into your new target system.
6. Perform Tests, Follow-ups, and Maintenance
In this step, you’ll have to identify if connection issues occurred while moving data before running the test procedures in the target system. The objective here is to guarantee that the data migration is successful and the data is safely stored in the new system.
Finally, you must perform regular maintenance follow-ups to identify if the data is corrupt or has missing or incomplete files. If you find any errors, ensure you restore the specific files from your backup.
Ultimately, you can smoothly and effectively migrate your data from the source to the target system by leveraging the six steps highlighted above.