Most organisations are now moving from legacy application systems to cloud-based storage. This transition is done to leverage the benefits of modernisation. And to complete this modern-day journey, you must migrate your data to a relevant database hosted on-premises or on the cloud.
Suppose you’re planning to conduct a data migration. In that case, you need to do an enormous amount of work upfront, like purchasing software, configuring a new ATS (Applicant Tracking System), training your team on the new system, and more. In addition, data migration can be risky if no proper backup within the organisation is taken or if you don’t use the correct data migration methods.
What is Data Migration, and Why is It Done?
Data migration is relocating organisational data from one location to another. This process may also be from one format to another or from one application to another. It’s often performed by organisations who want to move from older on-premises infrastructure to newer cloud-based storage and applications for the best possible optimisation of the company.
Some companies also opt for data migration to overhaul their entire system, upgrade their database, move to a new data warehouse establishment, or merge new data from other sources into existing systems. With data migration, your business will achieve better performance and more practical scaling. Moreover, it will allow you to access various data management features such as backup, disaster recovery, and cloning, just to name a few.
But Why is Data Migration Difficult?
Like any significant undertaking, data migration is not without its challenges. It’s not something you decide to do on a whim, so there should be plenty of planning involved. Any data migration process can be fraught with challenges, more so if there’s zero or poor planning or the project scope analysis is done improperly by your data migration team. Even if you’re using the most advanced tools or software, organisations still fail to achieve their expected return of investment from data migration because of these common oversights.
Furthermore, there are also communication issues between stakeholders, management, and end-users that affect the migration strategy and goals. When there’s an inadequate business engagement with the project management and migration team, there will be an inaccurate implementation of migration. This is why 38% of data migration projects fail.
The Most Common Data Migration Risks and Challenges
What challenges should organisations and data migration teams expect when migrating data? Here are the top data migration challenges that often disrupt business processes and lead to less successful migrations.
1. Cluttered Data
It’s been seen many times―data is usually unorganised. There’s also a big chance that your current data has multiple versions. While doing a data migration, discovering duplicate or incomplete data sets of the same document or file is very common.
To avoid the use of unorganised or distorted data, data clean-up is recommended before moving it to the new platform. You should consider this if you want to run a smooth and error-free data migration.
2. Data Loss
Data loss can occur anytime during data migration. It’s common when some data files fail to be transferred or moved from the source system to the new one. Every missing piece of data or file can mean a possible loss of information that’s vital for your business.
For this reason, it’s recommended to take data migration from one system to another seriously to avoid the loss of essential data. If you’re unsure of how you can do the transfer correctly, hire a professional experienced in data migration to do it on your behalf.
3. Mapping of Data
Data mapping will help you determine a place in the new database where the old data will be transferred and stored. This will also allow you to match fields from one database to another. A single wrong step in data mapping can lead to time-consuming and costly errors. So before you start your data migration, you should have an accurate roadmap to ensure that your data will reach its correct destination.
4. Importing Data
Data import allows you to upload your data from any external source and club it with data you collect via analytics. This process is done to get better search capabilities and a better interface. Data organisation as this can only be possible once you have moved to a new and advanced knowledge base platform. The process of importing data starts once the cleaning, formatting, and mapping are done. These will only work accurately when the data is imported to the new system without any errors.
5. Data Corruption
This happens when violations of the set of rules and validations occur on the target system. As a result, it may lead to unwanted data migration in the newly designated system and generate corrupt and inaccurate data.
6. Semantic Risk
Semantic risks or errors are those errors that may occur once you have completed the data migration process. A common example is the missed movement of information from one field to another in the new system.
7. Prolonged Downtime
When data migration takes longer than the anticipated or estimated time, this is already a prolonged downtime. One of the potential risks of prolonged downtime for organisations is the source system not being completely functional during the migration process.
8. Incorrectly Formatted Data
In the data migration process, the data migration team should keep a close watch on the backup and the compatibility of files. Issues related to compatibility in a document or file may not apply if the file is not formatted before being transferred to the new environment.
How to Overcome Data Migration Challenges in New Zealand
Now comes the most important thing: how to avoid the risks and overcome the abovementioned data migration challenges to ensure a successful data migration. Aside from working with the right data migration team and doing the required planning pre and post-migration, make sure your organisation does the following:
1. Define the Scope
Scope definition can help you determine which data and type of data will be migrated to which location, as well as the amount of data that needs to be transferred. By defining the scope prior to data migration, you’re ensuring that the entire process will be a walk in the park for everyone involved.
2. Create a Data Back-up
Before proceeding to the next step of the data migration process, perform a complete backup of your data. This step is crucial in case anything goes wrong during the execution process. You can always use your backup data if any error or damage occurs while doing the migration.
3. Do Testing
Before the actual data migration, it’s a must to set up activities known as pre-migration testing. You should also test the complete data migration process throughout the planning and implementation phase to ensure the best and most favourable results.
4. Plan Beforehand
If you have a planned strategy and have aligned all the critical factors at the outset, it will be easier for you to conduct a successful migration process. This way, you can anticipate any possible errors and failures and follow a plan B. So create a realistic data migration plan, stick to it, and work accordingly for the best results.
5. Perform Post-Migration Maintenance
New challenges can arise after data migration. To prevent any significant disruptions or heavy downtime, perform strategic post-migration maintenance. This is a crucial step to monitor the new data environment and ensure that security protocols are in place and the whole organisation is navigating, adapting, and transitioning to the new systems or environment well.
And once you have achieved the goal of successful data migration, back up the staging server database and perform all other required post-migration steps.
Data migration may seem like such a straightforward process. But one wrong step can result in a time-consuming and costly error that will put your business operations to a grinding halt. Now that you have a better idea of the significant challenges organisations face regarding data migration and the different ways you can resolve them, you can apply everything you’ve learned to ensure a successful data migration.
Implement a successful data migration and avoid all the challenges by carefully planning the entire process from pre to post-implementation.
Work with data migration experts to ensure a correct and hassle-free data migration process and preserve your data’s sanctity. Choose data migration companies in New Zealand that have the technical skills and complete understanding of the data migration process from start to finish. This way, you can complete your data migration on time and stay within your budget.
If you want to learn more about data migration or request a free demonstration, just reach out to us. Leave us a comment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Whatsapp.