The Ultimate Guide to Data Migration

This guide answers questions and gives suggestions for planning your next data migration. You could be moving your data to the cloud, or simply updating to new systems – either way, you are going to need a plan. Data migration is one of the largest growing segments of the IT industry.

When a company moves its data, it faces the potential loss of data, downtime, or other issues that could impact its business. Understanding the basic terms and where to find the best advice will make your move a bit easier. Read more to learn about the steps to begin your business’s data migration.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why You Will Need Data Migration
  2. Pre-planning Your Data Transfer
  3. The Big Move
  4. Removing Legacy Systems
  5. Building the Right Data Migration Team

Why You Will Need Data Migration

In time, every company will need to perform some data migration. In the last decade, the big drive for data migration has been moving data from legacy servers to the cloud. As of 2020, over 61% of all businesses have moved their data to the cloud. It is now estimated that the cloud computing marketplace will be valued at over $800 billion by 2025. Why you need data migration is because, at some point, you will outgrow your current data storage system. If you're considering moving your data soon, you may have to get in line – check out these data migration facts.

Did you know?

The data migration market is climbing with a CAGR projected for over $11.49 billion in 2020.

The industry is expanding globally with expectations that Germany will spend up to $486 million by 2025.

China is predicted to spend more than $2.2 billion on data migration in the next two years.

Data migration is a big deal. It is so important because, for many major corporations, their most significant assets are not their buildings or even their company – but their data. Therefore, if something goes wrong during your data migration, it could be life-threatening to your business. For this reason, many organizations opt to contract the move to data migration specialists.

If you are planning a move like this in the future, read more to learn about the necessary steps you should follow.

Pre-planning Your Data Transfer

Of course, a move of this level of importance requires significant planning. The first step is to find expert help. With the additional expense, you can either hire or build an in-house tech team. What qualifications do you need? The best choice is to find a qualified data migration service. That’s where DataCose comes in.

At the start of your project, we listen. It's far more than good manners. We want to understand your business, your data, needs, and the type of move you are considering. The better we know you and your data, the more seamless your transition.

The first four steps in planning your data migration with your team:

  1. Identify Type of Move: The first step in discovery is determining what type of data migration you will need. The six basic types of data migration include database migration, storage migration, data center migration, application migration, cloud migration, or business process migration. Will this be a heterogeneous or homogenous move? These are terms we can help you understand. For some businesses, moving large amounts of data may require more than one type of migration.
  2. How Much Data? Knowing the data inside and out is essential to understand better how to move it. For businesses, it could be a single database moved to a new application or a large enterprise moving their entire data center to a new location. Knowing the amount of data helps to plan the migration. Migration can be done all at one time or over several batches.
  3. Plan for Data Integrity: You don't want to mess up your data. The information after the migration must still be accurate. Gartner suggests that data integrity can be improved by first disentangling the data from all business processes and applications.
  4. Estimate Transfer Schedule: After a better understanding of the first three items on this list, it will be easier to estimate the schedule. If the move is done in large batches, these can be planned several weeks apart to allow for testing the data. Any downtime can also be estimated in advance if done in a single action or batches, but planning makes this easier.

The Big Move

When you get to the point that it's time to make this giant leap into your future-forward technology, it's likely that many managers, board members, and even C-level associates are feeling a bit tense. Data security is the number one topic at board meetings. Certain professions may also have a legal obligation to protect the security of the data. For example, consider health clinics and HIPAA laws or financial institutions that must abide by FINRA.

Your expert data migration team can assist your company with preparing for the move. Part of preparing for moving information can include:

  • Understand Your Data: It isn’t just about managing your data, but what is the purpose for the data. Who uses the data and why? It should include the types of data, who has access, and when. What departments shared data sets? Your workflow as information is processed is essential knowledge.
  • Determine Inconsistencies: Before the big move, are there any current inconsistencies in the data? It is helpful to determine before the move. Once moved, data sets from the existing and new systems are meticulously compared.
  • Build Migration Logic Plan: A logic plan includes breaking down large data sets into manageable pieces—a plan for each stage that provides for checking for accuracy.
  • The Importance of Testing: This cannot be said more – testing is vital to data migration success. Data should be tested before, during, and after the move. It is often suggested to keep the legacy systems operable for a few months to ensure no issues arise.
  • Compare Data Results: The data should be the same in the database; that is correct. But have you run through several business processes with both the legacy data and the new system to ensure that the outputs are the same? It can be overlooked, so compare results, too. 

Removing Legacy Systems

The last step in data migration is the removal of legacy systems. While most companies will maintain their older data systems for some time as a backup, eventually, the cost of maintaining them outweighs their usefulness. Therefore, while there are many steps for moving the information and software – you should also be a plan to retire the hardware eventually. The agenda can include removing any data from the systems so that the data remains secure.

Building the Right Data Migration Team

Ready to get started? When you back up, the first decision you need to make when handling a large data migration project is – will you be hiring an in-house team or contracting the work out to specialists? Most companies go with the second option. There are cost savings, of course, but when it comes to something as vital to the life of your business as your data – you want the top experts in the field to handle your move. 

DataCose has built an elite data migration team that can handle moving data for any size company. When people at the top of your organization hear of the big move, they will ask questions and insist on answers. But, when it comes to the security of your data, what will you say? If you've hired the best team available, you can tell them it is not a problem. You, too, can rest assured that your data migration will be as smooth and seamless as possible. Fill out the form below, and the DataCose migration team will be in touch with you. We can help you realize the best path forward to move your data to your future systems.

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