August 4

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8 Things To Consider When Planning a Data Migration

By Charles

August 4, 2022

data migrations

8 things to consider when planning for a data migration 

In today’s fast-paced IT environments data migrations are required for all sorts of reasons. It could be for a Cloud Migration, Application Migration, Database Migration, Storage Migration, the list goes on. 

While a high percentage of organisations have a data migration project planned for this year, an extremely high percent of these data migrations will fail! 

The old saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ and with Data Migrations this couldn’t be truer. 

Let’s explore 8 things to consider when planning for a data migration so that your project can not only succeed but also become a blueprint for other successful future data migrations. 

1. Full pre-migration assessment 

A full review of your current team, systems, data, processes and potential issues need to be explored in depth. For the data you’re migrating, you need to know what format it’s currently in, where it resides, and what format it should be in post-migration. This should be the starting point and any weaknesses or complications should be addressed before continuing. 

2. Data verification 

Data verification is a vital step which will highlight what data cleansing needs to take place. Data verification also checks that the data is available, accessible, complete and in the correct format ready for migration. 

3. The Data Migration Team 

Are your team experienced in data migrations in The UK? Do they have the right skills, in the right technologies and in the right environments? The best time to have the right team in place is before you start with a data migration! Data migrations can be expensive and with the wrong team it could cost your organisation a lot more! 

4. Planning the size and scope of the project 

Once you fully understand where you are you can plan out the resources you’ll need for the migration. This will include a realistic budget, goals, a flexible timeline for the project, etc. 

5. Change management 

Data migrations can involve and impact many individuals across multiple departments and sites. It’s important to plan communication and potentially training (depending on the type of migration you are performing). Everyone needs to be on the same page and expectations aligned ahead of the start of a successful migration.

6. Data security 

Data security is quite rightly a high-profile issue, particularly since the introduction of the GDPR. The data migration needs to include data security from the planning stage ensuring that everything is migrated in a complaint and secure way.

7. Encourage business engagement 

If senior leaders within the organisation understand the purpose and the advantages the data migration then this will ensure the required resources are available (and protected) and that the success of the project can be at the front of everyone’s mind. Afterall, the purpose of the project is for the business to be more effective and efficient.

8. Plan the old system retirement 

No database migration is complete without retiring the old system. 

Depending on the migration you are performing and as long as you don’t plan on using the two systems simultaneously it’s time to retire the original system in order to save financial and human resources. You can terminate redundant software, dispose of any unnecessary hardware, etc. These are all considerations to take into account ahead of starting a migration so they are included in the plan. 

As you can see, there are many areas which are vital in the preparation stage for a successful data migration. The alternative could mean the project being delivered late, over budget, both or not at all. 

Final Note  

Using our data migration method and process we were able to accurately build out our ETL processes for optimal migrations. Using SQL Server and SSIS we cleanse the data, extract it from the source system and transform it to the required format in a proven, secure and compliant way. We keep the lineage and the data signed off at each stage ending in a successful import to the target system. 

Digital Samurai are hugely experienced in successful data migrations and are available to discuss your future projects. Please feel free to speak to us today for data migration services in the UK.

About the author

Microsoft Certified SQL Server DBA with over a decades experience including work for large FTSE 250 companies amongst others. The SQL Server stack has been the focus of almost all of my career in IT. I have experience designing, supporting and troubleshooting large Data Platform deployments.

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