Frequently, data is amongst a company’s most valuable assets — a fact that can make a data migration project more than a little stressful. There are a number of circumstances that may necessitate data migration, including a software development project. Data needs to be moved from your old system to your new system. Sounds easy, right? At first glance, the process may appear to be simple and straightforward. But once you look a bit closer, you’ll realize that the potential for data corruption and data loss is significant. But with a solid data migration strategy, you will be well-positioned to transfer the data without incident.
The Motivation Behind Data Migration Projects
There are numerous circumstances that may require you to perform data migration. Perhaps you have a new software system and you need to port over data so that all features will be available to the new platform’s users.
Many companies are performing data migration to the cloud too. On-premise databases and other traditional data storage options can be rather costly to maintain, especially when compared to cloud storage. Cloud storage typically features an autoscaling feature, meaning that resources are allocated and re-allocated as demand rises or falls. This means you pay for the actual storage space that’s utilized instead of paying for a “block” of storage space that may or may not be used in full.
What’s more, cloud-based data storage allows for unmatched accessibility since the data can be accessed from any location — all you need is an internet connection. Business leaders have started to recognize the many benefits of cloud storage, leading to data migration efforts to upload and transfer data to a cloud storage environment.
How Does Data Migration Work?
Data migration involves transferring data from one location to another. It can involve all forms of data – structured, semi-structured and unstructured.
Data migration is frequently required for a software development project in cases where you have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform or a CRM. ERP software serves as a company’s digital core, with centralized data stores. Data must be migrated from throughout the company’s many divisions to create that centralized database.
A CRM houses massive volumes of data, from customer lists, to order information, mailing lists and beyond. Data migration may be required in cases where you’re implementing one of these software systems for the first time or if you’re shifting from one platform to another.
Data migration can be a major challenge and there are lots of potential pitfalls that must be avoided. Duplicated data is one common issue. If a data set is migrated more than once, you can end up with multiple sets of the same data. This can arise due to human error. It can also occur when a data transfer is interrupted midstream. If the data transfer is attempted again and you don’t pick up where you left off, then you could end up with duplication of the data.
Conversely, if you have multiple people involved in the migration efforts and they fail to communicate effectively, you may end up with data that is accidentally omitted from the migration process.
When data is transferred from one structured environment to another, there is a possibility that the data will not populate to the proper fields. This is another example of how a data migration project can lead to a compromised data set.
Why Do I Need a Data Migration Strategy?
A data migration strategy will minimize the chances that you’ll encounter obstacles, while simultaneously maximizing your chances of success.Your data migration strategy should serve as a roadmap of sorts, guiding your efforts and helping you to create conditions that are conducive to a smooth transfer process.
A well-architected data migration strategy is critical because it will ensure that you retain the data’s integrity. Data integrity is crucial because without it, the value of your data plummets. If you cannot be confident that your data is accurate, then its usefulness becomes extremely limited. For example, many business leaders leverage their company’s data stores for data-driven decision-making efforts. Would you feel comfortable basing your decisions upon data with questionable accuracy? Probably not and therein lies the problem.
A data migration strategy must address a few different points:
- What is the scope? – Take the time to articulate the scope of the data migration project. Identify the exact data sets that will be migrated.
- What data will you be transferring? – Identify the exact data sets that will be involved in the migration project. Where is that data located?
- What is the destination environment? – Make note of the destination environment for your data. Are you sending it to a database that’s used by a mobile application? A cloud-based data storage platform?
- Who will be performing the data migration? – Problems can arise when multiple people are pulled into the data migration process midstream. The situation can get even worse if the involved parties fail to communicate effectively, leading to duplications or omissions. Take the time to identify the people who will be participating in the migration efforts and outline each person’s role. Then, take the time to discuss each person’s role so everyone is clear on what they will be doing, what data they’ll be handling and when everything will take place.
- How will you go about performing the data migration process? – Identify and outline the steps that you will take to transfer the data.
Once you address these points, you will be well on your way toward developing a data migration strategy. Simply compile the components into a single document and you will have everything you need to proceed with what should be a smooth data migration process.
Beginning Your Data Migration and Digital Transformation Project
At 7T, we embrace digital transformation and we take great pride in our ability to develop technology that is truly transformative for our clients. Once you’ve created a data migration strategy, turn to the team at 7T to handle the software development aspects of your initiative.
The 7T development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. As an innovative Dallas software and mobile app development company, we offer collaborative, multi-phased software development services to clients in all business sectors.
Our offices are situated in Dallas, Houston and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about data migration or developing enterprise software, a mobile app or another form of digital transformation for your organization, contact 7T today.