A guide to a successful data migration

Data is essential for all businesses

Although data migration is broadly about selecting, extracting and transforming data, there is no specific approach or strategy. Data does not have a “one size fits all” approach and some data scientists may even consider it a kind of “art form”.

Effective data migration can contribute to the success of many businesses. According to PwC Cloud Business Survey, 74% of business leaders are committed to a cloud strategy. Leading bank NatWest partnered with Google Cloud in 2019 after finding itself faced with the need to process larger volumes of data at high speeds and on aging servers. By implementing data migration, the company was able to accelerate its data processes and meet growing customer expectations.

Cloud Migration Costs

For businesses, a critical step in digital transformation is migrating databases to new cloud systems and infrastructure. This will improve speed to market and increase business growth, reducing the need for technical resources.

However, it can be a daunting task as moving data is not a simple process. Migrating too quickly or without a strategy will often result in overspending for businesses. To work successfully, the data migration process must be transparent and based on well-established expertise. Businesses should consider the following steps:

● Ensure data security and compliance

Data security is a key concern that must be taken seriously by businesses. Sensitive data should always be secure and compliant with local regulations. Security measures should be in place before the data migration process begins. Who has access to the account at what level should be detailed. Otherwise, there could be serious consequences.

To make your security plan profitable, the value of the data itself, as well as the security breach issues, must be supported with equal effort.

● Organize data

At the start of a migration, you should schedule time to sort through the complexities of data and applications. In the long run, it will help you save money, time and effort.

These complexities can be made up of data gravity and data silos. Data gravity will appear if the data attracts other data and applications to it. This means that it becomes difficult to disentangle the data from the applications that use it.

Data silos consist of incompatible and isolated data formats that occur when an application works with unique data structures and avoids communication with the rest of the system. Both of these issues need to be resolved before the migration takes place.

● Implement the right strategy

Your data migration strategy should be determined by your business requirements and needs. Although there are myriad ways to migrate data, most strategies fall into the two categories below.

● Mass migration

When data migration takes the form of a big bang, data is migrated from an old legacy system to a new operating system in an instant. After being transferred to a new database, the data is processed while the live systems shut down.

This strategy is the simplest option and saves time. However, a major downside is that you need to consider the strain this downtime will put on your business operations.

● Slow migration

Some specific phases of the runoff migration require an agile approach. The benefit of this strategy is that it will eliminate downtime and operational interruptions, as old and new systems will operate simultaneously.

The complexity of this strategy generally reduces risk if executed well. This is due to the ease of confirming the success of each phase, while quickly learning from previous failures.

● Choose your partner wisely

Ultimately, the success of your data migration strategy will depend on your choice of partner. Many businesses fail because they choose poorly. Either they make the mistake of going for the lowest possible price, or they try to use in-house teams without the proper expertise or knowledge.

Choosing to hire an external specialist with years of experience will provide a business with the support needed for a reliable and efficient data migration process.

The bottom line

The specifics of each data migration process will be different from company to company. However, by following these four steps, you can mitigate risk and ensure that your complex data migration process runs as smoothly, cost-effectively and securely as possible.

About the Author

Volodymyr Slobodianiuk is Chief Technology Officer at amdaris. Founded in the UK in 2009, we provide innovative software development, product design, digital transformation, application support and consulting services from our UK headquarters and delivery centers in Eastern Europe in Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria. We’re built for quality and scale, with hundreds of talented colleagues delivering exceptional, custom, secure software development services and seamless 24/7 support to our global customers. We are proud to work with a wide variety of companies across a wide range of industries, delivering a combination of exciting innovation and business-critical modernization projects.

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Sean N. Ayres