So, you’ve reached a point in your business where you either need to move your business data from one place to another or from one format to another. There are several situations in which you’d require data migration, such as moving your website to a new ecommerce platform or replacing a legacy system. If you and your team are unfamiliar with this process, you may be wondering, “How do I start? What happens during the data migration process? How long will it take?” These are important questions that you need to know the answers to before transforming your critical business data.
Data migration is the process of moving information from single or multiple sources to new, often more modern, destinations. During the migration process, information flows between the systems involved. Imagine pouring a full glass of water into an empty glass. Your goal is to transfer all the water without spilling a drop. To migrate data successfully, you must try to achieve the same goal. The difference is that you may not care if you spill a little water, however, if you lose a little data, the results could be detrimental, even disastrous, to your business.
Therefore, a comprehensive plan and strategy should be devised before starting any data migration. You must consider the amount of data, the sources, security, timeline and business requirements. Most importantly, you want to avoid any downtime to your business services. For these reasons, enlisting the help of data migration professionals with experience could be the best way to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Why do I need to migrate my data?
Reasons for migrating the data may include changing hosting platforms, upgrading legacy systems or moving on-premises data into the cloud. In today’s world where businesses are becoming more globally minded, cloud data solutions power many functions, including marketing, operations, finance, human resources and business development. Businesses’ desire to use these cloud data solutions, which allow business owners to save money and cut down on in-office technical hassles, are often the main driver behind migrating data.
What are the challenges and risks of data migration?
There are many advantages to upgrading systems or modernizing platforms, however migrating data is a highly complex activity that demands a detailed plan of action. There’s a lot of room for things to go wrong, especially with so many different elements involved with getting it right.
Moving data comes with a lot of inherent complexity. Data resides in many different formats and systems. Depending on the platforms, the data may require manipulation to conform to new standards or layouts. Your data may also need to be sanitized or “cleaned up” to remove malformed fields and information.
A common issue is having data across multiple systems and formats like “flat files” or legacy databases. Collecting data from various sources and formats requires comprehensive knowledge of multiple systems. A migration can quickly go south if you encounter an unknown source platform or format.
Data security and compliance requirements are critical elements of a successful data migration. Certain industries, such as healthcare, have HIPAA requirements for customer data; these regulations must be followed when dealing with any customer data. Businesses must also adhere to GDPR and CCPA compliance where applicable when handling customer data privacy.
How long does it take to migrate data?
There are several different factors in determining the amount of time it takes to complete a data migration:
amount of data
number and type of data sources
type of migration (e.g. moving to a new CRM)
cleanliness of data (i.e. how clearly defined is the data, how much data sanitization and transformation is required?)
What are my next steps?
Now that you have a good grasp on what data migration entails, you’re ready to get started. If you don’t have in-house data migration experts on your team, you should partner with experts that have a proven track record of helping SMBs and enterprises complete all types of data migrations.
At Sunrise Integration, we focus on both the technical implementation and strategic approach to data migration. In fact, one of our biggest data migration projects was migrating Bombas’ entire catalog from Magento to Shopify.