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How to Plan a Data Migration Project

Time needed: 6 days, 15 hours and 12 minutes.

Businesses in the digital age have a lot of storage and data options. At the same time, the requirements around data control are also continuously evolving. As a result, every now and again organizations will have to circle back to the topic that not everyone likes to think about – data migration. This is because data migration is a highly complex process that requires a robust methodology to get it right. As a result, we have come up with a planning guide to help minimize the inherent risks associated with data migration.

  1. Start by conducting a thorough audit

    When you start by thoroughly scoping out the project, you can identify potential issues that might occur when you initiate the whole process. Once you identify the risks, the data migration team can develop a plan to respond to them.
    The aim here to go over every little thing, both its technical aspects and the project’s structure, before the migration project even starts. This means asking questions like the following:
    1. Is the budget sufficient?
    2. Do we have enough team members with the right set of skills?
    3. Will the consultants be available throughout the duration of the project?
    4. Does the communication plan include all stakeholders?
    5. What’s our data security plan?
    6. Is the proposed migration methodology good enough?
    7. What’s the structure, volume, and quality of the data?
    8. What are the technical features of the proposed data migration tool?
    By going over every possible scenario and developing robust plans to respond to them, you can significantly reduce any potential downtime.

  2. Develop a clear data migration methodology

    Having a clear and robust methodology is a critical part of this whole process. This means that you have to have to start with an audit (as mentioned above) and conduct a project assessment.
    Furthermore, your data migration methodology must also include the following:
    1. Extraction design
    2. Migration design
    3. Mapping rules
    4. Overview of tests
    5. Unit tests
    6. Integration test specifications
    7. Recovery plan
    8. Plan of action to go live
    9. If necessary, use vendor-specific migration tools

  3. Meticulously prepare the data

    Meticulously preparing the data for migration means going through the following phases:
    1. Landscape analysis
    2. Data assurance
    3. Data profiling
    4. Data quality definitions
    5. Data retirement plan
    6. Data verification
    7. Data impact analysis

  4. Create a robust data security plan

    Data security is a major concern, as a result, the migration team will have to have several data security plans ready.This means having a plan to ensure secure data transfer, secure server access, and secure data access.
    You can also cover other areas like the number of permissions that will be required to initiate the transfer of data, required training sessions, vetting of the software used for migration, and the protocols needed for email and portable storage devices.

  5. Engage the whole organization

    For this process to be successful, you need the backing of all business leaders. This will increase your chances of going through the data migration process, smoothly. To get everyone on your side, you will have to communicate the key benefits of the whole data migration project.

    For example, you can tell them that data migration is critical for the business to operate more efficiently, effectively, and more competitive going forward. Finally, when planning your data migration process, make sure that you have storage engineers and architects who can help guide you every step of the way. This is important because you’re dealing with critical business data resources.

What else would you add to this list? Share your thoughts and experience in the Comments section below.

IT Storyteller and Copywriter
Andrew's current undertaking is big data analytics and AI as well as digital design and branding. He is a contributor to various publications with the focus on emerging technology and digital marketing.