3 Tips to Help You Plan a Successful Data Migration
No one enjoys the stress and time involved in a data migration, but they can be necessary evils if you need to migrate data to a new service or server. The goal is to minimize the impact on daily operations so there is very little downtime. The following tips can help make the data migration go as smoothly as possible.
Tip #1: Focus on business timing needs
This may seem like common sense, but timing is often overlooked, and often migrations are scheduled at the whims of IT departments. This means that migrations take place during normal working hours, typically on a weekday when usage of the system is at its peak. It is much more worthwhile to entice the IT department with overtime pay and schedule the migration for a weekend, preferably at night, when the system isn't usually under heavy use. Find out the period of your system's lowest usage and plan the migration for this time.
Tip #2: Overestimate the time
You will be given an estimate on how long your system will be down. Chances are, this estimate will be off. Plan for the downtime to be at least twice as long as what you are told to expect, if not longer. Don't plan to bring your full staff back online immediately, either. If your data is available to outside users, plan to take the entire system offline so that it can't be accessed until after the migration is complete and bug checked.
Tip #3: Having a training plan in place
Although not always necessary, most migrations will also entail new protocols after they are complete. Make sure that there is a training plan in place to get all users back on track when it comes to accessing the data and software after the migration. This may be something as simple as first time startup directions delivered to everyone before the migration, or it may be as complex as a training meeting that occurs immediately following the migration. The depth of the training depends on both the knowledge of your users and the differences between the old and new systems.
Work with an experienced data migration support firm to make sure all your bases are covered. These firms can work with your in-house IT department, or they can handle the entire migration on their own. The main benefit of working with one of these firms is they have the experience of many migrations to draw from, so they can ensure your migration goes as smoothly as possible. For more information about data-migration support, contact companies like Famsoft.