The Business Side of Data Migration

September 1st, 2016
Vadim Vladimirskiy
Vadim VladimirskiyFounder & CEO, Nerdio

Data Migration Isn’t Only an IT Issue

Improved efficiency, tighter security, increased uptime and lower costs. Sign the business up, right? Indeed, the benefits of moving key systems and applications into the cloud are many, which might explain why more and more enterprises are making the leap. In fact, 76 percent of companies are planning a major data migration project in the next one to two years, according to a survey by ITWeb.

But deciding to move to the cloud isn’t the only big decision to be made in the c-suite. Up next: how much data do you migrate along with it, and what’s the best way to get this absolutely mission-critical task done? Go it alone or choose the wrong data migration service, and you could be putting your data at risk. Nearly one-third (32%) of organizations have lost data while migrating, with one in five (23%) unable to recover any data at all, according to a recent survey of 600 IT professionals by data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack.

So how can you make sure that your data migration goes off without a hitch and delivers maximum value? Consider having these three departments weigh in early on:

  1. Business unit leaders

In the end, data migration must serve the business. So engaging with business users is crucial. While IT may understand how to migrate data, they most likely won’t know what data is most important and exactly how it is used. Business users should also be consulted when establishing new data governance policies, including guidelines around who can create, approve or remove data from the system. Again, IT may be at the reins of a data migration project, but business users should set the direction both in the day-to-day usage and long-term strategy.

Broken Data Migration

  1. Finance

There’s nothing worse than losing data during a migration, but missed deadlines and cost over-runs might be a close second—particularly when that slowdown impacts client work that’s directly connected to the company’s bottom line. Your IT team might be quick to pony up a proposed budget for the data migration project, but dig deeper to get a real sense of the finances at stake. How much headroom should be built in to cover unexpected troubles? If there is a setback, is it more critical to preserve the project schedule or budget? A well-thought-out migration also mitigates risk to the business, including the impact of data loss, application instability or failure, and extended downtime.

  1. Legal

While IT risks might seem paramount in data migrations, there are also legal concerns to be aware of. In many industries, such as financial services and insurance, data storage (and thus data migration) is governed by complex sets of laws and regulations. Making sure your legal department or legal team is involved upfront might save you time and expense once the project is underway. And even beyond industry-specific legal risks, every business should have a good understanding of the fiduciary impact of moving legacy data to a new system, especially one that involves critical financial, inventory and payroll data.

Taking an enterprise-wide view of data migration can go a long way toward ensuring a project’s success.