The amount of data being stored, accessed, tracked, and sorted is constantly growing. While the influx of data is empowering business growth across the board, organizations are quickly coming to terms with the fact that their legacy systems are ill-equipped to handle the pressures of increased data processing and large-scale storage initiatives. When implementing more robust systems or overhauling their IT infrastructure to handle increased data flow, executives will need to know how and when to migrate the critical data that powers their businesses.
Making the Business Case for Data Migration
Making the business case for data migration depends on many factors, ranging from aggressive expansion to pure foundational maintenance. Technology can break down just as quickly as it evolves, emphasizing the need to stay ahead of performance issues and security threats that put systems at risk. That is why it is important for executives to know when a company needs to migrate their data to better safeguard systems, streamline operations and ensure business continuity:
Performance Issues & Outdated Infrastructure — As time goes on, technology needs to be replaced with the latest and greatest. With new tech on the horizon, and more robust systems flooding the market, system compatibility and efficiency become top priorities for organizations looking to get the most out of their data. Outdated technology can cause businesses to experience frequent and widespread performance issues. These can include unbearably slow load times, frequent crashes, bugs, data loss or other unresolved issues. Incompatibility issues also pop up as technology changes and systems age.
Security Vulnerability — Cyber security is critical to the success of businesses in the digital age. This includes data encryption, stringent access controls, and even two-factor authentication.
Data encryption during data migration is an important security measure that helps to protect sensitive data from being compromised or intercepted during the transfer process. It is increasingly being used by companies as they move their data to the cloud to ensure the security and integrity of their data throughout the migration process. Additionally, if your current system is running on outdated technology or software, it may be time to migrate to a more modern system that can better support new security initiatives.
Take, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a service called AWS Database Migration Service (DMS), which allows customers to migrate their data from one database to another, including from an on-premises database to a cloud-based database. During the data migration process, DMS uses comprehensive data encryption to protect the data being transferred, ensuring data is encrypted at rest and in transit, helping to prevent unauthorized access.
Scalability & Condensation — Business needs are constantly changing. Whether it’s expanding into new markets or offering new products or services, data accumulated during the process will at some point require a more robust system to better support fundamental workflows and processing requirements. As time goes on, many technologies are slowly phased out and become incompatible with new systems, which can make it even more difficult to transition as time goes on. Setting up a solid foundation with a more modern system early on will allow businesses to better tailor their strategies, objectives, and quotas, in tandem with new system features and processes. This provides executives with a competitive edge, ensuring they stay ahead of market changes.
Data migration also helps consolidate the deluge of business data into a single system or location, with built-in redundancy, making it easier to manage, protect, access, and analyze. During a transition, companies often choose to purge “bad data” which can be data that is out of date, broken, or redundant. Purging this data helps improve day-to-day operations, critical organizational decision making, and service or solution quality, while making way for new data capture.
Many companies are wasting billions of dollars by storing bad data or overestimating their data storage needs. According to a report by AWS, these practices have cost companies a staggering $62 Billion dollars in 2017 alone. But modern cloud systems have ushered in a new pay-as-you-go model that allows these businesses to scale their data usage and pay only for what they need after they have migrated their data off-premises.
How to Migrate Data During a Systems Transition
When transitioning or updating foundational systems and software such as customer relationship management systems, enterprise resource management software or content management systems, organizations will need to follow a comprehensive plan for data migration. This is often done in stages to safeguard and ensure that sensitive business data is not lost during the transition. This process typically includes:
Determining the scope of the migration and setting goals for the process.
Identifying the data and applications that need to be migrated.
Choosing the new system and ensuring data compatibility with the existing system.
Developing a migration plan and schedule.
Testing the new system in a controlled environment before deployment.
Performing the migration process in phases or iterations.
Verifying the completeness and accuracy of the migrated data and applications.
Training users on the new system and provide support during the transition.
Monitoring the new system for performance issues and addressing any problems promptly.
*It is important to note that not all data migrations will look exactly like this, however this is the most widespread practice for overall smoothness and quality.
Protecting Your Data During a Migration
Transferring business data from one system to another is a comprehensive process, and data security should always be top of mind. When migrating, businesses should consider how to properly encrypt, back-up and audit data:
Data Encryption — Encrypting your data can add an additional layer of protection during the migration process. This prevents external and internal threats from taking, altering -- or in extreme cases, deleting critical data. By encrypting data, only individuals allowed access to sensitive data are trusted, trained, and accredited.
Regular Data Back-Up — Before starting the migration process, make sure to perform regular backups of your data to the cloud or the businesses' personal data center. This creates a tangible backup copy of your data, in case you need to revert to previous systems, deal with incompatibilities that arise during the transition or minimize breaches.
Security Audit — Before and after fully transitioning to the new system, it is important to assess current and potential new systems' security features by performing a thorough security audit. This allows the business to design a custom threat model and action plan for places where data may be at risk.
Resolvit Champions Data Migrations
Looking to migrate your company’s data? Whether you are transitioning to a new system, updating your software, or consolidating data, Resolvit provides the talent, tools, and support to streamline your migration. Resolvit’s experience and expertise in data technologies help you better govern your critical data assets, while reducing compliance risks and improving security.
Contact Resolvit today to learn more about our data migration services to keep your business growing without interruption.