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Seven ways to avoid those data migration nightmares

Beware of migration failure; it’s what often keeps techies awake at night!

Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are multiplying, and the pressure is on to complete migrations so companies can get on with the business of doing business.

But even when an organisation is equipped with the right tool after investing in a professional migration solution, a migration project can turn into a nightmare if users skip the important planning and pre-migration steps.

So here are seven tips for a smooth migration:

1. Take it one step at a time: Migrate one workload at a time

Most businesses are moving more than just email from tenant to tenant. Public folders, archives and documents are all coming over too. Focusing on a single workload at a time can help to simplify the migration process, ensure that all data is transitioned seamlessly, and help to identify errors post-migration.

2. Untangle webs: Identify dependencies

Today’s infrastructure is intricately woven to enhance collaboration and productivity. Expect integrations between email servers, customer relationship management apps, cloud directories and other applications. When migrating to another tenant, IT will want a plan to address interdependencies in order to meet the expectations of users in their new environment post-migration.

3. Consider security: Keep compliance and security top of mind.

Keeping up with compliance requirements and fending off cyber-attacks is frightening enough on a day-to-day basis. Part of migration planning is making sure that every potential compliance issue is addressed, including those that are industry-specific – and using a tool with the highest levels of security.

4. Clear the cobwebs: Deal with archives and legacy systems

A planned tenant-to-tenant migration is a good opportunity for businesses to clean out archives, decommission legacy systems and generally clean up infrastructure. Review the company’s document retention policies to identify which data must be preserved and what should be deleted. Cleaning up before the migration saves time and money and can significantly reduce storage costs moving forward.

5. Don’t venture alone: Select the right cloud provider

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned from difficult situations, it’s that things work out better with someone trustworthy trust on board. Different cloud providers offer different benefits. Before implementing a migration, consider what makes sense for the business.

Factor in longevity, scalability, cost, integrations, location, latency and security. Not all clouds are alike, so evaluating a provider is an important part of the process. In some cases, a hybrid environment might be the answer, giving the organisation more control and better value.

6. Be prepared: Plan, test, and plan some more

Everything is less fraught when there is a plan. A migration plan should involve all stakeholders, considering the needs of the organisation and end-users. Define what, when and how data will be moved, and develop communications that set expectations and help people throughout the process. Part of a thorough plan also includes testing to identify and adjust for any errors before the cut-over day.

7. And finally: Expect post-migration clean-up

It’s frightening enough to imagine what’s going to pop up when everyone thinks their project is complete. And the truth is, no matter how smooth a migration, there’s always some amount of reorganisation required after cut-over.

Be prepared to deal with some missing documents, misconfigured accounts, or integration errors. Identify many of the issues by reviewing migration reports, then use that information to communicate the status to stakeholders and let them know it’s all part of the plan.

Don’t be afraid! We’re here to help with that migration project. Contact the professionals today and start migrating.

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