Remember the dread you feel when switching phones? There’s always that worry in the back of the mind that we could lose some of our precious data when switching between the two devices. It’s more nerve-wracking when shifting from one OS to another, as the platform differences could cause issues with data transfer.
Now imagine you’re a business or a large corporation with terabytes of data. The thought of migrating data while the business continues to function is enough to give your IT people sleepless nights. The fact is that data migration requires specialized knowledge.
It’s not the same as backing up data to a hard drive or the cloud. That’s the number one reason why businesses choose to trust specialized data migration firms with the job. It may be tempting to do the work in-house, but there would always be a significant amount of risk involved, and data is not something that businesses should have a cavalier attitude about.
Why would you need data migration?
The act of data migration might sound very simple. It's just the process of moving data from one location to another, but it's easier said than done. Businesses never have the option to just tap on a button and see decades worth of data just zip to a new location. Much work has to be done before that in order to facilitate a successful migration.
The need for data migration arises when a new system is being implemented or the data needs to be stored in a new location. So you’d need the services for data migration specialists when you deploy a new internal management system and shift your entire workforce over from the old one.
You’d also require a reliable data migration service when shifting huge amounts of data from one datacenter to another. There might be a few reasons when you might need to do that. Your business could be moving to cloud storage or simply shifting data from an external datacenter to on-premises servers.
You need data migration because it's a necessary part of either upgrading or consolidating your data storage or when new software systems are being implemented. There’s great risk if the job isn’t done properly. Your business could face disruption if the legacy systems no longer function and all of the data hasn’t been sent over to the new systems. Clearly, this is a job best left to the professionals.
What kind of data can you migrate?
Every business has unique data needs but in most cases, a technology refresh in the company would require migrating all storage data. For example, if you're equipping your workforce with new computers, it would be imperative that all of the company data is safely migrated from the old machines.
There's also database migration. This would be required if your company data is being transferred from one location to another. It may involve changing data centers or simply uploading all of it to a cloud storage service. This massive transfer of data will also be required if the company is being moved to a new database management system.
Application migration related to the transfer of data within an application. It's often needed when the workforce is being moved between applications. For example, application migration would need data to be transferred from an on-premises implementation of Microsoft Office to Office 365 in the cloud.
Over the past few years, cloud migration has been one of the biggest challenges that companies have faced. They have realized the benefits of moving databases to the cloud but shifting all of the data from legacy systems can be a risky process.
It's pertinent to note that this process isn't the same as just backing up the data to the cloud. An entirely new source environment needs to be created in the cloud first and then usually presents its own set of challenges.
Why it’s smart to use data migration services
Ask anyone in this business and they'll tell you that data migration can be a risky process. Even if it ends up going smoothly, the process itself isn't easy as it's highly time intensive with many different planning and implementation steps that need to be taken first.
The project will only get riskier as the scale of the data that needs to be migrated grows. Catastrophic data loss at a massive scale can shut down a company and that's not a desirable outcome. The smart thing to do is to always retain the services of data migration specialists who know what they're doing.
Do-it-yourself data migration is never a smart strategy, unless you have a massive in-house team, and that's really not the case for most companies. There are just too many variables in the entire process with compatibility issues between platforms, user access rights between source and target systems, unknown file formats, to name a few.
What kind of services do data migration firms offer?
Data migration firms kick things off with forming a strategy and planning how the job will be executed. This involves understanding the design requirements for the data that's to be migrated, forming migration schedules, capacity planning, and prioritizing by data value.
They discuss the migration implementation schedule with the company to decide if it will be a "big bang" migration - which involves the data being migrated in a limited time window with minimal downtime, or a "trickle" migration - which takes longer but with less downtime.
Another key service that they provide involves working with the end users to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Data migration isn't just a technical process. Your workforce will understandably be anxious about any data loss during the migration and that would directly impact their jobs.
Data migration firms work with end users to make them understand the process and also to learn from them what they're hoping to get out of the move, whether that's better performance, improved analytics, etc.
Let's go back to the phone example for a bit. The best practise when moving your data from one phone to another is to always create a backup first. This is done to ensure that the data will remain safe even if the process doesn't go smoothly.
Data migration firms do this at a massive scale. They create safe backups and establish immediate restoration protocols so that the business can be up and running again in no time if something unexpected happens during the migration.
Other benefits of using a data migration service
Data migration service providers aren’t strictly bound to just moving your data from one place to another. They also provide a variety of other services. For example, they can perform audits on your data to filter out obsolete records, filter unused feeds and more to optimize the data before it's migrated.
If you have decades worth of data to be migrated, you'd be surprised by the sheer amount of dark data that surfaces during the audit or the obsolete records that are just clogging up your database. Data migration firms can clean up all of that clutter for you.
The job doesn't end there, though. They also have to perform various tests on the migration via a mirror of the production environment. This is done to make sure that everything is working as it should be before the new data environment goes live. That's also done very carefully and once it's clear that the job is a success, only then is the legacy system shut down.
We can help you with data migration on any scale
You have come to understand by now that data migration can be very beneficial for a business. It can help improve efficiency and bolster security of your data. You’ve also realized that the job is best left to the professionals because there are significant risks involved.
Any loss of data on a massive scale can potentially cause irreparable damage to your business. That’s not something you’d want to see happening which is why Zibtek is here to help you out.
Zibtek is a leading software company that has for decades worked with companies both big and small, from Fortune 500 conglomerates to startups. Our expert team of data migration specialists have worked on countless projects of every scale imaginable.
We’re a company based in the United States, with offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. Zibtek also has a global network of talented developers and specialists who are all managed from the United States. We can leverage our global expertise and our experience in dealing with countless data migration use cases to chart out the best strategy for you.
In addition to that, as a custom CRM developer, we have also helped countless companies migrate their legacy CRM system to new systems, helping them modernize their business processes. Our clients get a complete one-stop solution with CRM version upgrades as well as migration of on-premises CRM to cloud CRM.
Contact us if you have any questions about data migration and we’ll be happy to help.