5 Steps to Include in your Data Migration Plan

When you’re a well-established business with a strong brand, you cannot afford slip-ups that could jeopardize your daily operations, let alone the security and integrity of your data. Alas, migrating your operations and all of your data to the Cloud cannot be done at the flip of a switch, and it requires a precise, controlled strategy that will allow you to seamlessly continue to run your business and not stifle your customer interactions.

Your Cloud migration strategy begins with handling your data properly. If you enable a smooth transition for your data, you’ll also avoid unnecessary costs and losses due to a poorly executed strategy. Hence the need to keep your process simple and streamlined – and all your teams prepared. Here are a few key steps your data migration plan needs to include, so you can ensure a smooth transition for your brand and make the most of your new Cloud infrastructure.

Evaluate Possible Challenges

The fact that you’ve decided to migrate your software to the Cloud speaks for itself. You already understand the perks and you’ve managed your expectations accordingly, but you should also understand the possible setbacks of the migration process. For example, migrating your data won’t suddenly become an escape plan for existing poor data management practices. You need to ensure data quality and proper data management before the migration will make any sense.

You also should consider security risks, performance of your applications, incompatible apps, compliance issues, and the like. Evaluating risks will be the cornerstone of your strategy, so you can prevent any long-term Cloud performance issues and ensure that your business can safely use your new infrastructure.

Enhance Your Data Security Through Hardware

Today, businesses have access to truly comprehensive Cloud solutions that boast impressive security features, enabling your business to grow in a controlled manner, without risking data breaches and intrusions. However, the Cloud still requires the use of a network, meaning that most, if not all of your interactions will be conducted online, even the ones you perform internally as a team. That alone is a security risk brands need to cope with well in advance.

To overcome security risks and enable stronger cybersecurity practices as well as greater data protection, your company can combine its security software with powerful firewall appliance solutions that bring another layer of security to operations. Such a holistic approach enables you to maximize security even when you’re migrating your data to the Cloud, as the blend of software and hardware security measures creates the best of both worlds to prevent threats and lower the risk of the process.

Back up Your Data Before the Migration

Although companies decide to move to the Cloud and migrate their data precisely to avoid the loss of that data, the migration itself can sometimes lead to data losses. If in the process of your migration, you learn that your data is corrupted, incomplete, or missing files, a data backup will help you restore your data to its original state. Although you can plan for such an eventuality to a certain degree and implement specific preventative measures, backing up all your data is the key to recovery in case the migration goes awry.

Educate Your Staff

Does your team know how to plan and execute a data migration strategy? Should you consider hiring external help from an expert? What about your apps and tools? Are they designed to work nicely with your new infrastructure, or will you need to consider making a change in that department, too, before the transition? All these assessments need to be made before you start crafting and implementing your data migration strategy.

Your stakeholders must be trained to not just execute the plan, but also to be able to manage your resources to handle customer needs throughout the transition so your business reputation doesn’t suffer. Perhaps skills aren’t the issue, but if time is of the essence, hiring someone externally to conduct the analysis and perform the migration side-by-side with your teams can free up your staff to work on other assignments.

Test & Ensure Proper Maintenance

Most of the migration procedure depends on your plan and the strategy you select. However, there are always certain things you cannot predict or anticipate within the new system, such as how specific applications will behave once you migrate them to the Cloud, or if your databases will retain their consistency post-launch. That is why testing before the launch is one final step you should never skip, to help spot any issues within your new Cloud infrastructure and security gaps that need fixing.

Finally, the maintenance of your databases in the Cloud requires ongoing resources, both in terms of your budget and experts. Make sure you factor in a part of your budget to allocate towards ongoing system maintenance. This will help ensure your data is safely stored and used properly within your new systems.

Data migration is one of the most common modern-day challenges companies face when they brace themselves for switching from legacy systems to more advanced Cloud solutions. Of course, a large portion of the process and its success will heavily depend on the Cloud providers you choose, the software solutions you plan to use in the future, and their compatibility. However, you can prevent long-term issues and ensure a smooth transition by creating a detailed strategy to migrate your data, retaining data integrity, and choosing reputable partners in the process.

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