Data migration should be well planned and well executed. If not, it could seriously hinder your organisation.
We have all witnessed the catastrophic effects of what can go wrong when migrating from legacy systems. The banking industry is a particular example; thanks to the large volumes of data they house, a general lack of data knowledge and issues surrounding data quality, migrations have been less than plain sailing.
Yet, market research company Forrester estimates that around 60% of banks around the world are already planning or performing a transformation project.
Is the hassle worth the move? Today’s customer demands state-of-the-art digital services and this resonates strongly in all sectors, not just banks. For those businesses yet to migrate, there may be a very understandable err on the side of caution.
The lower the quality of data, the more time that will need to be spent refining it
No one said migrating legacy data was easy but many companies have successfully done it. Here at SCC, we have helped some of these organisations, which have experienced a smooth and positive transition.
No two companies are the same and data migration will be a different experience for all involved. But these basic tips could help set you off in the right direction.
1. Be realistic
The complexity of data migration should not be underestimated. A lot of time will need to be poured into this all-important project, time that you may not have fully accounted for. Consider, for example:
• What are the full costs involved?
• What is the quantity of data that needs to be transferred?
• How much time is needed for staff training?
• How much testing will be required?
Migration is a long-term project, so take as much time as you need to smooth out the finer details.
2. Check data quality
The quality of legacy data may not match the higher quality required by your new IT system. Depending on how far back your data goes there could be a number of issues.
For example, data including old currencies no longer in use that need converting to Euros; or gaps in customer’s personal details that weren’t essential before, but are now.
The lower the quality of data, the more time that will need to be spent refining it. Therefore, it’s important to decide fairly early on how much historical data will need to be transferred to the new system.
3. Choose the right solution partner
Finding and choosing the right provider is half the battle; it can make all the difference between success and a marred attempt. You want to work with an organisation with a proven track record of providing the best solutions to companies similar to yourself.
Preferably, you want to partner with an organisation that can lead complex change within the legal parameters of your industry. Find out what other migrations they’ve done in your field, and when they’ve been faced with hurdles how they’ve overcome them. If they’ve successfully dealt with anything similar to your concerns, then you can have peace of mind that they will know what to do, should that problem occur.
Many businesses are intertwined with legacy systems, so there is never going to be a fast or simple solution.
Spend time doing your research, weighing up costs and comparing solution providers. That way, you’re less likely to make devastating mistakes.
Kat Cooke is Senior Content Writer at SCC. She was previously Senior Journalist at the Aesthetics journal, and has worked for Sky News, providing live coverage of the last two General Elections and the EU Referendum. Kat has a 2:1 degree in Journalism from City University London.