One of the tasks that companies can take for granted, and which can ruin a new cloud implementation when done wrong, is data migration.
Whenever organizations move to a new SaaS tool or just buy a new computer or server to replace an older one, migration of all the information is a vital step that can set a company up for success or end in a data loss disaster.
This is why many North Texas firms in Wise and Denton counties work with an IT consultant when it comes to these types of transitions. Working with a professional helps companies avoid data migration headaches and ensure that no important information is left behind.
What can happen when data migration isn’t handled properly? Here are just a few costly consequences:
- Data is deleted or lost
- Data arrives garbled or corrupted
- Information isn’t transferred to the right areas of a new cloud tool
- Important applications can get left behind on a hard drive
- Processes and automations may not be transitioned
If you’re planning to migrate data on your own either from one computer to another, from an on-premises server to the cloud, or between different SaaS applications, here are some of the common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid.
Not Understanding Where Data Should Go
A common occurrence when companies try to transfer their own data into Microsoft 365 from other sources, is that they do a dump all into user OneDrive accounts.
This is not only inefficient, it can also make it harder for them to share and collaborate.
Large all-in-one platforms like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and others have several “buckets” where data can be stored and accessed. It’s important to understand what these buckets are and which data should be transferred where during a migration to the platform.
For example, a good game plan to follow for Microsoft 365 migration is:
- Personal employee data: OneDrive
- Shared department/team data: SharePoint Team Sites & MS Teams
- Company-wide shared data: SharePoint Communication Sites
Not Validating Data Transfer First
A vital first step before any large cloud migration is to ensure that you have field mapping done correctly and that data is being read properly. You don’t want to find out after you’ve spent a day transferring all your data, that you had a field wrong and have to start from scratch.
Data validation is the process of transferring a small sample of data to ensure all is mapped and reading correctly before doing a full migration of all your data. This saves time and gives you the opportunity to make any necessary corrections or adjustments before going through a full migration.
Migrating Over “Junk” Data
Another common mistake when transitioning to a new computer, server, or cloud tool is to fail to clean up your data before doing a migration.
If you migrate data that is old and no longer used, it’s just going to get in the way of finding and using the data you need. It can also cause you to reach storage limits before you really should.
Any older data that you’re not sure you want to delete, but don’t anticipate using actively again, can be archived properly to a backup system so you don’t have it in your way.
Data That’s Left Behind
When you’re not having a professional handle data migration, it’s easy to accidentally leave important data behind. It could be information that is not apparent and not in the common system folders you’re used to accessing.
During a PC migration, this can include things like:
- Stored sent or archived emails
- Software applications
- System preferences
- Security policy settings
- Stored bookmarks or passwords
During cloud tool migrations which include mapping between fields, you could end up leaving out important customer notes or the date fields that tell you when each client interaction happened.
If you try to use a DIY data migration tool, you might also find that it doesn’t include transfer of all the data that you need and only includes things like files and folders.
Not Giving Enough Time or Backing Up
It’s natural to want time one cloud service shutting off with another one starting, so you’re not having to pay for two subscriptions in a single month. But if you don’t give enough time for the migration and to validate everything came over smoothly, you can end up with missing data that can’t be recovered.
Make sure you export all data from any SaaS tools you’re leaving and give enough time to still access that data online after you’ve begun working in the new tool.
An overlap of a couple of weeks can help you avoid problems that might not be apparent until after employees begin working with a new interface.
Get Peace of Mind from a Professional Data Migration
Texas I.T. Pros can help you avoid data migration nightmares by handling everything for you from validation to ensuring everything transferred over efficiently, with no data left behind.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.