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Top 4 Data Migration Tips

As new technologies emerge, companies with large informational databases risk becoming obsolete if they don’t take steps to migrate their data from old to new. However, the data migration process is full of roadblocks; most organisations find that it’s never as simple as moving their data from one file system to another. In this article, we’ll take a look at four key tips to keep in mind for a smooth data migration process, from using the migration as an opportunity for spring cleaning to dealing with compatibility issues such as converting NSF to PST.

1. Use the opportunity for spring cleaning

Before you even consider beginning data migration, you need to understand and organise the data that is already there. Where is the essential data that needs to be moved? While you’re there, do some spring cleaning. There is bound to be unused data simply taking up space and adding to the difficulty of the data migration process. For example, it might be a good idea to only migrate the latest five versions of a given document, instead of all 40 of them. Get this part right and the rest of the data migration process is bound to go significantly more smoothly.

2. Decide on how much downtime can be handled

The next tip for data migration is to consider your business goals and requirements. One of the biggest considerations is how much downtime your business can afford. If you have a big window of downtime, you’ll be able to utilise more affordable data migration options that can take place over a longer period of time. If downtime is not a luxury your business can afford, however, you’ll need to find more specialised data migration assistance that can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Alternatively, if downtime is not an option at all, you’ll need to break the process up into manageable chunks, which will require a great deal of planning.

3. Get the appropriate outside help

While your current IT department may have a high level of expertise in the current platform that you’re using, if you’re looking to migrate to a different platform then they may not be quite so well in their element. If this is the case, another consideration you’ll need to make is acquiring the help of outside sources with the expertise required to make the move go smoother. This may involve bringing in new IT staff with the appropriate expertise or, alternatively, an IT consultant with a strong knowledge in both platforms that can help the data migration process run smoothly. You’ll also need to consider any necessary hardware and software resources.

4. Prepare for compatibility issues

If there’s one thing almost all data migration processes have in common, it’s that they rarely run as smoothly as hoped. The process is never as simple as moving your database and files from one device to another; different servers and file systems invariably have their own unique capabilities, and incompatibility problems will inevitably arise. You may, for example, need to convert NSF to PST files when migrating from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange server, or perhaps there will be issues with permissions for accessing the files. Whatever the case, you should always be prepared for potential hurdles and have both time and expert personnel on hand to deal with the situations should they arise.

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