Data migration is becoming more prevalent today, be it personal user data migration, or data migration within larger companies. In order to facilitate and optimise data protection, data sometimes has the need to migrate (and I don’t mean south for the winter). Simply put, data migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats or computer systems, and forms an integral part of data management. The primary need for data migration can be attributed to optimising data security. And different actions can be taken and policies implemented in order to improve the overall data protection.
The three most prominent actions that will have data migration as an implication are listed below:
- Storage Migration. The data backup industry is seeing a lot of this happen in recent years. Companies are changing the way in which they store their data, and this change in storage procedure leads to data being migrated, usually from unreliable forms of storage systems like on-site tape backup, to more efficient Cloud or Hybrid Cloud storage methods.
- Database Migration. At some point in your data management process, it might be necessary to move from one database vendor to another, or upgrade the software in use. This will most probably require changing the format in which the data is stored.
- Application Migration. Changing your central data management application like your CRM or ERP system will inevitably require a substantial amount of data migration.
Risks Involved With Migrating Data
Even though the initial reason for using a data migration specialist could be to ensure data security, there are also considerable risks to data protection involved when migrating data:
Data migration time. The time it takes to migrate the data is definitely something to keep in mind before you start the process. Data migration might take weeks, sometimes months. And if you didn’t back up properly or ensure a copy of the data, you won’t have access to that information for the duration of the migration process. This will cause downtime in your environment, and if you run a company dependent on that data, your company could end up bleeding unnecessary capital. Ouch.
Compatibility issues. A large percentage of data migration is not successful due to file corruption and lack of application compatibility.
Data loss. Data loss is the biggest concern when data migration is involved. By having a data migration strategy in place and a proper data backup policy, you are able to ensure the security of your data and prevent any loss. The irony is that most data migration projects are initiated to prevent data loss and optimise data security.
If data protection is not a key consideration and your data migration is not approached with care and diligence, the process could result in multiple incidents of data loss along the way.