How can enterprises successfully undertake a data migration?
1. Think of it as a business-critical risk mitigation project, not a technical one
It is vital to understand the data migration through a business lens such as regulatory impacts and what is needed for business-as-usual operations. Engage the business and get them involved as sponsors and project team members. Make sure the business understands how critical their input is to achieve the outcomes required. For example, customers must not feel the change. Ensuring their balances are correctly transferred, enabling regular direct debits to continue unhindered, and giving the customer service team the right data to quickly and accurately resolve customer issues are all business-critical. And, knowing how customers behave and using that information to determine common customer requests so that the right information can improve engagement and loyalty.
2. Understand the scale of the problem
The word “problem” is used deliberately here; we’ve never seen an enterprise-level migration that didn’t have some (ok, many!). Time and again clients don’t see the true depth of the challenge. Instead of data being a stand-alone line item in the transformation program and budget – we use 20% as a rule of thumb – it is lumped in with technology and whatever is left over after the system is integrated is given to the migration.
3. Understand the risk of impact to business as usual
Successful data migrations occur when organizations understand how to - and are in a position to - move data from legacy systems to the new system while minimizing the risk to business as usual. Risk, whether regulatory, brand- or cost-related, can flow through an organization if the data is incorrect. Operational risk is also an issue such as being unable to answer customer questions or deliver the right information. Typically, the most challenging, and therefore riskiest, part of a migration is the data mapping; understanding how each element in the legacy systems transfers into the new system.