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Merry Migrations

Congratulations! You have decided to do a migration from one information architecture to another. Downtime during the holidays or just after the new year is a great time to do a proof of concept (POC) or a trial of a new strategy. Whether it is a CRM migration, data warehouse migration, or a cloud migration, here is some food for thought to help make your migration very merry.

Collect and Own Your Data

In this day and age, companies switch between technologies and services faster than ever.  Swapping between technologies and trying POC’s of new services goes a lot faster if you have the raw versions of all of your information. Whether it is files stored in a data lake or in a persistent stream repository, loading into a new system from generic data formats is a lot smoother and faster than trying to sync directly between two different systems. Collecting and managing your data outside of specific technologies or services can be done independently of your migration, which is a great first step that will accelerate any migration.

Avoid Point to Point Migrations

Direct migration of information from one technology or service to another is often painful. You end up creating custom code that is only used during the migration and has no purpose afterwards. Chewing up your time with that busy work that will leave a bad aftertaste. Collecting and managing information pipelines using common formats and common patterns for communication will save you from data indigestion in the long term.

Leave Time for Validation

The best way to validate a successful migration is to have both systems up for an overlapping period of time. This gives you a taste of the new system, allowing you to verify the accuracy and behavior of the information in it. This is especially effective when both systems are collecting new information or processing information in different ways. You can compare the results and performance of one system to the other and measure the discrepancies between them. You can then make an informed decision on an appropriate cut-over date that will minimize impact to your business.

Think about Security

If you’re putting in the effort to do a migration, you will want the ingredients that enable security and compliance to be part of your mix. New legislation in recent years has changed the way data has to be handled. GDPR and CCPA compliance requirements have many companies scrambling to figure out how to become compliant by the upcoming deadlines. Can you scrub an individual’s personal data from your systems and backups if they request it? If you share information with third parties, do you have the ability to exclude the personal information of Californians who have opted out?

Modern data migrations can bake much faster than you might anticipate. Petabyte level systems can be migrated in less than a year. And a majority of migrations can be done in less than 6 months with one or two people that have the expertise and tooling to do them well. And who doesn’t want to open a present like that?

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