IT migration is a complex task that can be tricky to execute well. Its success depends on a variety of factors that must be carefully managed.
To help you through the process, the IT specialists at Groupe SL explain what IT migration is and how companies can ensure that it is carried out successfully.
Types of IT migration
There are several different types of IT migration, each of which has its own purpose. Knowing the unique challenges each presents will help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of migration.
Here are the four most common types of IT migration in business.
Databases are an efficient way for companies to store data. With database engines, users are able to navigate through the various fields and explore everything contained within a record at once, rather than searching through papers or using space-limited screens, as was once the case.
Data migration becomes necessary when the structure of your database needs to be modified in order to work properly with a new engine. It needs to be done carefully to ensure that the process doesn’t affect the data and everything still works as intended. Successful data migration requires tools to manage the changes to the old and new versions without affecting anything else about them or their reading protocols.
Companies might need to migrate databases in the following situations:
- The company is shifting to cloud storage
- The software the company uses needs to be updated
- The company changes database providers
Database migration can be a complicated process that includes many steps to ensure data integrity and confidentiality. It requires extensive planning before any real-time transfer can begin. The process will often require the services of specialized professionals, because the details involved go beyond what most companies can handle on their own.
In the context of IT migration, an application is the structure in which data is stored. When an organization decides to change its database system, it must transfer all of the app’s configurations, operating systems and management tools.
Successfully transferring an app from one environment to another requires the use of products called “middleware”. Middleware bridges the gaps in functionality between development and deployment apps so that the data can be easily managed on all platforms, ensuring quality results every time.
Here are four examples of approaches to app migration:
- Removal or replacement
These approaches facilitate the transition from one environment to another without damaging the quality of the data.
Did you know? Groupe SL offers a service to help companies migrate to Microsoft 365 and streamline their processes!
Operating system migration
Operating system migration is the movement of an IT system managed by one OS to a different OS.
This type of migration is done when a company wants to move to a newer version of its OS (a new version of Windows, for example) or change operating systems altogether (going from Windows to Linux, for example).
Operating system migration is similar to app migration in many ways. The main difference between the two is where they take place.
In many cases, an operating system will be moved in anticipation of data migration—specifically, when the OS needs to be updated in order to receive new resources.
Those considering operating system migration should know that a certain amount of IT project management expertise is needed to ensure a smooth transition. Otherwise, changes to the operating system can result in downtime, incompatibility between apps or loss of configuration data.
Cloud migration is the movement of IT systems from traditional data centres to cloud environments, or from one cloud environment to another.
This type of migration sometimes involves the creation of a hybrid cloud so that a company’s apps and data can be spread across multiple IT infrastructures.
Generally speaking, moving to hosted cloud solutions gives companies better scalability, employee mobility and data security.
Storage migration consists of moving your data from one location to another. This is done when updating or changing hosting services for your resources. It’s important to plan each step of storage migration in advance to reduce the likelihood of errors and ensure that nothing gets lost.
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Steps for successful IT migration
Without a clear strategy, the migration process can cause problems such as costly downtime, corrupted, lost or misplaced files, compatibility issues, and more.
That’s why it’s so important to have a structured, thorough IT migration plan. An IT migration project generally has seven steps which, if followed carefully, will guide you through the process successfully.
1 – Identify the format, location and sensitivity of the data that needs to be moved
The first step of an IT migration project is to determine what data needs to be moved, its current format, where it’s located and the format it will need to be in after migration.
This initial planning stage is crucial in order to identify risks that need to be mitigated before the transfer and the security measures that must be in place for transferring sensitive or confidential data.
This step lays the groundwork for the IT migration plan.
2 – Assess the scope of the migration project
Once you have determined what data needs to be moved, it becomes much easier to estimate the scope of the project and how much it will cost. This step is about defining the scope of the data migration and estimating the resources required to complete it.
As part of this step, it’s important to perform an advanced analysis of the source and target systems and identify day-to-day operations that will be affected by the transfer. This will make it easier to establish flexible timelines for the project.
3 – Back up the data
Before proceeding with migration, it’s a good idea to make sure that all the data that will be moved is saved elsewhere. That way, if problems occur during the transfer (corrupted, incomplete or missing files, for example), they can be resolved by restoring the data to its original state.
Data backup is essential in order to ensure that you don’t lose any important information if anything untoward happens. It constitutes a vital step of your IT plan.
4 – Find the right people and tools for the job
IT migration can be a complex task, particularly when it involves a large number of files or sensitive information. That’s why many organizations outsource their IT migrations to external companies rather than relying on their own IT department.
Before proceeding with migration, companies should reflect on whether their IT team has the skills, equipment, tools and time to accomplish the project within the given timeframe.
If the team is ill-equipped to handle the project, it’s best to outsource IT migration to a specialized external provider.
5 – Carry out the migration plan
Once all of the project stakeholders have agreed to the migration plan, it’s time to begin extracting the data from the source system and transferring it to the target system. This is the step where the actual migration occurs.
During this step, it is important to ensure that the correct system permissions are applied so that the data can be transferred successfully. It’s best to clean the data in order to protect the target system and make sure it is converted into the appropriate format for transfer. Then, the cleaned and deduplicated data will need to be loaded into the target system’s data migration map and rules.
The migration should be closely monitored by an IT specialist who can identify and resolve any issues that arise.
6 – Test the new system
Once the migration is complete, it’s the moment of truth. This is the step that will determine whether the migration has been successful.
After the migration is complete, testing will need to be done in order to ensure that there are no connectivity issues between the source and target systems. The goal is to confirm that all of the transferred data is intact, secure, and in the right place. System, volume, web application, batch application and unit testing can be done to ascertain that.
7 – Monitor and maintain
The final step of an IT migration project is to perform a full system and data quality audit to make sure that everything is in order.
If errors such as missing, incomplete or corrupted data are found, the files can simply be restored from the backup performed in step 3.
Outsourcing: the simplest solution for your IT migration project
Managing IT migration in business is far from easy. As you can see, the steps of an IT migration project are numerous and complex.
Getting help from a specialized IT company is the simplest and most secure way to take care of your IT migration. They can provide tech support if something goes wrong during the transfer, providing you with peace of mind throughout the procedure.
Groupe SL: Experts in IT migration project management
Regardless of the type of IT migration in question, it’s a process that involves risks and requires a certain amount of expertise and precision. If you’re planning to make changes to your corporate IT infrastructure, it’s best to have your IT migration managed by a specialized company.
The teams at Groupe SL are your company’s best resource for IT migration. We can implement a safe, secure migration plan for a seamless transition.
Ready to take the plunge? Contact us today! We can discuss your needs and propose solutions that are completely adapted to your business.