Data Migration Tips For Non-Techy Business Owners

Migrating data onto a new computer system or across servers can be a nerve-wracking procedure, since there is usually a fear of lost data or prolonged downtime. It can be even more stressful when you're the boss but you don't have the technical know-how to monitor the migration to ensure that it is going well. The following can help you get through this necessary procedure with as few issues as possible.

Tip #1: Bring in support

Although you may have an IT department working in-house, it is still a good idea to bring in a dedicated migration support firm to aid your in-house department during the migration. The reason is simple – a dedicated team has more experience with data migration and a deeper understanding on how to prevent or quickly fix some of the most common issues. Combining their expertise with your department's in-depth knowledge of your particular systems will lead to a smoother transition.

Tip #2: Respect the timeline

Your data migration support team will provide you with a timeline. Timelines contain several key tasks, including the following:

  • Preparation and backing up of the database

  • The actual migration

  • Testing and verification that the new database is up and running

  • Bringing all systems back online and stress-testing for any further issues

The timeline for each task will be an estimate though, so don't stress if something takes longer than what is provided on the timeline. In some cases, you will be provided with an estimated downtime, but it is best to be prepared for a longer downtime than what you are originally told to expect. This is why most data migration firms advise performing the actual migration on a weekend so it doesn't interfere with normal business hours if a downtime is expected.

Tip #3: Ignore the urge to meddle

A full migration, from beginning to end, can take days or even weeks. Fortunately, most of that time won't include any downtime on your current system, since most of the work is being done on the new system or in offline files. This means that you can keep your current system running for daily operations until the migration is complete. There are some cases where downtime is expected, as noted above, but you will be notified in advance. The key is not to play around in the new database until you are informed that the migration is complete. Resist the urge to send out memos with new login information until after support indicates it is safe to do so. Too many people logging in and checking out the new database can lead to problems for your IT team, since the migration isn't complete and the system is as yet untested.

Contact a migration support firm like Famsoft for further help.