Data migration poses significant challenges for business owners and program managers. The cost of failure is just too high: your reputation is on the line, and business continuity is at stake.

Post-migration chaos

Consider this financial institution whose customers could not access their savings accounts for weeks. Or take the case of a firm struggling to reconcile its quarterly financials after a system cutover, facing severe compliance penalties. Recently, another company delayed their new systems' go-live for yet another year because they could not ensure continuity after half a decade of IT renewal, thinking migration would be done within 6 months!  It's not hard to find news stories about post-migration chaos. Jeopardising customer reputation, causing operational overload, threatening business continuity, or delaying a business case represent real and severe risks.


For many companies, data migration is seen as a one-off event, often treated as an implementation side topic or not recognised as a distinct activity.  From a distance, it seems straightforward: just move data from point A to point B. How hard could it be? Mobilise a squad of query masters and spreadsheet gurus, and you're set. If only it were that simple. Underestimation often leads to overlooked risks and deeper issues. The actual complexity becomes apparent as you delve deeper. With a hint of cynicism, we boldly claim that our best clients are those who have experienced it for themselves.

Large impact

Data migration is a transformative journey that deeply affects your organisation. Your data, information, and knowledge are embedded in your organisation, intertwined with processes, supported by applications, and your company's many decisions. Tweaking one thread always affects the fabric. Business implementation, IT systems implementation, and data migration programs should be seamless. Data migration as an isolated program is an illusion.

The image depicts a circular flowchart with four interconnected ovals. Each oval contains one of the following words: "Organisation," "Information," "Applications," and "Processes." The arrows indicate a continuous cycle, starting from "Organisation" to "Information," then to "Applications," followed by "Processes," and looping back to "Organisation."

Information perspective

One key to success is viewing data from an information perspective. While raw data comprises records, fields, and technical formats (sure, it must fit the new target systems), information concerns its meaning and how you plan to use it.  Implementing a system will lead to changes in processes and, consequently, in the information required. Migration should begin by questioning the new meaning and usage of information: How, when, who, and why?

Data transplantation

Seeing data migration as merely moving data from A to B is too simplistic.  Consider seeing data migration as data transplantation: transferring vital information from an old body into a new dynamic, living organisation. Information, expressed in data, is a critical body function in any entity. Transplantation takes precision and care. It involves the approach (theory) plus the execution (practice). Therefore, calling in a specialist surgeon is prudent rather than butchering on your own.

Building trust

With high risks, trust becomes paramount. You build trust by demonstrating your data movements' correctness, completeness, and reliability, ensuring your critical processes remain robust. You can achieve this through a controlled, auditable, and stepwise approach with early tests to identify operational issues, thereby building the required data quality. Resulting in gaining complete confidence for the big moment: the cutover and go-live.

Preliminary study

That's why you need to start with a preliminary study. This comprehensive study examines dependencies, complexity, potential snags, reconciliation, cutover strategies, and more. It's about crafting a plan with the precision of a surgeon. Because in the high-stakes game of data migration, the cost of failure is simply too high.

In conclusion

Before you leap into the unknown, let's pause. Look at the landscape. Understand the full scope of what lies ahead. Perform a preliminary study to ensure that when you take that leap, it's with a clear vision and a sure footing.

Consider this an open invitation to discuss your migration challenges, explore potential strategies, and ensure your successful and exemplary journey.

Remember, in the world of data migration, it's not just about looking before you leap—it's about ensuring you're fully equipped to make the jump.

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