Data migrations are one of those tough IT jobs that involve a lot of preparation and complex processes and IT geeks running around swearing under their breath. But your company is different, right? You have a powerful system in place to ensure all data migrations run smoothly and cause no hiccups, right?
With more companies moving from managing their data on on-site server to cloud-based systems, the need for different kinds of data migrations continue to grow. Despite this, data migration remains one of the sticking points for clients - Bloor Research shows more than 50% of data migration projects run over time and/or over budget. That’s a terrifying statistic.
Companies are crying out for reliable, cost-effective data migration services. If your client is implementing a new system and they need some data moved, they’re going to call you. So how does your company handle data migrations? Here are some hints to create a smooth process and provide a top-notch service for your clients:
1. Establish Your Team
A successful data migration needs to involve the right people from the beginning. Choose the best people in your company, and make sure they have a structure and process in place enabling them to hit the ground running. You may also require outside contractors or other specialists, depending on the client’s unique needs.
Talk to the client about additional setup they may require, and make sure your team has access to the site and to the network when they need it. There’s nothing like getting your crew to give up their weekend to perform a complex data migration, only to discover the client has gone on holiday for a week and forgotten to leave you a key.
2. Get the Right Data
A huge part of successful data migration is ensuring you understand what the data is for and how it’s being used. After all, the quality of data collected is infinitely more vital than the amount that’s collected. Bloor Research shows that poor quality data is the most common reason for data migration projects running late or over-budget.
Before you talk about migrating to a new system, sit down with the client and create a plan for managing and overseeing their data. Have a look at what they’re collecting right now and assess if they are meeting their legal and moral requirements, and if they’re doing what’s best for their business. Can you suggest a better way for them to do things?
Data migration is also the ideal time to get the client on board with clean data. As data changes all the time, after only six months much of your client’s data may be useless or out-of-date. Data cleaning is a great add-on service you can provide for clients to provide additional value.
3. Give the Client an Accurate Budget
When conducting a data migration, clients often receive a nasty surprise when it comes time to pay their invoice. Unexpected surprises always come up, leaving the client with a big bill, and all too often IT companies tack on extra “surprise” costs at the end that push the price up.
When providing your quote, it’s a good idea to offer a fixed price. Make it clear to the client that your company might not offer the cheapest price, but that your price includes everything, If you use a job management system like WorkflowMax, you can track time and costs against your price and keep track of your profit margin.
4. Create Documentation
As part of a successful data migration, it helps to create and update documentation around data and IT practices for your client. This helps future-proof the system if you need to migrate it again, or if you have to come back to tweak things but can’t remember the systems.
6. Develop a Risk Mitigation Plan
What will you do if it all goes wrong? With so many elements to balance, a data migration can easily go pear-shaped. So what are your systems to cope with it?
Intellectual property management software company Lecorpio recommend taking an iterative approach, rather than attempting to perfect a system over a weekend. An iterative approach allows you to fix problems as they pop up on a smaller scale, before rolling out to the next segment. Effectively, you’re breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable chunks, which is just good project management practice.
With a little forward-planning and a proper system and process in place, data migration doesn’t have to be a big, scary project your IT company dreads. Data is one of the most important tools a business has - so make yourselves experts in taking care of it, and you’ll never be without clients.
Image from d3eksha.com