There’s always new tech on the horizon driving companies to adopt new methods and more efficient ways of doing business. But IT pros know that shiny new software and hardware often mean complicated onboarding procedures.
Whether you’re working on a one-off project or just looking to improve your skills, knowing how to tackle software onboarding means becoming a pro at migration. You must know how to move critical data between programs, test a new environment and minimize downtime. Here are 8 tips for mastering migration:
- Don’t forget about downtime
Unexpected downtime, whether it’s from a malicious event or an IT mistake, can shutter any business. That’s why factoring in any downtime is an essential first step before deciding on how to move forward when adopting a new tool or even just migrating across existing platforms.
After all, a new system might cost less. But once downtime is factored in the price can balloon.
It’s important to know how many employees are affected and for how long. From there you can start figuring out how downtime can affect cash flow, sales or even reputation. And make sure that you also include the cost of hiring any additional help or other surprise costs like legal fees and overtime.
- The right tools will make your life easier
The best migration tools ensure you meet downtime expectations while also eliminating data loss. For businesses operating in heavily regulated industries or whose data are mission-critical, these scenarios are simply not an option.
There are lots of cloud services – including from major players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft – and tools for migrating to a specific cloud platform. But these tools are often platform dependent and engineered for only on tyle of migration scenario.
- Make a plan – and stick to it!
Having a well thought out plan is essential. But careful planning that ends at expecting a successful migration won’t cut it. You need to plan for the best scenarios while also knowing what to do if something goes wrong.
Sometimes a migration will go smoothly at the beginning only for it to falter at the very end. By then, users might already be live in a new platform. Or you may encounter a problem that necessitates moving back to the old system even though you’re well on the way into your migration.
Having a plan for these types of scenarios ensures you won’t lose data and won’t encounter extended downtime in case something goes wrong.
- Chunk it out
Migrations don’t happen all at once, so make sure you organize server workloads into manageable groups based on criticality, difficulty, performance and more.
Having an organizational scheme that breaks projects down into easy to parse units will make everything go much more smoothly.
- Test, test and test again (and make sure they’re fully functional)
We all know that there’s no substitute for having a fully functional replica to test, but too many IT pros skip this step.
Don’t be one of them. Even if you think you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted your i’s, you can still run into unexpected problems. But a test with the entire server workload on the target platform can save you before you run headfirst into a problem.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Even the most knowledgeable system architects can get lost in complex cross-dependencies. So before you bite off more than you can chew, assess whether there are enough resources for a successful migration.
If there aren’t, you might want to look at professional services. Experts can reduce the risk of a failed migration and may even help control costs.
- This probably won’t be your only migration
Let’s face it, there will always be a shiny new system that we’re told we need to adopt. So why not just assume that migrations will be performed again and again. Investing in tools and methods that will help with your current project as well as futures ones can save money and help ease future transitions.
- Make the most of it
With all the work you’re putting into assessing your data, your systems and your capabilities, it’s the perfect time to add on a review of your business continuity (BC) plans.
Now is ’s the time to figure out if you’ll still have optimal coverage for older and newer systems and whether you need to eliminate conflicts between migration and BC plan interoperability.
You’re now ready to go forth and start migrating. With these steps, you’ll ensure you can have the best experience that minimizes downtime and eliminates data loss.
Interested in learning more about professional migration services? Explore Carbonite Migrate.