Top 6 Data Migration Challenges (And How to Fix Them)

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With every instance of moving data around, there are at least a dozen things that could go wrong.

While data migration is essential for your organization, data migration challenges are all too common. Planning for not if they happen but when they happen can help you ensure a smooth and successful process for everyone involved.

Let’s break down some of the top data migration challenges you might face and how to overcome them!

Challenge 1: Data Loss and Corruption

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How It Happens

Data loss and corruption are unfortunately all too common data migration challenges. This can happen because of:

  • Hardware failures, which can cause data to be lost or corrupted if the equipment used for migration fails
  • Software bugs in the migration tools which can also lead to incomplete or incorrect data transfers
  • Not following backup procedures properly or if there is a lack of redundancy
  • Human error made by those handling the migration process
  • Transferring large volumes of data, which increases the risk of corruption, especially if data integrity checks are not properly implemented

How to Prevent It

Having robust backup solutions before starting the migration is probably one of the biggest elements in making sure your data transfer is successful. This ensures that you have reliable backups to restore data if it gets lost or corrupted during the migration.

Data validation and verification tools can also help check the integrity of the data throughout the migration process. These tools ensure that the data being transferred is accurate and complete.

A good practice for any organization is to conduct thorough testing in a staging environment before performing the actual migration to help identify and fix potential issues without risking the actual data.

Challenge 2: Downtime During Migration

data migration challenges

Migrating data is an essential task, but it can cause significant downtime if not managed correctly, which is something we know all businesses want to avoid (or reduce) as much as possible.

How It Happens

Migrating data often requires taking systems offline. This can result in downtime that halts business operations. If your organiation doesn’t plan and schedule this migration, the downtime period might become longer than you planned, which could further impacting productivity and revenue.

Additionally, unexpected issues during the migration process often arise, causing further delays and extended downtime.

How to Prevent It

To minimize the impact on business operations, schedule the migration during off-peak hours when the system usage is low. This ensures that fewer users are affected by any of the challenges of data migration.

Along with this, instead of migrating all data at once, you might want to break the migration into smaller segments. This phased approach reduces downtime as only a portion of the system is offline at any given time, allowing other parts of the system to continue functioning.

Along with this, make sure you’ve prepared a contingency plan to address any issues that may arise during the migration. This plan should include steps for quickly resolving problems to minimize downtime and ensure a smooth migration process.

Challenge 3: Data Security Vulnerabilities

How It Happens

If your data is not properly encrypted when it’s in transit, it can be intercepted, leading to security breaches. This can also happen with improper access controls.

If your controls aren’t set up correctly, unauthorized users can interfere with your sensitive data protection, putting it at risk.

How to Prevent It

Encrypting data both in transit and at rest is crucial for protecting data from unauthorized access. Implementing strict access controls ensures that only authorized personnel have access to the data during the migration process.

You’ll also want to have strong authentication methods and regularly updated access permissions.

Challenge 4: Incompatible Data Formats

How It Happens

When moving data from one system to another during cloud data migration, different formats can cause problems.

For example, you can create confusion if one system stores dates as “MM/DD/YYYY” and another uses “DD/MM/YYYY.” Or, if one system saves phone numbers as text and another saves them as numbers, this inconsistency can lead to errors.

Without proper data mapping, important information might be lost or placed incorrectly, making the data transfer incomplete or wrong.

How to Prevent It

To avoid these issues, analyzing both systems’ data formats and structures. This helps identify what needs to be changed.

Use data transformation tools to convert data into the right formats automatically. These tools can help change date formats or convert text to numbers easily.

Along with this, create detailed data mapping documents that show how data in the source system matches up with data in the target system. This ensures nothing is misplaced or lost during the migration.

Challenge 5: Budget Overruns

Cloud server storage data connected with a laptop

How It Happens

Budget overruns can derail a project and cause data center migration challenges. It typically occurs when you don’t fully understand how complex and wide-ranging your migration project is.

If you don’t plan carefully or allocate enough resources, you might find that you don’t have the budget to cover everything. Additionally, unforeseen problems and delays can cause the costs to rise, making it difficult to stay within your budget.

How to Prevent It

Make sure your plan includes realistic timelines and cost estimates. It’s important to allocate enough resources and budget for the entire migration process. This means considering all the possible costs and making sure you have enough money set aside.

Finally, monitor your data and the migration progress closely. Keep track of how things are going and be ready to adjust your plan as needed to stay within budget and avoid unexpected data migration testing challenges.

Challenge 6: Lack of Expertise

How It Happens

Data migration requires specialized skills and knowledge that may not be available in-house. Without the right expertise, teams can make critical mistakes. These errors can result in data loss, which means losing important information during the transfer.

Additionally, the migration process can take much longer than expected if the team lacks the necessary experience. Troubleshooting complex migration tasks can be challenging for inexperienced teams, leading to delays and potential project failures.

How to Prevent It

Investing in training and upskilling your team is essential. Providing your team with the right training ensures they have the knowledge and skills needed to handle data migration tasks effectively. Consider hiring external experts or consultants who have experience in data migration. These professionals can provide valuable insights and help avoid common pitfalls.

Using migration tools and platforms that offer support and guidance throughout the process can also make a significant difference. These tools often come with features designed to simplify the migration process and reduce the likelihood of errors.

Prevent Leaks, Breaches and More with Qohash

We know how important your data is, and we want to help with every security touchpoint. With Qohash, you can fortify your data security posture management, ensuring every step of the way aligns with your organization’s security protocols.

Book a demo today to learn the power of our flagship platform, Qostodian!

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