Data Migration Strategies That Actually Work

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.' - Michael Porter


There are many reasons as to why you would want to switch to a new help desk system. It can be the fact that you’ve grown bigger or maybe your current solution is about to be dropping support. Regardless of the need, it all boils down to the fact that it is critical that you migrate correctly. And good data migration strategies are essential.

And to address this issue, we’ve decided to lay down some of the most clever and beneficial ones. That way you will not only ensure a smooth migration process but can have a piece of mind knowing that all your information is safe and sound. Thus, without any further delay, on to the strategies.

Potential Challenges & Risks

It goes without saying, data migration can be a risky process that requires meticulous planning. Migration can take weeks to complete and often yes than not, you are bound to encounter some difficulties. Thus, it is vital that you are able to identify what the problem is, and how you can mitigate it. We’ve laid down some of the most common issues people encounter, as well as explain how you can assess them.

Losing Data

This is the most common, and frankly, the most damaging issue you can encounter is data loss. Depending on the size of the company, the damages can either be massive or minimal. What we suggest that you do is always keep a backup of some sort with you. That way you will be able to restore at least something.

Compatibility

Another common problem is, of course, compatibility issues. When you want to move data from one help desk to another just to find out that your data is invisible to the target platform, things can get hectic fast. What we suggest is that you first try to move a small portion of data to the target and see how it behaves. If it’s successful, the more power to you but if you encounter a compatibility issue, you can try and format the data manually. If you have a ton of records, then this can take a while but there is a solution that we’ll talk about in a bit.

Poor Execution

Sometimes you can have all the tools you need to move properly, it’s the execution that might bottleneck you. Indeed, when you take into consideration the fact that some platforms have specific formats, file systems, and migration mechanisms, it’s understandable that sometime you just can’t move things properly without experiencing a hiccup of some sort. We suggest that you learn about both platforms and see how their migration systems differ from one another. That way you will be able to adapt your data to the new platform and avoid unnecessary retries.

Data Migration Strategies That Work

Now we won’t be covering each and every migration strategy that potentially have a successful outcome. Instead, we’d like to focus on those that we’ve tested ourselves. Now with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the strategies themselves.

Utilizing the API

This is one of those methods that are not only safe but super fast but it does come with a special requirement. You need a person that is capable of writing code, understands the intricacies of each platform, and knows how to make use of the API token. If you have such a person in your team, then you are good to go.

But typically, this method is not an option for small companies that don’t have a dedicated IT department, as well as it is quite pricey when you think about outsourcing the work. But it is functional and if the developed script takes into consideration all the requirements, you will be able to move your data safely. Also, keep in mind that making such a script from scratch will take a lot of time and testing, so don’t get your hopes high thinking that you will be able to do it in a week.

Moving data by hand

This one might seem like a joke but if you don’t have a lot of data, then you can actually analyze the file structure and try to make one manually. It will take you a while to do so, and if you have a ton of records, then you are bound to have issues. The best part of this approach is the fact that it does not require additional expenses whatsoever. All you have to do is extract that source file, make a bunch of backups (this is very important, always do backups), and start editing the file.

Sometimes you will be asked to convert the file extension, and there are a few tools online that can do this. But keep in mind that there are files that cannot be edited as they are encrypted. You will have to research that on your own as each platform has its own methods of data protection. So, TLDR, is it time-consuming? Of course! Is it free? Yes! And nothing beats free.

Using an Automated Data Migration Tool

And the last one on our list is the automated method. This is what we were talking about when we said that we’ll “mention in a bit.” This is the be-all-end-all solution to all your migration needs. Our tool has everything you might ever need to move all your records to the new platform.

Everything is fully automated, requires no script development, tempering with files, or manually adjusting data. Everything is simple as a press of a button. You just have to pick the desired platform, then pick the one you are migrating from, input both credentials (everything is safe and sound with your data, no worries), and then select what kind of data you would like to move. Once done, just press start and watch the magic happen. The process is fast, much cheaper than developing an in-house solution, and suffice to say, much more secure as all your stuff remains untouched.

Final Notes

So there you have it. There are many more ways you migrate your data from place to another but these are sure shots. Some of them are optimal, others are less so but if there’s one thing sure, you don’t have to worry that you need to start from scratch in your new help desk solution. But for now, that is all we have. We hope you will make good use of these data migration strategies. And if you have a friend who struggles to move their data or maybe he wants to see how the process is carried out, be sure to share this article with them. But for now, see you next time!

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