Businesses keep moving into the new landscape with vast volumes of data that overload every enterprise. And the need to keep that data under control is growing more and more pressing. Many organizations avoid even discussions of their data migration. When things become too challenging and the migration is seen as the only way out, it is time to prepare a data migration checklist.
Data migration as a burning issue for enterprises
Instead of kicking a can down the road, you as an executive should develop a plan for migrating your current held desk platform data. It is imperative to preserve its integrity and accessibility, for further easier data management in the new solution. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of planning major changes like this for enterprise longevity and customers’ loyalty.
To comply with the services or products evolution and the number of customers growing, you need to input, store and manage data according to the rules set in the business strategy. The accessibility of data within a large enterprise can streamline the decision-making processes and unlock higher work efficiency. So, a successful help desk migration will pay off in the near future.
The reasons for migration vary from company to company. Every business faces its own challenges and factors that spur to move data over. Nevertheless, an enterprise data migration will have shared principles. To avoid failures such as poor organization, exceeding the allocated budget, or failing to meet the deadline, you should set up a data migration checklist and insure yourself against the possible woes.
Data migration checklist for an enterprise
If your company came to a decision to switch over to a new help desk platform, you should set achievable goals in terms of the timeline, resources, and budget. Here is a three-part migration checklist to make the help desk switch successful and effectively run the target software afterward.
Part 1. Strategic planning
1.1 Meet the stakeholders’ expectations. Before starting, conduct meetings with key stakeholders, as well as support and sales team reps (they might be impacted by the migration), plus the tech team which will participate in the migration. Thus, stakeholders should get a brief outline of the process, and the departments will be able to present their key needs and capabilities which should be taken into account.
1.2 Budget and timeline. You need to start with defining the scope to ensure the proper resources allocation. The estimates also should include time and costs of the existing data audit, “cleaning”, and developing proper mapping. Besides, your deadlines must be realistic and set in accordance with internal and external (if you are going to use third-party services for migration) dependencies.
1.3 Every detail is important. There are many aspects to take into account before diving into the initiative. At the planning stage of your enterprise help desk migration, involve all employees who will deal with the new software. This may reveal more dependencies and requirements towards the process.
1.4 Security matters. Apart from the enterprise data, you are also going to move customers’ records. Without any compromise, choose the most secure method of migration to avoid any records leakage.
Part 2. Your enterprise data inventory
2.1 Data audit will help you to define all possible data sources and reveal the missing records before you kick off the migration. If it is done at an early stage, you can get quite tangible benefits, like the following:
full data visibility may help your team identify potential problems that were hidden.
the analysis of all source data will help improve planning and mapping as migration requirements.
business decisions to migrate enterprise data will be based upon the facts, not assumptions.
knowledge about all data sources will let specify the records types in the destination help desk more accurately and influence the speed of migration.
2.2 Selecting the data for migration. Despite the structure, type or format, you should validate your migration data based on the following criteria:
- accuracy and objectiveness
- integrity and logic
- consistency and being easy to understand
- validity for business parameters
- timeliness and availability upon request
This takes extra time, but it will bring you improved corporate performance, increase your competitive advantage, maximize ROI from enterprise apps, reduce risks, delays and unexpected costs, as well as improve customer service and the ability to meet goals.
2.3 Full data backup. Before you initiate any records transfers, back up the existing data to eliminate any chances of data loss during or after the migration process.
Part 3. Performing data migration
3.1 Select the right way to migrate. You can migrate your help desk data in a couple of ways - your in-house tech team performs a custom migration, or you use third-party API migration service. The CSV files transfer isn’t an option for big companies and enterprises due to the vast volume of data.
So, it becomes vital to decide on the most appropriate migration option. On the one hand, your team is best aware of the records and software performance. On the other hand, they will be distracted from their primary responsibilities and focused mainly on carrying out the help desk migration. Moreover, they might be unfamiliar with the tasks of this kind and with the target platform. Hence, it may take quite a long time to move company data. It may take six months or even more, yet there are many dependencies (the number of employees who will write the code, their proficiency level, the QA team testing the code and later the migration results, etc.)
3.2 Requirements towards a third-party service. While comparing various help desk migration options, you need to identify whether the third-party service meets your requirements. First of all, check:
- the cost of service,
- security level,
- data mapping options,
- dealing with customizations that your company needs,
- terms of service, SLA and deadlines.
3.3 API-based Helpdesk Migration in action. Let’s illustrate the way you can transfer business data using an automated service. Basically, the service uses API to extract and then input your data, so there are no risks of any interference - everything is done automatedly and securely. Besides, your support team can keep working as usual while the data will be moved to a new platform. You are going to have a dedicated support agent who will keep you updated on the process. A single drawback of this migration method can be certain API limits of your source and target platforms.
The value of data migration checklist
Every company has its own reasons for migration, but a short checklist above aims to cover its key aspects. Without planning, your data migration risks to overrun budget and timeframes, or even fail. To ensure a successful help desk platform switch, you should pay attention to these 3 things:
- a) run full data audit of all viable data sources;
- b) improve data quality before migration. Under “improve” read: restructure, standardize, cleanse, enrich, and remove duplicates;
- c) choose the most appropriate migration way and track the progress carefully.
Data migration is a complex task, yet thorough planning helps to make it more predictable and allows to get ready with a back up plan in case something goes wrong. To make your help desk migration successful, don’t neglect your business goals and employees’ insights and encourage collaborative work on completing the data migration checklist.