Sometimes even a thriving business should improve its approaches to keep up with modern requirements and solutions. Some concerns appear in management, the others in recruitment, but the most crucial ones always link to the technologies you use. Technology systems are vital for success. Without the right legacy system migration, it is impossible to meet customers, clients, or management’s needs.
Sadly, data migration is a complex task. According to Nextgov, 44% of organizations have experienced migration failure when it comes to their applications. So how to achieve a legacy system migration success? We’ve explained this subject in the next headers:
- What is Legacy System Migration?
- Why Should You Migrate?
- How to Ensure the Successful Transition of Legacy Data?
- Steps of Data Migration from Legacy Systems
What is Legacy System Migration?
A legacy system is an outdated computing hardware or software that is still in use. These systems may even meet the criteria they were designed for initially. Nonetheless, they are typically based on old technologies that are no longer popular. Legacy system migration refers to the modernization of aging IT systems to a newer software platform or hardware infrastructure to keep up with current technologies.
Types of Legacy System Migrations
There are two different legacy system migrations: lift-and-shift and business transformation. Lift-and-shift legacy migrations are typically initiated by a company’s IT department when the underlying infrastructure or technology needs an update or replacement. It is a migration of an application and its associated data to a cloud platform without redesigning the app.
A more common type of legacy migration is business transformation. It is needed when the legacy system doesn’t support business processes or inhibits user experience. While they require new functionality, these legacy migration projects often must support current operations as well.
There are two types of systems within the business transformation category:
- Core legacy migrations include larger systems built by central IT, such as custom ERP systems and portals. These apps require performance, scale, and complex data migration.
- Non-core legacy migrations: They are smaller apps initially built by the company using tools like Kohezion, Microsoft Access, SharePoint, etc. Characteristics that define successful migration of these systems are centralized governance, business enablement, and easy data migration.
Why Should You Migrate?
Migrating from legacy systems to a cloud-based service, in particular, can enhance the performance and the overall position of your business. The incompatibility with modern technologies can bring various difficulties when altering these systems. You can no longer keep them up to date at the same speed at which your business wishes to innovate and change.
The three main downsides to holding onto legacy applications are:
- Efficiency: Legacy applications aren’t equipped to deal with the modern needs of today’s workforce and can slow down business. A department still using a legacy system won’t receive all the benefits that a new system offers. It can lead to data taking forever to load, computers continually rebooting or employees struggling to secure access to the data they need.
- Security risk: A legacy system not only leaves a company behind with old technology, but it can also seriously damage a company’s reputation by putting data at risk of a breach. At some point, a vendor no longer supports the legacy system or provides much-needed updates. Without proper patching and updates, they’re a significant cybersecurity liability.
- Maintenance and repair costs: We expect maintenance with any system, but the price of maintaining a legacy system is extensive. Many vendors don’t offer outdated software support, and IT teams may not have the technical expertise to repair them, incurring huge costs and disrupting business.
These issues eventually surpass the convenience of continuing to use an existing legacy system. Therefore, data migration is necessary to ensure a functioning IT system.
How to Ensure the Successful Transition of Legacy Data?
The most important thing about updating a legacy system is to protect the data that already exists. You can do this only through a successful data migration. It requires a flexible, modern, easy-to-update system that can adjust to changes with minimal interference in the ongoing business operations.
Planning a successful system migration can be a long process. Many think that the solution to this problem is to develop entirely new systems with complex data migration. In the end, they would turn off old systems and turn on new ones. This method can quickly run over budget and schedule. Therefore, replacing all of the complex systems in one go can be tough to accomplish.
The key to a successful migration is finding a way to replace your existing systems with newer ones gradually. They should closely match the business needs and give you a competitive edge. It is recommended to start by identifying a current system in need of replacement.
Legacy System Migration With Kohezion
If you want to switch from your current provider to a new database management software, you need to understand the importance of data pipelining. That is why Kohezion offers multiple features that can help with your data migration. Our toolkit makes it easier for you to transfer the current data to our database application using a database readable format, such as a CSV. This way, you can migrate and transform all of your data from a legacy system with ease.
Steps of Data Migration from Legacy Systems
- Identify the data, format, location, and sensitivity: Data in existing legacy systems might be duplicated or incomplete. Migrating it out of a legacy system starts with making sure you can extract it all safely. Detect the data you’re moving, the format it’s currently in, and what format it should be in after the migration. If you’re moving sensitive data, make sure you follow security measures.
- Back up the data: Save all your essential files in case there’s a hard drive failure or a system crash. Also, create an appropriate risk assessment report and an inventory of assets to monitor. It can come in handy if any compliance errors occur.
- Determine technical, time, and financial requirements: You should be realistic with your estimations. Take the time to understand each phase, from source data to configuration to testing. This data migration process can be complicated and require assistance from finance, IT, developers, or engineers to work out budgeting and technical aspects of the project, respectively.
- Test the system after every migration phase: You will need to ensure that your system migration has worked. Test for data integrity, minimal downtime, ensure that no data is lost, and check that your applications are fully functional.
- Cleanse the data to address any quality issues: During the migration process, it is a great time to clean data by getting rid of duplications, incomplete data, and data that is not formatted correctly.
- Load the data into the new system: The final step to a successful data migration is loading all the data into the new system, so it is ready for use.
Migrating from a legacy system is usually a lengthy and daunting process, but it does bring considerable benefits to your business. It allows you to keep up with current technologies, gain better business value, and better manage and protect sensitive data. Choosing to stick with the legacy applications can lead to lower company’s efficiency, security risks, and more significant maintenance and repair costs. We’ve listed all the crucial steps to ensure you have the successful transition of legacy data. Here is the overview, in case you’ve missed something:
- Identify the data, format, location, and sensitivity.
- Back up the data.
- Determine technical, time, and financial requirements.
- Test the system after every migration phase.
- Cleanse the data to address any quality issues.
- Load the data into the new system.