Migrations during a divestiture can be complicated, but they don’t have to be impossible or filled with headaches and setbacks. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth migration. This will allow end users to feel confident that their data is secure and easily accessible.
Data migrations of all types are complicated projects that must be executed carefully and thoroughly to ensure success. It’s not uncommon to consider what data migrations might look like during mergers and acquisitions (M&As), but what about the other side of the coin, divestitures?
Most commonly, divestitures occur when management decides to cease operations of a business unit that no longer meets or is no longer aligned with the core competency of the business. Mergers and acquisitions can also result in a divestiture, as some business units may become redundant later on.
During a divestiture, companies need to move data from one environment to an existing or greenfield environment. To achieve this, they will need to execute successful migrations and understand the best ways to prepare.
See also: All the diamonds, no rough: Don’t neglect data quality during a migration
Challenges of data migration during a divestiture
There are some challenges that managed service providers (MSPs) need to consider when migrating data during a divestiture. It is important to identify which environments are affected by the decommissioning and whether it makes sense to move into an existing one or create a new one. When breaking up a company into smaller organizations, MSPs first need to identify which system they are divesting into. The CIO or IT director needs to understand whether they are migrating to a greenfield or an existing environment.
MSPs can turn to migration tools to make the process smoother and stress-free. A migration tool can assist in the migration discovery process and ensure compatibility of the parent system and target systems. With a reliable tool, IT teams and CIOs can focus on key needs, such as the design plan for migration and implementation. A customer success team is also helpful in planning ahead and relieving IT teams of certain responsibilities to give them greater ability to handle more dynamic business needs.
MSPs must pay particular attention to the security of their infrastructure during a divestiture migration, especially between the parent company and the divestiture. For MSPs migrating to a greenfield environment, they will need to set up everything from scratch. The parent company and the divestiture will need to align to ensure there are no holes in the infrastructure. Without this alignment, systems will be susceptible to attacks that can harm operations.
Data security parameters may vary from region to region, so it is imperative to consider regional standards as well. There are geographic restrictions that many countries have in place regarding data migrations. Ensure that proper research and discovery is conducted regarding what types of data may migrate from the source to the greenfield or existing environment during a regional law-dependent assignment. This discovery may take a long time, but it will be worth it in the end.
Migration tools can lead to a successful exit because they offer predictability for the MSP. By using migration tools that have bundles, MSPs can choose an option that will work for their migration, and they can know exactly how much the project will cost to move their data, so there are no surprises.
Migration tools help simplify divestiture migrations due to their predictability. Some migration tools also offer real-time reporting insights, where MSPs have access to all of their logs on demand rather than having to chase tenants for log reports during the migration.
Some migration tools offer customer success teams. These teams ensure that the end user is primed for success from start to finish. The best time to use a customer success engineer in the divestiture process is as soon as pre-sales have ended. The handover between presales representatives and the customer success team is an essential step in the success of a retirement migration. This will ensure further support during the migration process and an individual to support any problems or issues that may arise with the tool being used.
The Customer Success Engineer should be assigned from day one to ensure smooth integration into the project and a full understanding of the end user, their business and needs.
Once the migration begins, MSPs can ensure success by regularly monitoring project timestamps. Always make sure that each file is truly complete by checking for any errors that may occur during the transition. An easy way to do this is to compare file sizes. Business leaders shouldn’t wait for the tool to notify them that the migration is complete because some files may not migrate, causing headaches for the end user and delaying the project.
Beyond that, business leaders should always ask questions during a migration. Many MSPs follow a particular standard operating procedure (SOP) and only ask the questions that are in the SOP. However, there are always hidden factors within a customer environment that can be overlooked if due care is not taken. The last thing a business wants is to reach the final day of the migration and have forgotten to include a particular data set. If the MSP remains curious throughout each stage of the migration, they are more likely to encounter missing or forgotten files.
For example, if EMC SourceOne has been used in the past but hasn’t been for years, there may still be stubs pointing to the e-mail system that no one knows about. If situations like this are not detected before the migration is complete, all data will be lost.
Ultimately, training is an essential key to ensuring a smooth transition and setting the end user up for success once the divestiture migration is complete. Historically, many MSPs overlook the need to train staff on the new system after the migration is complete. Transitioning from one system to another can be overwhelming, as each application has its own features, style, and best practices.
To combat this, business leaders can offer training to employees who are unfamiliar with the environment the business is migrating into. Implementing onboarding to train staff on the new systems will ensure that everyone feels confident, is on the same page and can work effectively across teams once the migration is complete.
Migrations during a divestiture can be complicated, but they don’t have to be impossible or filled with headaches and setbacks. By following these steps, IT professionals can ensure a smooth migration during the divestiture process, allowing end users to feel confident that their data is secure and easily accessible.
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