The organisational cost of data migration failure

As companies race to implement modern systems, processes, and digital transformation initiatives, many continue to grapple with the complexity and volume of their data – especially throughout the migration process. This can lead to data migration failure, which can cost organisations significant time, resourcing and money — estimated at an annual cost of $43.5 million

Data migration failure can also create disruptive bottlenecks in vital business processes, which can impede customer-facing operations and damage revenue. In this blog, we take a closer look at the cost of data migration failure and discuss how to keep your data migration train on its tracks. 

The costs of data migration failure  

1. Timelines and schedules become impacted

Like with any business project, when data migration goes wrong then timelines get shifted in the project schedule. This can impact testing periods or go-lives, creating a ripple effect with other initiatives being rolled out across your organisation and further spreading the negative impact. This can also affect resource and budget allocation to support your new schedule and deadlines. This increases downtime and inhibits productivity at a time when you’ll need resource-intensive corrections and remediations.

2. Data loss or corruption

Lost or inaccurate data can contribute to a wide range of problems following a migration initiative. Sometimes data may not migrate properly or even at all, which can deliver an even greater margin of error. While this crisis can be averted via in-depth testing and comprehensive reconciliations, the impact of lost, displaced or jumbled data can be grave, leading to misguided decision-making.

3. Inaccurate decision making

As mentioned, inaccurate data leads to a flawed perception of your organisation, which can lead to ineffective decision-making. Your reports, dashboards and metrics are only as good as the quality and accuracy of the data within them. So, corrupted data could contribute to unreliable forecasting and inaccurate business decisions, which can threaten your organisation’s profitability. The completeness and consistency of data needs to be upheld throughout the data migration process to ensure you have an accurate, realistic picture of your organisation.

4. Cost blowout and lost revenue

The cost of the project can escalate dramatically if things don’t go to plan. When data is working against you and your systems are experiencing extended periods of downtime to remediate the issues caused by migration failure, your organisation’s bottom line could be suffering, while the project’s overall budget could be blown out for reparation. What’s more, unsuccessful migration could lead to flawed decision-making and, of course, can negatively impact your organisation’s revenue in the long term and move downstream into other areas of your business.

5. Negative regulatory implications

The regulatory standards for some industries impose demands such as retaining backdated information or a certain level of depth of data. If there are issues with the data migration then this can violate regulatory or auditory requirements which can be a nightmare to overcome and result in non-compliance fees.

Key ways to mitigate the risk of data migration failure

A lack of either adequate planning or robust frameworks – or both, disrupts the success of the business initiatives that data migration is meant to facilitate, causing it to fail. Data migration is considered successful if the data transferred over to the new system is accurate, correctly mapped in accordance with business requirements, and truly reflects the original data. Below are some practical ways to ensure that your organisation’s data migration doesn’t fail.

Deploy the right technology and toolsets

Having the right technology for migration will provide greater insight, control and transparency of the data. A tool that has intelligence capabilities to monitor, progress and assess the accuracy of mappings, transformation algorithms and business rules with the scalability to refine them as necessary, is extremely beneficial. Automated tools take migration activities from being historically achieved through a black box, heavy-coded approach with a primitive feedback loop, to a much more user-friendly and iterative platform. This is especially useful when the data volume and complexity increases and the migration activities are revisited.

Have a repeatable data migration framework

Ensuring success in complex data migrations with adaptability for complex changing requirements relies on a repeatable, transparent data migration framework. When created correctly, it can become an agile process for migrating data, enabling a ‘prototyped’ or phased approach rather than an all-in-one-go approach. This is important because challenges may otherwise arise as requirements need to be tweaked. A data governance framework can enhance migration outcomes through data standards and controls that align data efforts with business requirements and priorities. Additionally, a revenue assurance framework can be extremely powerful in preventing revenue leakage in the event of inaccurate billing data from a failed migration.

Engage business users from the beginning

Long after data migration, your business users will continue to engage with the data, which means they have a vested interest in getting the process right from the outset. So, rather than being owned by IT teams, the migration should be owned by users who understand the business impact of the data and have complete knowledge of business semantics. It should be actioned and controlled by business users and closely aligned with their specific needs. Because of their in-depth understanding of specific business rules, they are also perfect candidates for testing and validating the data.

Leveraging data strategies and frameworks can help your business avoid the costly implications of data migration failure. The right data framework ensures the ongoing efficiency and agility of your data processes and can help your organisation accelerate insight development and analytical capabilities. To learn more about the benefits of a robust data framework and how to successfully implement it, contact the Optivia team today.

To learn more about how Optivia’s skilled and experienced business analysts can power incredible efficiencies in your organisation, contact us.

At Optivia our consultants have decades of experience in deploying data modernisation and analytics solutions to solve critical business problems. We are experts at combining industry knowledge with technology, so contact us today to discover how we can deliver seamless transformations for you.