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Home Discover our latest blogs Discover our latest blogs Effective strategies for data migration in a ERP implementation
Data & AI
3 minutes reading

Effective strategies for data migration in a ERP implementation

Many CIOs break into a sweat at the thought of an ERP data migration. It's a complex process fraught with risks. In this article, we explain the steps necessary for a successful data migration, why it's beneficial to establish a broader data framework right away, and who is best suited to execute the data migration.

Kevin Stolk

Kevin Stolk

June 19, 2024

Complexities and pitfalls

Data migration is essential when implementing a (new) ERP or integrating data from another company. As we explained in the first part of this series, this process involves numerous complexities and pitfalls. 

Depending on factors like scope, data quality, and risks, there will always be minor differences, but broadly speaking, an ERP data migration plan looks like this:

Preparation and analysis 

Scope, methodology, strategy, communication plan, and composition of the steering committee: decisions need to be made about these aspects first. Based on the tools available, a thorough analysis is then conducted. This includes, for example, examining the current data environment, the new system's requirements, data quality, business needs, and risks.

This analysis forms the basis for the data migration plan, detailing all aspects of the data migration process.

Data ingestion, processing, and export

After all data is ingested, it is processed (if necessary) to meet the data migration plan requirements. This can involve:

  • Cleansing: correcting inconsistencies, duplicates, and other errors.
  • Validating: Ensuring the data matches business requirements and logic based on business rules.
  • Enriching: Increasing data value and usability by adding new information or combining datasets for deeper insights.
  • Transforming: Changing data formats, structures, and values using (simple to complex) mapping rules to meet the target ERP requirements. 
The cleansed, validated, enriched, and transformed data is then exported to the ERP system, either via export files or directly through an automated API connection. 

Testing, go-live, and aftercare 

Various tests are conducted to ensure all data is correctly migrated and the new system functions well with the transferred data. Once all tests are complete and any issues resolved, the ERP system can go live. 

An audit trail documents all actions, allowing you to trace what happened with the data afterward. Finally, it's crucial to provide user support during and shortly after the go-live phase.

A robust ERP system 

If the technical implementation goes well, you will have a robust ERP system with accurate data perfectly aligned with your business needs. 

Framework for lasting data benefits 

Is your ERP future-proof? This largely depends on the data. Immediately after go-live, all data is accurate and adequate. To maintain this in the future, you might need to elevate your data management and governance. During a data migration, you're intensely focused on a significant portion of your data, making it an ideal time to develop a framework for quality, privacy, security, and data usage within your organization. 

This way, you can manage data more effectively and securely even after go-live, building a strong data foundation for future digital transformation initiatives, such as AI applications, advanced predictive analytics, or smart automations. 

Who will migrate the data? 

Often, you have no choice: a data migration must happen. But who should execute it? Doing it in-house is not a serious: your already busy IT department is almost certainly not capable of handling it, given the time investment required. 

Some organizations outsource the migration to the implementation partner of their ERP-system. As we explained in the first article, a migration requires targeted knowledge and skills, which the above steps underscore. Implementation partners typically lack specific data migration expertise and knowledge of all relevant business aspects. 

A partner with expertise, experience, and the right tools 

The third option is a dedicated data migration partner. Data migration specialists know all methods, techniques, best practices, pitfalls, and have the right tools.

For example, Cegeka's specialists use the Smart Data Migration Suite, in-house developed tooling with extensive functionalities and configuration options for data mapping, quality control, filtering, and applying rules and logic. The software automatically generates all required reports, such as cleansing reports and audit trails. 

In-house experts with a data migration partner 

In larger organizations, we often see in-house data experts collaborating with a data migration partner. The internal team has in-depth knowledge of their data landscape, while external migration specialists provide essential migration expertise, experience, best practices, and advanced tools.  

Over 20 years of experience 

Cegeka Data Solutions has over 20 years of experience in various data migration projects, even the most complex ones. Think of multinationals wanting an ERP that unites different locations and systems, with significant (international) differences in technologies, data formats, and ways systems store and manage information.

Even in such cases, data migration is controlled, predictable, and keeps the client demonstrably in control. 

Want to know more?

Want to learn more about the challenges, best practices, benefits, and steps for a successful ERP data migration? Download our whitepaper, "Data Migration for ERP Implementation: From Headaches to Headway." 

Kevin Stolk

Kevin Stolk

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