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Challenges and Solutions for Information Migration in Companies

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Major Information Migration Challenges

Guaranteeing Security When Transferring Information

Companies face significant challenges when it comes to ensuring data security during information migration. This is especially crucial for government agencies, healthcare providers, and financial institutions, as they need to protect highly sensitive data from being leaked into shared networks. To address this challenge, IT teams should use migration tools that access source and destination data through official APIs. Additionally, implementing secure user authentication processes, such as OAuth, can help safeguard user data privacy.

Segregating User Accounts and Data to Migrate

One of the top priorities for IT teams during information migration is to avoid migrating unnecessary user accounts and data, in order to control migration costs. However, identifying the specific users and data to migrate can be challenging, particularly for companies with large amounts of data in the source environment. To overcome this challenge, IT teams can collaborate with the HR department or management to identify all active user accounts in the source. This approach helps isolate deactivated accounts and accounts belonging to ex-employees that are no longer needed. IT teams can then delete or archive these accounts and the associated data.

Transferring All Essential Features

Data migration for companies is not as simple as just transferring data. Businesses of all sizes need to transfer sharing permissions, timestamps, file versions, external shares, embedded links, and shared links along with the data, in order to maintain workflow and collaboration structures in the destination environment. Since manual migration cannot transfer these features, IT teams should work with data migration service providers that have platforms capable of retaining all these features in the migrated data.

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Migrating Source Cloud-Specific Files

One of the technical challenges companies face during data migration is transferring source cloud-specific files to the destination. For example, when migrating from Google Drive to OneDrive, companies need to transfer Google Drive-specific files (such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides) that are not compatible with the destination (OneDrive). In such cases, the best approach is to have an automated conversion feature in place that automatically converts the source cloud-specific files to formats supported by the destination cloud. This ensures accuracy and uninterrupted transfer speed.

Throughput Maintenance Data Migration Challenge

Companies that have a large number of users and data to migrate often face the challenge of maintaining a consistent data transfer throughput due to API throttling. The source or destination cloud’s API may throttle and slow down the migration speed if more data is transferred than allowed within a specific time frame. To overcome this issue, IT teams can use migration tools with built-in features that detect when the source or destination cloud API is approaching a throttling point. This feature helps control the data transfer rate and prevents API throttling.

Overcoming Limitations of the Destination Cloud

In many cases, the destination cloud’s limitations create technical challenges for companies during data migration. For example, Microsoft does not support certain special characters in file and folder names in OneDrive and SharePoint Online in Office 365. Other limitations, such as a 400-character file path length and lack of support for specific file names, make migrating to Office 365 (now rebranded to Microsoft 365) challenging. Instead of using a manual approach to overcome these destination cloud limitations, IT teams should utilize a high-speed automated method, provided by migration tools, to modify file and folder names and ensure that the overall migration speed is not affected.

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Validating Data Post-Migration

Companies often struggle with validating data after the migration is complete, especially when many users and data have been migrated to the destination. It becomes challenging for IT teams to validate the migrated content as they need to check all migrated user accounts and data, user hierarchy and folder structure retention, and feature preservation. One practical way to tackle this issue is to examine migration reports and look for essential insights. IT teams can also take advantage of comparison delta and compare source and destination data to validate the migrated information.

Secondary Information Migration Challenges

Onboarding the End-Users to the Destination Cloud

Apart from migrating content, companies also face the challenge of onboarding end-users (employees) to the destination cloud. It is common for end-users to be unfamiliar with the destination cloud and its features, which can affect individual and team workflows. To overcome this challenge, IT, HR, and management teams should plan adequate user training to help employees transition seamlessly to the destination cloud.

Decommissioning the Source Environment

As businesses migrate data to reduce operational expenses, one of the main objectives is to decommission the source environment, which can be either a cloud storage service or a local storage system. However, decommissioning the source environment is not always straightforward, as retaining certain data sections may be crucial. In such cases, the IT team should segregate essential user accounts and data, and archive them before deleting the remaining content.

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