The Role of Data Migration in ERP Implementation
If you have chosen an ERP solution for your business, you probably need to prepare for data migration, which will provide a smooth transition for future utilization of the new software. Acquiring an ERP system will be a huge change to your business. Understanding the role and the basic criteria of data migration is crucial to the success of your business transformation.
On the other hand, if you are still considering which ERP solution is suitable for your requirements, you can find the guideline to pick up the best match ERP system here.
Data migration is a fundamental step when a computer system is replaced with a new one. Though it sounds simple as to transfer data from the legacy system to the new one, the process engages different parties and comprises of systematic procedures, which requires good management to ensure they are performed correctly.
When going through the migration processes, you may discover many unknowns in your organizational database and can rebuild the map of the whole organizational data. This is also an opportunity to redefine data governance in your company as well as establish a standardization across the entire organization.
Who is in charge of data migration in ERP implementation?
Usually, data migration is performed programmatically with the system’s automation. To achieve that, the involvement of both ERP provider and your team including the IT department is required. The association of the executive groups will make sure data are transferred correctly and ready to go live after the migration.
Generally, you will need support from 4 dedicated sources to conduct successful data migration:
- Data owners, who input or understand the data design and structures in the legacy system as well as business requirements.
- Functional team (usually from ERP system provider), who understands the ERP system data design and targeted business requirements.
- Data migration team (usually from ERP system provider), who understands data profiling, cleansing, transformation and migration techniques. The capability to document the migration processes at functional and technical level is a requirement for this team
- Program Management, who fully understands the processes of data migration and can manage to ensure the implementation is performed towards the targeted plan.
In fact, in the case when no one is knowledgeable about the legacy system’s structure, the data migration team may need to quickly educate themselves on the old system. The crucial point is to make sure the implementation teams can understand both the old and new systems as well as the business targets to conduct a successful ERP implementation.
How is ERP data migration conducted?
Without planning, data migration can be the most time-consuming activity and can raise the cost of an ERP implementation. These notes will help you to avoid incurred costs and ensure timely data migration to an ERP system.
1. Define a data migration strategy
There are two methods to migrate data to an ERP system: transaction-driven and table-driven. The former approach allows only active data extracted from a legacy system and converted into a file which then, will be loaded into an ERP system. The latter method is table-driven as it allows migration of the whole tables from the legacy system, with no selection criteria, to the new ERP system.
The difference between the two methods can be concluded in the table below:
It is hard to tell which one is better than the other since the requirement complexity will determine a suitable approach for your organization. Make sure to have a thorough discussion with the implementation teams to smoothly migrate data to the new ERP system.
2. Select the migrating data
Though people assume that all of the data in the legacy system should be transferred to the new one, the truth is that not all of the existing data are valuable to your business later on. Shifting the entire database is not usually recommended as it definitely pushes up the ERP implementation cost. Based on your organization specifications, this can be an opportunity to filter and remove irrelevant, wrong or duplicated data in your system. No-longer-used data can also be identified as it is unnecessary and invaluable to your business. These data will not be lost permanently since the legacy system can be maintained in read-only mode for reviewing when needed.
For each data entry, keep in mind the following concerns to make the decision to move the existing data to the new system or not. This activity should be operated with the involvement of employees at all levels, who directly work with the data:
- Is the data accessed regularly?
- Is the data accurate, duplicated and updated regularly?
- Is the data necessary for report generation?
- Is the data used to make important business decisions?
Doing the data selection correctly will result in a consistent and well-categorised database in the new system, which maximizes the benefits of the ERP system.
3. Schedule the migration
Though ERP implementation is necessary for your business growth, data migration is a complicating activity that sometimes its processes can cause problematic issues. Therefore, make sure to engage with an experienced ERP system provider for competent service and plan to deploy data migration as soon as possible. You can also ask for the estimated time needed and specify your required deadline to ensure the migration is performed effectively.
Besides, it is suggested to prioritize the transferred information. You can make a list of the necessary data in an arranged order so that the data migration team can base on to execute. This will be a good preparation for migrating a huge volume of figures and factors and will make sure no missing data to the new ERP system as well as avoid unexpected errors/ costs during the process.
4. Verify data in ERP system
Last but not least, always remember to examine the post-migration results. Data should be checked for the migrating completion and the loading capability in the new system. Future users can operate data checking by performing their daily business routines or running a random test on the new ERP system. This key step is an important factor to determine the success of an ERP implementation.
Switching to a new ERP system evidently takes more time and efforts than expected. Acquiring knowledge on the implementation process to outline an ERP project beforehand will save you from spending a fortune in the future to fill up any gaps. We always suggest talking to an ERP expert for better understanding and specified solutions to your concerns.
The Synergix team is open to discuss your organizational issues as well as ERP solutions for your business transformation. You can contact us anytime for a free consultation!