If what you read on the Web is to be believed, then all data migration projects are akin to Dante Alighieri's descent into Hell - "Abandon all hope, you who enter." White paper after white paper quotes the Standish Group as saying that more than 80 percent of data migrations either fail entirely or overrun their planned budgets and timelines. Others claim that data migration projects can ' t get experienced staff because no one wants to do a second one. Never in the history of IT has a given class of project been so maligned. Do data migration projects really deserve this reputation, and if so, what can you do to beat the odds?

In considering this outpouring of doom and gloom, it's worth noting that a large number of sites quoting these statistics are trying to sell you something; which goes some way to explaining the number of times the figures are quoted, but it doesn't automatically follow that we can dismiss the statistics themselves. The bottom line is that there is a disproportionately high failure rate for data migration projects, and the reason for this is that they are hard.

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