When implementing a new set of applications that better meet your changing business requirements or removing duplication and inefficiency in your IT infrastructure, you cannot avoid migrating your business-critical data. You know that while failure is not an option, industry failure rates for complex migrations are worryingly high. Perhaps it might help to know that successful data migrations share a number of common characteristics. This article outlines the four golden rules of successful migration.

Not all migrations are equal. Many migrations are fairly straightforward and motivated purely by technical or IT drivers. For example, at the storage level companies might need to migrate their data to cheaper forms of storage, and at the database level they might need to mirror data to another disk. At the application level, however, data migration can be very complex in large enterprises, because it needs to span both technical and business issues. According to Bloor’s Phil Howard, Forbes 2,000 companies already spend at least $5 billion per year on migrations, yet 80 percent of them still go over time or over budget.1

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