Whether upgrading or consolidating an ERP system, implementing a new data warehouse, or managing the integration activities that follow a merger, CIOs and program managers routinely assume that data migration will be more difficult than anticipated, take longer than planned and cost more than expected.
Based on previous experience, and despite advances in ETL tools and approaches, they''re probably right. Extensive custom development is often needed to meet the requirements of legacy data migrations, leading to escalating costs and frustrating delays.
Most migrations focus too many resources on the easy stuff
Ironically, often 80% or more of the data is migrated according to plan and within budget. Delays and overruns usually stem from the use of a "one size fits all" approach, resulting from limited skill sets or from dependence on a single software vendor. Other problems arise from the lack of access to a data handling methodology that can recognize and adapt to variations in complexity and associated risks.
This realization has CIOs looking for a new approach that accelerates the mundane data handling tasks that are predictable and understood such that scarce resources and specialist tools can focus on the less predictable high risk areas.
Identifying these areas and using a combination of approaches across the task is the route to a more effective approach to data integration and optimization.
The cost of doing nothing
A failed data migration isn''t something an organization will typically publish, but a recent survey from Bloor found that 84% of data migration projects fail. A survey of UK-based financial services firms found that 72% of organizations delayed moving applications because of risks in the data migration process.
The impact of a failed migration is difficult to evaluate. The costs of discovering errors in a post-production cutover are hard to calculate, but using outdated and ineffective applications with poor quality data has a direct impact on operational effectiveness that can translate to loss of a competitive advantage, reduced profitability and shareholder dissatisfaction.
Warehousing efforts gone wrong can be righted
Sometimes a company doesn''t have any choice but to find a new approach. A leading Global Scientific Services and Product Manufacturer embarked upon a massive ERP consolidation process across all European business units, each with legacy applications and custom business processes. Fifteen countries were on tap to be migrated individually. The cost of the first wave covering just three countries consumed a large share of the overall budget and ran for 18 months, well beyond the planned schedule.
The company needed something different, moving from a consultant-intensive process to a highly automated approach. Following a four month development phase by CSC, migration continued, completing the second wave just 8 months after the first. Improvements continued to mount, integrating some countries in as little as four weeks.