5 Steps to Preparing For A Smooth System Migration
Rob Turner

System migrations can be very challenging, as with all life changes. Preparation and making your migration simple is often the solution to the problem.

You will essentially be doing a complete overhaul of your system and replacing it with a new one. When your business is growing dramatically, system migrations are inevitable.

It will be a massive undertaking depending on the size of your operation. However, that does not mean that migration has to be stressful and complicated.

The following are steps to help you prepare for a smooth system migration:

Clean Out Your System

Like moving to a new house, the first step before a system migration should be to clear the clutter. Minimize the data you have to migrate to make your employees’ jobs easier, which you can do by cleaning up the system.

All businesses have documents and files that they store, but they have not used them for years.

If you don’t need the files anymore, including them in your migration will only cost you more storage space and increase the migration time.

Therefore, ensure you update your database and use a relevant system to remove old, unnecessary documents. It will save you a lot of trouble during your transition.

Metadata Tagging

Finding the data you send is crucial when conducting a data migration. One tool used in Digital Asset Management (DAM) is metadata tagging which can be very helpful during data migration.

Metadata in DAM involves embedding data that allows the search and discovery of information. Metadata will include data such as file name, date of creation, type of content, and author, among others.

Moving all your files to a new system involves much more than an information transfer. Metadata tagging in your DAM will improve your ability to trace and find the data you upload to the new system. Therefore, your team does not have to organize the data; they can simply use the metadata tags to find the information.

Design the Migration

A crucial stage in the planning process of a system migration should be to define and design the migration. The design phase is where you will determine how you want to conduct the migration.

There are typically two types of system migration: big bang or trickle migration. Big bang migration involves transferring all the data at once, whereas trickle migration consists in doing it in small bits.

The design will depend on your organization’s capacity and the server to which you will be migrating your system. At this stage, you will determine the security plans for the data, the timeline for the migration, and its documentation.


After planning and designing the migration, you should be ready to start it. However, you want to test the new system before you can go live with the migration.

You want to test every conceivable aspect of the new system before uploading your system to it. You should confirm that all of your documents and files have been tagged and are ready for transfer.

Automations should be happening in the correct sequence and in a timely fashion. Links and communications should occur according to the design and without flaws.
Only by testing the migration before going live can you know if the migration will be successful.


After the testing phase is the final phase which is implementing the migration. All you can do at this point is to initiate the migration and execute it according to plan.

Checking the migration will be necessary to ensure it goes properly. If it is not, you will require adjustments.

In conclusion, a full system migration is a massive undertaking. The above are the steps to follow. After the implantation, conduct an audit of the migration and continue tidying it until you are satisfied with and accustomed to the new system.