8 Assumptions That Will Kill Your Salesforce Data Migration

Data is the lifeblood of most modern organisations — especially those that work in data-dependent sectors like technology, financial services, retail, staffing, healthcare or manufacturing. That is why many business leaders have shifted to the Salesforce platform to make the most of its comprehensive capabilities, such as advanced integration and automation, flexible scalability, and remote access.

However, transferring data from a legacy system to a new one can be trickier than it first appears — and making a mistake can be disastrous for any Salesforce implementation.

Missing Go-Live deadlines can erode credibility, incurring considerable costs to keep project teams running causing many post-go-live complications. Poor Salesforce data quality can also lead to a lack of trust, resulting in bad customer experiences, limited adoption and minimal productivity gains.

That is why it is so crucial to make data migration a priority, not an afterthought. With that in mind, here are eight assumptions that can kill your data migration — with our advice for doing it right…

1. Loading data into Salesforce is easy

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to efficiently managing your CRM data migration and while uploading some data into Salesforce can be easy, it might be a different story when implementing for the first time from a legacy CRM.

Firstly, there is no guarantee that your legacy CRM provider will make retrieving the relevant data from databases, documents and storage archives easy. Extracting data is then one thing; ensuring it remains in a usable format is another challenge entirely. This task is not one you want to underestimate!

Being aware of data inconsistencies, loading data in the right sequence, understanding the dependencies between objects, and understanding the data validations and automated data creation processes that have been built are all critical and need to be part of the migration strategy.

2. There is no need to align data migration activities into project plans

A study by MicroStrategy revealed that 94% of organisations view data and analytics as important to their digital transformation and business growth. And yet, Experian research found that 54% of data migrations experience delays — meaning there is a high chance of data inaccuracies and inconsistencies preventing a seamless transition to Salesforce.

So much focus is on load times when it is the time it takes to make the right decisions about which data is in scope, understanding how it will look in the new Salesforce environment and mapping between the source and target at the object, field and value level that really takes the time and effort. That is all before ensuring it aligns with the testing plan. (see point 6)

3. One SME will be able to support the mapping

Whether you like it or not, the Salesforce platform challenges the silos that evolve in organisations. Suddenly, accounting, credit control, legal, compliance, sales, marketing and customer service are all thrown into the same melting pot, and you will need expert knowledge from all these business functions to ensure the mapping is done correctly and users know what to expect. You also need to get them all to agree!

As a result, engaging a broad team of subject matter experts (SMEs) to help you understand and map CRM data within your organisation will be vital to the success of your migration project and the seamless functionality of your new Salesforce environment.

4. The complexity of CRM data migration lies in its volume

In fact, data volume is probably the least significant factor in scoping a data migration. There are several other elements you must consider first, including:

  • Number of sources.
  • Number of objects.
  • Data quality.
  • Documents and files.
  • Unstructured data.
  • Data dependencies.

The task of setting up a credible data migration strategy needs to pull on many different facets to ensure smooth success.

5. Taxonomies are easy to pull together

Taxonomies (the structured frameworks that classify and organise data into categories and hierarchies) are crucial for ensuring consistency and data quality during a Salesforce data migration.

However, although the concept of organising your data might seem straightforward, the process can be fiddly and awkward — especially if you are dealing with complex data environments. It is worth remembering that there will always be exceptions to the taxonomies and structure you put in place, and there will always be someone with a better way of doing it. Even when you “buy in” a taxonomy somebody will not think it is fit for purpose.

6. Our test plan does not need to factor in data

Testing using realistic data is important because most end-to-end testing will create data from scratch, which means problems with data quality, data validation and in-flight data are not observed until after Go-Live — which makes for a very difficult hypercare period.

There is a lot to consider here to ensure unforeseen obstacles do not prevent you from benefiting from your new CRM system’s functionalities straight away.

7. Cutover is just about switching off one system and turning on another

Cutover refers to the final vital stage of a data migration, where you switch from your old CRM platform to the new one. It involves validating data and ensuring everything is fully operational and ready for your users.

How you manage the cutover is crucial in ensuring operational teams do not experience data loss from their final few weeks of work on legacy systems, meaning they can hit the ground running on Go-Live day.

 8. We need all our data at go-live

Data degrades over time, and so much of a CRM system (old or new) is often underutilised. As a result, tough decisions need to be made to save wasted time and effort and prevent overcomplications that will ultimately get in the way of a successful Salesforce data migration.

That means having direct conversations with your users to really understand their needs, helping you prioritise cleansing, mapping and validating business-critical data points. Then, by following an ongoing data management process, you can maintain excellent data quality — enabling you to continue finding value in your business data and make the most of your Salesforce investments.

With Technicus’ Data Migration Delivery service, you will no longer need to worry about missing deadlines or experiencing operational issues during your Salesforce adoption. Contact us today at jamie.hart@technicus.co.uk  to start creating a clear roadmap for delivery. 

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