In recent years Microsoft Dynamics 365 has emerged as a frontrunner in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Its seamless integration with Microsoft’s cloud services and productivity tools has made it popular worldwide, with Microsoft reporting that D365s revenue rose by 24% in Q1 2023. The shift to remote work has played to Microsoft’s strengths, offering access to business apps in the cloud and useful team collaboration tools. It’s no surprise then that D365 is a preferred choice for businesses looking to advance their data management capabilities.  

If your business is ready to leverage all that D365 has on offer a data migration might be on the horizon. It’s an important part of any data transformation, and if not done right, this seemingly routine project can quickly become a complex challenge. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the reasons why a D365 data migration can be difficult and share some effective data migration strategies to ensure success. 

What to consider in your data migration approach 

The Maze of Data Structures:

Every business is unique, and so are its data structures. With different departments and legacy systems, things can get pretty tangled. According to a survey by Gartner, 70% of data migration projects face difficulties in mapping data from different sources to D365’s unified structure. To tackle this, a full analysis of data structures is needed. 

The Data Deluge:

Modern businesses generate a truckload of data every day, and the speed at which data needs to be migrated to D365 is significant. Without careful planning, the surge of data can overwhelm the migration process, leading to incomplete or wrong transfers. Employing data compression techniques, optimised network bandwidth, and smart data staging will help to deliver a seamless flow. 

Data Quality Matters:

Data quality is the backbone of any successful migration. We all know what bad data can do – duplicate or incomplete records can wreak havoc. Before any transfer thorough data cleansing and validation must happen to ensure only the crème de la crème of data makes its way into the new system. This is where data governance and quality control measures play a huge part. 

Data Security:

In industries like healthcare, where sensitive information is the name of the game, data security and compliance are vital. You need to pull out all the stops to ensure patient privacy is protected, and industry regulations are followed. Data encryption during migration, multi-factor authentication, and strict adherence to data protection standards are just some of the steps that must be employed. 

Bridging the Gap with Legacy Systems:

It may seem surprising how many businesses still rely on legacy systems, but the scale and cost of moving to a new platform can stop progress. The challenge often lies in transferring data between incompatible platforms while ensuring data consistency and compatibility. Integration tools and leveraging APIs can help, facilitating a smooth migration and enabling seamless data synchronisation. 

Teamwork and Training:

For a migration to be a success the entire team needs to be on board – including the end users. Comprehensive training that includes how to navigate the new system, how to use D365s features and effectively interpret the data will help deliver a smooth transition and boost user productivity. 

How to excel in your D365 data migration 

  • Early Planning and Strategy: Start planning your data migration strategy well in advance. Create a detailed roadmap, collaborate with data experts and stakeholders, and set the stage for a successful migration.
  • Data Analysis: Dive deep into your data with a comprehensive data analysis to identify any issues, then cleanse the data at the source. This will significantly improve the accuracy and help to avoid data migration issues.
  • Data Mapping and Validation: Mapping data can be a maze, so a data mapping strategy is needed to make sure that data from different sources is aligned with the corresponding fields in D365. Validate the data mapping to remove errors and discrepancies.
  • Test, Test, Test: Don’t leave things to chance – conduct trial migrations in a controlled environment to spot any issues. This will help minimise disruptions during the actual migration.  
  • Monitoring for Success: Continuous monitoring of the migration process and of performance metrics will ensure everything is running like clockwork. Optimise the migration so that there is efficient data transfer and minimal downtime.
  • Team Spirit: Keep all relevant stakeholders and end-users in the loop, addressing concerns, and providing support every step of the way. 

Get help from the data migration experts 

A successful D365 data migration is key to your business getting the full potential out of this powerful (and popular!) platform. Understanding the need to plan in advance and what data migration challenges might arise during the project will help get you the results you need. As data migration specialists we’ve completed numerous successful D365 migrations and can support you throughout the process. Get in touch, we’d love to help.