Data migration (also known as data conversion or data transfer) is the process of retrieving a firm’s data from their previous legal software package and importing it successfully into a new legal practice management system. When it comes to data migration, the needs of one law firm can differ significantly from another in terms of scope and complexity, so it is important to have a detailed and robust plan in place.
This article offers guidance for law firms considering a data conversion from one system to another in terms of the process and what they should expect from both their old and new software supplier. The top tips are not an exhaustive list, but they are a very good starting point for firms looking for a new software solution and are planning a data conversion. They are the following:
- Be sure to include “the data migration experience” on your new system check-list
- Remember – it’s your data
- Consider the scope of your data migration – what do you need?
- Set your expectations regarding timescales and fees
- Organise dual running if you can
- Recognise that garbage in means garbage out
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Expect some manual transformation
- Always do a trial run
- Plan adequate and timely resources for acceptance testing
- Accept there needs to be some contingency planning