The top data migration trends of any year tend to highlight the pain points and opportunities present in data management, and 2023 is no exception. With both the sources and volume of data increasing rapidly, managers are facing the challenges of replacing legacy systems with more adaptable storage solutions capable of handling the influx of data.
Meanwhile, the ever-growing value of big data is driving data scientists to increase their access along with their ability to mine and analyze data for insights and information by adapting how data repositories are managed in relation to the type of data they house. While some legacy and on-premises solutions continue to be indispensable, a mass shift to the cloud is proving to be the answer to many of the problems organizations are facing in regards to data volume, compatibility, and accessibility.
Companies of various sizes and industries adapt to progress at different rates and may migrate data for different reasons. The five major trends in data migration in 2023 reflect the industry’s attitude as a whole toward solving specific problems.
1. A Shift Towards Data Lakehouses
Data lakehouses are open data management architectures that combine the flexibility, cost-efficiency, and scale of data lakes with the data management abilities of data warehouses. The result is a unified platform used for the storage, processing, and analysis of both structured and unstructured data. One reason this approach is gaining popularity is a sustained desire to break down data silos, improve quality, and accelerate data-driven decision-making within organizations.
Data lakehouses’ large capacity enables them to handle large volumes of data in real time, making them ideal for live consumer data, Internet of Things (IoT) networks, and physical sensors. Their ability to process data from multiple sources makes it easier for organizations to gain insights from multiple data streams.
Additionally, the centralization of data lakehouses allows for a unified, up-to-date view of data across an entire organization, facilitating inter-departmental collaboration on data-based projects and greatly reducing the costs and complexity of hosting multiple data storage and processing solutions.
2. A Focus on AI and Automation in Governance
Data migration helps organizations keep pace by ensuring their systems are able to accommodate the ever-increasing flow of new data. To simplify the already complex and time-consuming task of data governance, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) algorithms and automation.
These technologies have revolutionized data migration by allowing organizations and data managers to automate some of the many manual processes it involves. It also enables them to reduce the risk of failures due to human error and execute the migration process more accurately and efficiently. With the help of smart algorithms, organizations can also better gain insights into their data than previously possible while identifying and eliminating data duplicates, which may reduce storage costs and improve performance.
Thanks to the recent boom in AI and ML-based technologies being developed and partially launched by a number of cloud computing giants, including Microsoft and Google, the role of such technologies in the more critical processes of data migration is likely to increase as the models become more and more sophisticated.
3. Expanding Storage Capacity
The world is expected to generate around 120 zettabytes of data in 2023, a nearly 24 percent increase from the prior year. This data is generated from a wide variety of sources, including IoT devices, log files, and marketing research. In this case, bigger is better—many organizations are looking to embrace big data by expanding storage capacities through novel methods of data storage.
One prominent option is cloud storage, which stands out as a scalable, reliable solution that’s also easily accessible over the internet. However, one of the challenges that arises with data migration to the cloud is maintaining security during transit. Organizations must carefully plan their migration strategies—including encryption, backup, and recovery plans—to protect financial and medical data and personal information while it is at risk.
Organizations can also benefit from an increase in agility and compounded value of structured and unstructured data by expanding their overall data storage capacity through flexible and scalable means.
4. Handling Unstructured Data
Most data sources produce semi-structured or unstructured data that cannot be easily organized and categorized. Company mergers and system updates are prominent sources of unstructured data—the initial categorization and structure of the data must be shed in order to fit into a different system. Unstructured data tends to be much larger in volume than structured data carrying the same amount of information and insights.
This poses a problem when migrating data. Not only is the massive volume costly to transfer and secure, both in-transit and at-rest, but it cannot be analyzed or stored in relational databases. However, that doesn’t make it void of value, as many organizations are seeking data science and migration solutions that would help structure incoming data.
Solving the unstructured data problem is a time-sensitive endeavor for many organizations. That’s because situational data quickly loses its value with time and gets replaced by more recent data, often in greater volume.
5. A Move From On-Premises Legacy Systems to Cloud Storage
Most data originates in the cloud, from such sources as digital logs, monitoring devices, customer transactions, and IoT devices and sensors. Many organizations are finding it more efficient to migrate entirely to the cloud rather than remaining split between legacy on-premises systems and cloud storage.
This approach would involve the integration of legacy data and systems with already-present data stored in the cloud, creating a more unified and comprehensive approach to data management and enabling remote access. A move to the cloud would also be accompanied by embracing multi-cloud architectures, allowing companies to optimize costs by working and switching between multiple cloud providers simultaneously.
Moving entirely to the cloud would also facilitate data storage segmentation, enabling data managers to differentiate data by type, purpose, and origin in addition to sensitivity and the level of security it may require. Organizations with data split between legacy and cloud systems may seek to unify the multiple sources in the cloud, enabling them to develop a richer, more holistic view of their data and how they might be able to use it.
Predictions for the Future of Data Migration
Data migration is expected to continue to grow in popularity alongside the exponential growth in the average volume of data produced annually by organizations. As businesses increasingly adopt cloud-based alternatives to everything from computing and processing to hosting software, cloud-based data solutions are likely to follow.
This will spark a wave of innovation, creating modern tools and technologies that aim to simplify the data migration process, ensuring the security and reliability of data in transit. Combined with the latest advancements in AI, ML, and automation, the migration process is likely to become faster, more efficient, and less prone to errors, making data migration as a concept more accessible to startups and emerging businesses who want to shift to the cloud and make the most out of their data.