Data Migration & Enterprise PC refresh projects

Co-ordinating and managing PC refresh initiatives present the IT department with many challenges.

Read our IT Manager’s Guide to Corporate PC Refresh Projects


The process of assessing the current state of PCs within the organization and identifying areas that need updates is a massive undertaking. Issues such as interoperability, software compliance, application updates, and inventory location must be examined. Asking the right questions and knowing what to look for requires comprehensive planning.


The logistics involved with PC refresh can be overwhelming. Challenges include storage, shipping, project management and reporting.


The on-site, physical storage of hundreds or thousands of PCs is for most enterprises. New incoming equipment must be coordinated and the proper disposal of outgoing equipment must be accounted for. Just-in-time delivery is the expectation, but often not the reality.


A hardware refresh relies heavily on successful data migration. According independent IT research analysts, Bloor, companies spend over $5 billion every year on data migration. Add to that a 60% failure rate and the result is a difficult to ignore financial incentive to ensure the successful migration of your business data.

Some of the most common problems associated with data migration:

• Data corruption, missing data or data loss

• Extended or unexpected downtime

• Application performance issues

• Technical compatibility problems

• Data isn’t restored to original location on a new OS


Performing a secure backup of all critical business data is an obvious necessity before replacing company hardware. The problem is that these backups can result in wasted time, huge bandwidth and storage costs, and can be unreliable. This means that before backing up the company data you should investigate different data backup options, including different data backup software.


Multiple branches spread across geographies can further complicate PC refresh. Resources need to be scheduled and remote workers must be considered, as well as delivery costs and logistical planning.


Performing a PC refresh without impacting downtime is a challenge. Businesses can seldom afford an application or user downtime window, forcing a PC refresh to occur in the evening and on weekends. If the project is performed after-hours, issues such as technical support availability and accessing secure rooms can slow progress.

IT can also employ new tools and technology to tackle potential migration problems.

What is key during a refresh project is nondisruptiveness and controlling the impact on:




  • Users
  • Network & Bandwidth
  • IT
  • Data integrity






Mission-critical applications must work on new systems and extensive testing must be performed. User data must be available on the new hardware in the original location for user acceptance testing.


Training employees and the help desk on a new OS, equipment and applications must be performed.


Properly discarding old PCs has legal and environmental implications. Software must be removed, company confidential data must be scrubbed and certain components must be discarded in compliance with standards and industry regulations.




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