View All R&D Articles

Defining Key Stakeholders in a Data Migration Project

June 6, 2022

One of the most important steps in a successful data migration project is the identification of key stakeholders. 

In information technology (IT) terminology, a key stakeholder is any individual who participates in fulfilling the requirements of the project. This can range from executives and project leads to any team member who functions as a subject matter expert (SME) — the term “stakeholder” doesn’t necessarily indicate that the individual has specific experience or knowledge. 

The purpose of identifying key stakeholders is simple: In order to keep the project within its timeframe and budget while achieving all of the goal outcomes, you’ll need a well-defined team. Below, we’ll introduce some important considerations to keep in mind during this phase of your project. provides extensive resources for data migration. Whether you’re migrating to a new data tape format or moving mission-critical systems to the cloud, our team can help you accomplish your goals — while reducing the workload for all key stakeholders. 

To learn more, call 1-800-237-4200 to speak with a data migration expert or submit a request online.

Related: Data Migration to the Cloud: Best Practices

Key Stakeholders in Data Migration

Your list of key stakeholders will help you establish roles and responsibilities. When unexpected issues occur — and during a data migration project, issues inevitably occur — you’ll need to track the resolution of those issues. If you haven’t established the responsibilities of each team member, remediation can become a bottleneck. 

Some common key stakeholders for data migration projects include:

Executive Stakeholders

A CTO or other executive typically approves the plan for data migration and provides the necessary resources for a successful outcome. 

Data migration may affect nearly every aspect of an enterprise’s core IT systems, and as such, multiple executive stakeholders may be involved. However, most methodologies recommend assigning the ultimate accountability of the project to a single executive sponsor — otherwise, the scope of the project may grow considerably.

Project Leads and Project Coordinators

The project lead is chiefly accountable for the success of the project. In some cases, the executive stakeholder is also the project lead — but in most enterprises, the project lead will be a manager with defined authorities. The lead is often responsible for monitoring milestones and maintaining control of the scope of the project.

Project leads are often accommodated by project coordinators. Coordinators may use management methodologies to keep the data migration project moving forward. The project coordinator usually has fewer authorities than the project lead, but is responsible for escalating risks and identifying key issues that could affect timelines. 

Technical Leads

Technical leads are accountable for the success of specific technical areas of the database migration. For example, a technical lead may be assigned to ensuring that archives remain accessible and available after the migration occurs. 

Generally, technical leads may assign work to individuals and allocate resources as needed to accomplish their goal objectives. 

Many enterprises assign crucial data migration steps to individual technical leads — which can be a costly mistake. For instance, if a single team member is responsible for ensuring the availability of archived data post-migration, the outcome of the entire project rests on a single person’s shoulders. Working with a data migration partner can help your enterprise allocate workloads effectively, improving outcomes substantially.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

SMEs have established skills in a given area. Web developers, programmers, business analysts, and other staff members may function as SMEs in the course of a data migration project. 

Generally, every department who will be affected by data migration should be represented in your SME group. This may include people from outside your IT department who can identify pain points that occur post-migration (for example, a customer service manager might be able to identify database migration problems that wouldn’t be immediately apparent to a sysadmin).

Data Migration Success Requires Comprehensive Planning

The first step of data migration is the accurate identification of key stakeholders. Of course, this isn’t the only important step: You’ll also need to identify the target data, establish the scope of the project, locate dependencies within datasets, analyze potential bottlenecks, and monitor metrics from the outset of the project.

Needless to say, data migration is an enormous undertaking. Many enterprises put off migration until it’s absolutely necessary — then rush through the process, which can have a disastrous impact on data availability and overall performance.

We strongly recommend working with an experienced data partner from the first stages of data migration. A qualified partner can limit the necessary resources for a successful migration, simplifying the project substantially. 

At, we have decades of experience with database migration, tape archive conversion, and media recovery. We leverage this experience to provide our clients with peace of mind, and by working closely with your IT team, we can ensure the integrity of your data throughout the process. 

Our team can help enterprises address the challenges of at-scale migration, which may include:

  • Converting data for older datasets
  • Mapping archival databases to newer systems
  • Recovering data from physically damaged storage media
  • Maintaining compliance with relevant security and privacy regulations

Learn more by calling us at 1-800-237-4200 or submit a request with our online case form.