Assessing apps and customizations before migrating to Atlassian Cloud

To accelerate our collective journey to the Cloud, Atlassian recently announced that they would discontinue sales of new licenses for Server-based products in February 2021 and discontinue support for these products 3 years later, in February 2024.  For many, this news has led customers to re-evaluate their current use of the Atlassian tool suite and consider a Cloud migration a short-term goal.  Migrating to the Cloud offers a host of benefits, including increased agility, improved flexibility, robust security, and reduced hosting and maintenance costs.   The Atlassian Cloud is always up to date. It has been built for scale, ensuring the same level of service is provided to all customers, from the smallest startups to the largest enterprise organizations.  All of these things make the Atlassian Cloud the perfect destination for your teams.  Getting from here to there is not always straightforward, and there is no single path for all Server to Cloud migrations.

There are several paths to choose from when migrating Jira and Confluence from Server to Cloud, and no single method is best for everyone.  The best approach for you will depend on your particular migration requirements.  Some of the factors include the number of users that will need to be migrated, m arketplace apps, i ntegrations, and c ustomizations.  A n assessment of your applications and customizations may be the most important step in planning a migration to the Cloud.  Apps aren’t automatically migrated when you move from server to cloud. To migrate any relevant app data, you’ll need to work with the app vendor. This includes Atlassian-built apps, like Team Calendars and Questions for Confluence. Some apps can export and import their data, but you’ll need to check with the app developers or their documentation to confirm if this is possible. We’ve assembled a set of steps to follow to help you audit, assess, and select applications for migration.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the Cloud migration process

Before planning your migration, you should take a moment to understand the differences between Atlassian’s Server and Cloud products , focusing specifically on functional differences.  This will help you understand whether or not a certain function you purchased a marketplace application for is included in the Cloud natively. Compare the various methods for Cloud migration to understand their benefits and limitations, review the Cloud migration resources for Jira and Confluence , as well as the FAQs about Atlassian’s Cloud migration process to learn how best to plan for your migration. 

One of the easiest methods of Cloud migration is through the Jira and Confluence Cloud Migration Assistants.  The Assistants help you easily move Jira and Confluence content from your server to the cloud. Built and maintained by Atlassian, these apps are free to install and use.  Once installed, you can perform assessments, choose what you want to move to the cloud, and start migrating at your convenience, monitoring progress throughout the migration process.

Step 2: Take an inventory of your apps and customizations

Once you have familiarized yourself with the migration process, you should take inventory of your apps and customizations.  Find out which apps you currently have installed on your server and the cost of each. The fastest and easiest way to do this is by using the Cloud migration assistants, which provide specialized tools to help you with the heavy lifting of assessing your apps.  The app assessment tool will create a table that guides you through an assessment to streamline your decision-making process.  The table displays an inventory of your apps, an indicator of whether or not a Cloud version exists for that app, the frequency of its use, the feasibility of migration, and fields for notes and the status of your decision – whether or not the app is needed in the Cloud.  For now, you should focus on which apps you have installed so that you can fully document your app inventory.

If you do not have the assistant installed or would prefer not to use it, you can manually identify your apps through your admin settings to create an inventory.

In addition to apps, take the time to inventory other customizations and scripts, integrations, and custom Jira objects, such as issue types, workflows, and custom fields. Pay special attention to any webhooks you may have configured for Jira or Confluence to communicate with external systems.  If you do have any webhooks in use, then you will also need to determine which users and applications are using these webhooks so that you can ensure they are migrated properly to the cloud equivalent configuration if needed. Before making an assessment, you should familiarize yourself with Atlassian’s documentation on managing webhooks for  Jira and Confluence .

Step 3: Audit and assess your inventory 

Once you know which apps and customizations you have installed, it’s time to determine which are being used, the extent to which they are being used, and by whom. Begin by asking your team questions like:

  1. Are you or your teams using these apps?
  2. How much is each app being used, and by whom?
  3. How critical is each app to the functionality of your team?
  4. Are the apps being used for their intended purpose?
  5. How many people are taking advantage of the apps?

The answers to the questions will provide enormous value to the decision-making process, but they do not paint a complete picture. There are several other questions you, or your team, should answer to see if you can reduce the number of apps needed in the Cloud environment:

  1. Do you have multiple, possibly redundant apps serving the same purpose?
  2. Are any apps providing functionality that is available natively in the cloud product?
  3. Is there a significant cost difference between the server and the cloud version of the app?
  4. Are there functional differences between the server and cloud versions of the app?  If so, does the cloud version of the app include all of the functionality you require?
  5. Have any app licenses expired?  If so, was there a plan to renew?
  6. Do you use any app-related custom Jira objects, such as custom fields, or workflow conditions, validators, and post-functions?  If so, will you get the same or comparable functionality in the Cloud?

Some of these answers can be obtained easily using Cloud Migration Assistants.  As mentioned earlier, the app assessment table contains all the apps you currently have installed, an indicator of whether or not a version of that app is available for the cloud, and if so, whether or not a migration pathway exists.  If no migration path is shown in the assistant or the app’s documentation, you should also consider reaching out to the app’s vendor to determine your migration options.

In any case, with or without the Cloud Migration Assistants’ help, you will need to sit down, find answers to the questions above, and decide how to proceed.

Step 4: Decide on the apps and customizations you will need in the Cloud

Once you have your list of current apps and understand how they’re being used, you will need to decide on whether they are essential or may not be required. While assessing your apps, you may find that server apps’ features are either not needed in the cloud or are already available in the cloud products natively.  The best way to determine if this is the case is by searching for the features you need in Atlassian’s documentation or the Atlassian Community.  You will also need to d etermine whether or not the app stores data.  If so, you may need to work with the application vendor to determine the best way to migrate that data to the cloud.  This step is especially important if using a scripting tool such as Scriptrunner, as there may be fundamental differences between the server and cloud versions of your app that will determine what can be migrated and what cannot.

It’s not uncommon to find that some of your apps are not being used or that others are used infrequently and are not mission-critical.  Even when apps are being used heavily, many customers choose to use Cloud migration as a chance to tidy up and eliminate clutter. F or example, this may be an opportunity to simplify, consolidate, or, if possible, remove redundant or overly complicated workflows in Jira.  Likewise, you may find it a good time to consolidate or eliminate screens, schemes, custom fields, and other objects that contribute to clutter.  Overall, customization audits provide a great opportunity to make people aware of problems, ask questions, and decide what needs to be kept and what needs to go.

Need help?

Addteq will provide  a FREE Migration Readiness Assessment  to determine your current setup and specialized situations. This will include license & app assessment, migration steps, major blockers, and much more.

This assessment will help you answer:

  1. Which hosting option is better for us, Cloud, or Data Center?
  2. If Cloud, which service tier should we choose – Standard/Premium or Enterprise?
  3. If Data Center, should we use multi or single node?
  4. What about apps?
  5. How can we maintain GDPR and/or other forms of compliance?
  6. Should we stick with our Server instance until the end of support in 2024?

Check out our 4 levels of cloud maturity infographic   to help get you started. 

We are here to help answer any questions you may have. Just let us know how we can support you.

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