When it comes to technology, change is the only constant. Upgrading existing tools, processes, and systems is a requisite to stay relevant (and transform digitally), and that’s what Atlassian’s latest Server End of Life announcement has brought to the fore. As the race to cloud intensifies, Atlassian has recognized the need to end the sale of Server products and drive additional efforts towards the development and updating of cloud products – that have been witnessing a gradual rise in adoption in the last couple of years. Just like Atlassian has taken a big step in keeping up with the times, it is critical for organizations across all sizes and types to revisit their technology infrastructure and plan for modernizing or upgrading their existing technology systems to a later, more modern, and more secure version.
Why migrations are complicated
Although migrating older systems is important to make the most of new and improved features and capabilities, technology migrations are complicated. Listed below are some of the top challenges of technology migration:
• Convincing the C-level team members about the pressing need for migration
• Having the required budget allocated for the migration
• Overcoming user resentment and rigidity
• Building a business continuity plan to deal with possible downtime
• Addressing complexities related to data migration
• Having the right tools and resources in place for the migration project
• Meeting additional compliance and security standards
• Ensuring integration of new technology with existing systems
Top 10 key considerations in technology migrations
Technology migrations, although essential, are also extremely complicated. Therefore, while planning for any kind of migration, it is important to bring aboard a skilled team of migration experts who have the knowledge and experience of successful migrations. In addition, it is also important to be aware of the various fine details of the migration process.
Here are 10 key considerations to keep in mind:
- Understand the need for migration: There is no doubt about the fact that migrating your legacy system or application to a newer version is inevitable. But instead of simply joining the migration bandwagon, it is important to first understand the need for migration. This can range from improving user experience, enhancing security, enabling deeper integration, setting a robust foundation for data analysis, and more.
- Have clarity on who will get impacted by the migration: Any technology migration project is likely to impact a large set of users. Therefore, before you embark on the journey, make sure to have clarity on which users or teams, or departments are most likely to get impacted by the migration. Such assessment can help in having a list of users who need to be informed about the migration project, educated on the need for migration, convinced about the benefits, and trained to be able to seamlessly use the new system.
- Evaluate cost implications: Technology migrations are normally extremely cost-intensive projects. Therefore, despite the pressure to move to a modern system as soon as possible, it is important to take out time to evaluate the cost implications. Such evaluation helps in getting a detailed view of the costs involved including the cost of new licenses, tools, resources, migration partner, support, maintenance, and training costs. It also helps in as well as in getting timely budget approvals as well as receiving the budget in time.
- Chart out a migration plan: Once the budget, tools, and resources are in place, it is time to chart out a plan for migration: from understanding which applications will be impacted to planning the project all at once or in phases – successful migration requires you to build a robust roadmap with clearly defined and achievable milestones and deadlines. It also helps in listing down possible challenges and having a plan in place to overcome them – so the project is completed within time and budget and to everyone’s satisfaction.
- Understand the impact on functionality: Technology migration is most likely to impact the current functionality of the system or application being migrated. Hence, while planning for the migration, understand the impact of the migration process on existing functionality. This will help in getting a better idea of what or how the user experience will alter, so users can be alerted and informed well in advance on possible changes – thus reducing frustration and resentment.
- Understand the impact on application uptime: Experiencing spurts or continued instances of application downtime is also a given with technology migrations. Since a lot of these instances cannot be completely eliminated, it is a good idea to plan for business continuity well in advance. This will ensure that as the system is being migrated, it is simultaneously migrated to a backed-up system and the user experience is seamless and unaffected.
- Prepare well for data migration: Data migration constitutes a major chunk of the technology migration project. To ensure seamless and error-free data migration, it is important to keep several aspects in mind. Begin by understanding the data your old system has, and the data that your new system needs. Instead of simply migrating all data – most of which will anyway be outdated or irrelevant – be clear of what data is essential in your current business environment. Cleanse and transform your data as much as possible, have the required amount of space you need, and ensure scalability of data in the long run.
- Consider security and governance: In the race to quickly migrate proprietary systems to new ones, security and governance often take a backseat. However, given the number of people working on the migration and the high chances of data getting leaked or lost in the process, the risk of a security breach is extremely high. To avoid damage to business reputation and loss of customers, enforce stringent security measures, limit access control, encrypt data, and constantly test the new system for any security loopholes or compliance gaps.
- Use the right technology tools for a smooth migration: Using the right migration tools can also help streamline the overall process. Modern tools can help define the different components, manage and facilitate the migration of individual components, and ensure the process is as seamless and interruption-free as possible. They can also help monitor the migration process, alert you of possible issues, and provide an end-to-end view of how the migration is progressing.
- Understand the role of automation: To accelerate the process of migration, automation can help a great deal. Since automation can help carry out many of the heavy-lifting tasks that are more prone to error, it can help in reducing risks, lowering costs, and improving speed. Automation tools can also aid in minimizing business disruption, increasing the success rate of the migration while delivering faster time-to-value.
If you want to upscale your business and stay relevant in a constantly changing business environment, you need to upgrade and modernize your existing systems. Rapidly evolving your technology systems and bringing them at par with the current pace of the world is the only way to satisfy customers, outdo the competition, and contribute to your organization’s digital transformation program.