Every software solution has a finite lifecycle, whether it’s CRM, CCM, CMS, ERP, or something else. Eventually, every application will become obsolete, either because its underlying technology has become outdated, or because the organization’s business needs have changed. Like it or hate it, every IT consulting firm will tell you that software migration is a fact of life.
A migration project consists of many moving parts, and can often resemble a never-ending nightmare. However, planning and following a systematic strategy can ensure a smooth transition, regardless of the organization’s size or experience with change. So if your organization is planning to migrate to new software, here are five best practices that can help you avoid the usual pitfalls that often derail migration projects.
1. Create a Migration Roadmap
Planning can make a huge difference between a smooth, fast migration, and a migration that’s riddled with rework, confusion, and mounting costs. Never initiate a project without a proper plan. In your plan, identify what “success” will look like. Establish performance baselines and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to determine the acceptable performance levels in the future (post-migration). Also, identify and highlight potential areas of difficulty and risks. This information will make you more aware of what to aim for, and where problems may crop up.
2. Assess Current Inventory to Understand the “What-is”
Before starting the migration, understand what you need to move, why, with what priority, and what its potential business impact could be. Engage an IT Consulting Firm if you’re not sure where to start. Identify the various connections and inter-dependencies between processes, systems, devices, and data, and document everything so you don’t miss anything once the migration actually starts.
3. Clarify the Process and the “What-should-be”
Understanding the process in advance and how each step fits into the broader plan can minimize surprises, and prevent costly misses or rework.
Clarify what the process will entail and if there are any interconnections between each step. Specify who will be responsible for each step or activity. E.g., do you need a “migration architect” to lead the effort? Who will make the technical, design, and business decisions? Who will manage the post-migration environment? Finally, outline key milestones to keep each activity (and person) on track.
4. Establish your “Cross-functional” Migration Team
If your migration project is likely to affect more than one department, you must involve a representative from each of these to champion the change. These representatives can act as the bridge between the migration team and ground staff to ensure that all necessary information, knowledge, concerns, etc. are shared whenever relevant. They can also help make the migration smoother, and increase the chances that it will yield the expected Return in Investment (RoI).
5. Test Before Go-live
No matter how constrained your migration timeline or how well you planned the process, you should always perform testing before go-live. Even if checking for every functionality or piece of data is time-consuming or cumbersome, it can prevent more serious issues later, so don’t skip this step. With rigorous testing, you can identify unanticipated issues, find performance gaps, and take steps to fill them before the new environment goes live.
Another practice recommended by IT Consulting firms: consider keeping the old software active for a while after go-live. This will provide a useful fallback option in case the new software doesn’t function as expected.
How WayPath IT Consulting Firm Can Help with Enterprise Software Migrations
Depending on what you need to migrate and the environments involved, your migration project can become very complex very quickly. That’s why the process is best undertaken with a trusted partner. The migration experts at WayPath Consulting, a well-known IT consulting firm, can help your organization plan and execute your critical software migrations – efficiently, effectively, and with minimal fuss. Let’s discuss your project. Visit our website or call +1-877-334-4266.