Application Migration Best Practices You Should Know Before Migrating Your Apps to the Cloud

Application Migration Best Practices

Migration experts predict that 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

While you know migrating your applications to the cloud improves efficiency and security, modernizing your legacy application can seem overwhelming.

It’s not always a clear-cut process — 42 percent of businesses experience migration failure.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent botched migrations. Follow these application migration best practices:

  1. Tie the migration to your business goals
  2. Engage and train power users
  3. Test application data before and after the migration
  4. Hire an IT expert with migration experience in:
    1. Security and compliance
    2. License management

Whether you’re performing a migration on your own or just want to learn more, take a closer look at four crucial application migration best practices.

1. Tie the Migration to Your Business Goals

Migrating your legacy application to the cloud is no small undertaking. The average migration requires over 100 hours of work. If you don’t tie the migration to clear business goals, you’ll have a difficult time getting key players to participate.

Why do you want to perform the migration? Do you need to scale better? Take advantage of new updates so you can work quicker? Make your data more secure? Move data from your dinosaur software to avoid extinction?

Identify the big picture issue the migration will solve so that business leaders can get on board. 

Remember that CEOs and CTOs expect a return on investment for any IT project. Before embarking on a migration clearly explain the benefits of migrating and come up with key performance metrics to measure success. If you don’t do this before you start the migration, you won’t be able to deliver business results.  

2. Engage and Train Power Users

The worst possible outcome is forcing employees to adopt an upgraded application without any training or knowledge of how to use it. An application isn’t just an IT project — it can affect employees’ daily workload.

Application migrations should improve productivity and efficiency — not upgrade technology for the sake of upgrading. To ensure a successful adoption, identify power users and involve them in the decision-making process.

Power users are individuals that operate an application with advanced skills, knowledge and capabilities. They’re often department directors and managers or people in charge of the end users who use the application daily.

Power users provide feedback throughout the process to make sure the migration meets the business needs of the organizations and employees.

How to Work With Power Users

Migration experts should work with power users to:

  • Understand how the current system is being used
  • Identify pain points of the current application
  • Determine what features or capabilities should be added to the new application

Doing this will ensure that the new application allows end users to work more efficiently and get more done for the business.

In some cases, your technical team will be able to work with power users to understand the quality of the on-premises data — determine what’s mission-critical and what can be removed or relocated before migration. Removing irrelevant data from the application will speed up the migration.

How to Train End-Users

During the migration, power users and the technical team should create a training program for employees who will be using the new application. This program should include:

  • Regular training sessions integrated into employees’ regular work schedules
  • Multiple learning paths for users with varying skill levels and roles
  • Drop-in workshops for people who have questions

The goal is to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. The easier you make it for employees to learn the new system, the quicker you’ll see a return on investment.

3. Test Application Data Before and After the Migration

Application migrations aren’t a simple data export. The cloud version of your on-premises software treats data differently. In addition to leveraging power users’ insights to identify critical differences, your technical team should also perform extensive data testing pre and post-migration

Before the migration, the tech team should make copies of the on-premises data, load it into the cloud and make sure it’s working as needed.

After the migration, the technical team should conduct user acceptance testing — get real users to use the application and identify errors that went undetected during pre-migration testing.  

4. Hire an IT Expert With Migration Experience

In-house IT professionals may not have the experience to migrate your data to the cloud. The right IT support can make or break your migration. Here are a few things IT migration experts can help with:

Security and Compliance

One of the biggest benefits of modernizing legacy applications is security.

Data is the most vulnerable during a migration. Your cloud provider won’t manage the security or compliance of your data for you.

IT migration experts can help not only securely migrate data but ensure the new application meets all industry compliance standards.

License Management

Twenty percent of software costs stem from the fact that companies don’t have proper control of their applications. When you modernize legacy applications, you may also need to renegotiate software licenses.

Managing licenses can be a headache — especially if you’re performing an application migration. If the employees don’t have proper access to the migrated application, they won’t be able to do their jobs. If too many people have access, you’ll waste money and put sensitive data at risk.

Instead of trying to do it yourself, rely on migration experts to negotiate your license for you.

Migrate Your Old Application to the Cloud With Helixstorm

Whether you want to move to your on-premises accounting system, CRM or sales system to the cloud, Helixstorm can help.

We’ll upgrade your systems with minimal downtime and no hassle.

Ready to take the first step toward a faster, more flexible application? Visit our application migration services page to reach out to us or learn more.