Migration to the cloud has been a hot topic in recent years, becoming vital to some as cell service. Many companies are shifting their dated on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based offerings to make it easier to connect to critical systems from anywhere.

But moving isn't as simple as flipping a switch, particularly for those with data in a myriad of 'in-house' systems.

We have many calls with customers at various stages of the move, and these discussions have shed light on a variety of challenges and potential approaches to making the shift.

As you're likely aware, C5 Insight lives by the LUCK Principle—Listen—Understand—Connect—Know— and these apply to nearly every aspect of a thriving business. Over the following few articles, we'll explore the four components of a migration strategy critical to the project's success.

Without further ado, let's dive in.

Listen - The Gathering of Information

It's no secret that cloud providers, like Microsoft, are investing heavily in their cloud infrastructure. We see it all the time—a new feature announces its availability only in the cloud or is deemed 'cloud-first.

The gap between feature rollout to cloud vs. on-premises versions seems to be growing larger and larger. There is even speculation that some on-premises systems are "on their way out," but be careful with rumors.

Still, when companies express to us their desire to move to the cloud, one of our first questions is, "Why?"

We don't ask this to discourage the move—in fact, we encourage it—but to ensure the reasons and understanding of the shift connect.

It's one thing to say, "We want to move to the cloud," but another to say, "We want to move to the cloud so we can enable access to X, Y, and Z features, which will help us accomplish the objectives 1, 2 and 3 from our strategic plan."

The latter statement aligns the move to strategic focus and provides a foundation to build actual performance and progress metrics to gauge it before, during, and after.

Engage Users in the Process

So how does a company identify which features would be impactful or valuable when they move? By listening to their users—not just those using the legacy product, but those across the organization.

Speak to them one-on-one. Host information sessions, surveys, review issue logs, or review adoption dashboards/data.

Looking for engagement that is focused and effective? Here are some of our favorite approaches:

LUCKstorming Workshops - these C5 Insight led workshops focus on having users map out their crucial business processes, challenges, and related wish list items.

Ride-Alongs - these sessions have you sit alongside the user 'doing their job,' specifically related to using the system. These help in surfacing tasks and how the users complete them and make it easy to spot key frustration points and inefficiencies.

Visionary Demo - these demos highlight the latest and most significant features and functions, keeping users informed and inspired. It's hard for users to identify what they want if they don't know what's possible.

Listen to the Data

Another valuable source of information is the data itself. Conducting a "health check" to examine the system's inner functions can help identify:

  • areas that need some cleaning/purging
  • old configurations that no longer resonate
  • code that doesn't merge with the newest version of the platform.

It can also reveal active and inactive data—what will transfer with the new version and what is unnecessary moving forward.

Microsoft, Your Partner, and the Community

Communication involving the licensing and future roadmap of the products is essential. Your partner can help translate the massive amount of available information and support you in mapping out your requisites.

They can also explain the capabilities of some of the cloud-based features like Power Apps and Power Automate and identify and maximize apps significant to your needs.

Listening is the foundation of your strategies and projects and leads to understanding—the next entry in our migration series.

If you have questions about how to build an effective migration strategy for your organization, reach out to C5 Insight—we'd be thrilled to connect with you!