Running Your BusinessTechnology

5 Tips for a Successful Software Migration to the Latest and Best Tools

By March 11, 2019 No Comments
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Businesses need to stay on the cutting edge of technology. That’s why it’s essential to use the most advanced tools. Your business is only as good as your data. Moreover, if you’re running outdated, unresponsive data-handling software, you should consider scheduling a software migration to the latest and best tools.

What we mean by that is that you need to move your data over to software that has the capacity, security, and functionality you need. If you don’t, your old software will put you behind your competition and cost you money.

However, getting the best software systems for your business isn’t cheap, and data migration is challenging. But industry experts are clear—the total cost of operating old technology rises sharply over time and outpaces the return on investment. For your business to stay relevant in today’s marketplace, your technology infrastructure needs to offer the right performance, scale, and flexibility for your expanding needs. Think of new software as an investment rather than an expense.

Recently, we helped a company that does porta-potty rentals in Dallas to transition their systems. The process was tough, but we made our deadline, and the results were worth waiting for. Here’s what we learned during the process. We hope our software migration experience helps make yours a success.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Software migration is complex, and you still have a business to run. Moreover, transition time varies considerably based on factors like the quality of source data, hardware capability, and the compatibility of data fields between the old system and the new.

It’s nearly inevitable that something will go wrong. However, because that’s not unexpected, you can compensate for it by starting sooner rather than later. Nick-of-time timelines don’t cut it. Be patient and prepare for what is to come.

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Build a Migration Dream Team

With data, it’s garbage in, garbage out. So if you’re using your staff instead of hired help, it pays to choose the most qualified individuals to assist with the transition. Databases are always more disorganized than anyone expects them to be. On the other hand, one of the benefits of a software migration is that incorrect or corrupt data can be culled.

The best candidates to work on the project are those who know how to retrieve information from your current system effectively. These people will recognize bad data. What’s more, they can clean it up before they migrate it over to the new system.

Software migration is a big project. That means there are roles for team members from testing to data entry. To lead the charge, choose tech-savvy people who are willing to learn the new software first and teach others the ropes. For leaders, make sure your software provider offers comprehensive support.

Know the Process

Learn, do, teach, lead—it’s an educator’s mantra, and it will help you better navigate your transition. Software migration is a top-down project, and training everyone on the new system is a priority. However, no matter the size of your company, its leaders need to learn the process, practice it, and be able to demonstrate it to others before rolling it out.

Ensuring that a solid training schedule is in place to bring your team up to speed with the new software minimizes costly downtime and errors. However, if you’re ready to take point, you can quickly mobilize an entire team and confidently delegate responsibility to others. This concept is especially critical if you’ve made changes in data-handling procedures to reflect the change in software.

Consider Auto-Migration Options

A significant part of the cost of software migration is the time it takes to do the job. It’s painstaking work. Moreover, if your staff is too busy taking care of your customers or they’re not knowledgeable enough to be useful helpers in the transition process, it’s worth considering auto-migration.

Auto-migration is an automated process that transfers the bulk of data for you. But not all business software providers offer that option. Also, there may be technological barriers, including deep software incompatibilities and poor-quality legacy data. The cost of auto-migration may be higher upfront depending on the complexity of the systems. However, it relieves some of the pressure on staff. What’s more, in some cases, it may be a more economical option.

Hire Help for Your Software Migration

In our recent migration effort, we weren’t able to use company staff because of their responsibilities. But even when auto-migration is an option, you’ll still need extra hands to address hardware interface issues. Additionally, legacy data might not transfer to the new system correctly. In any case, you’ll need to educate staff about the new system.

A software migration can disrupt business-as-usual. But hiring help with the right expertise and credentials smooths the transition.

Data handling technology has evolved markedly in the past decade, but going forward, it will advance by leaps and bounds. Businesses that fail to adapt will be left behind. Information is a strategic asset that needs to be harnessed and used to its fullest potential. Using the latest and best tools makes the job easier and more profitable.

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