Migrating the legacy software is like building a house of cards. One wrong move- whether it’s poorly defined processes, untrained users, inflexible employees clinging to old workflows, or budget constraints, and the entire system gets derailed.
Due to this, most companies hesitate to migrate from their existing software or legacy system and leave their comfort zones, for that matter. However, success and growth only come out of the comfort zone. Thus, to remain relevant in the market, it is imperative that you always keep innovating, changing, and pushing your boundaries. It’s important for you to know that what was beneficial a few years ago isn’t necessarily the case anymore. It’s better to walk with the change and migrate.
Software migrations and integrations as well as upgrading legacy systems can be extremely complex and challenging. It can be easy to get lost in the process, if you don’t get it right from the start, leading to disaster and affecting your business badly.
Petrifying, isn’t it?
The good news is- with extensive planning, timing, and most importantly, budgeting, you can pave the way to the smooth migration to the new system.
The article will acquaint you with the challenges of the software migration process and ways to handle them, knowing which you can mitigate the risks associate with it. But first, let’s talk about the reasons why you should choose to migrate your software.
Why do you need to migrate your legacy software?
Every software product has a finite lifespan, no matter how complex, how costly, or how cutting edge it may be. In the long run, every system that supports your business will be outdated, either due to new innovations rendering the technology obsolete or due to the changing needs of the business. Eventually, existing software will have to be upgraded or replaced by migrating to a new system.
Here are some potential reasons why you should migrate from the legacy system.
- It gives a competitive advantage.
- To improve the efficiency of the system.
- If your existing system’s maintenance and licensing are costing you way too much.
- Legacy software isn’t well-protected.
- If the legacy software is slow.
- If the software is facing compatibility issues.
- If technology up-gradation is on your mind.
Source: Data Science Central
7 Challenges To Think About When Upgrading From Legacy Systems
Changes always cost you something; it can be time, cost, comfort, or all of them. Dealing with these changes is a real challenge. With regards to software migration, one of the largest changes for a business, it also brings about the following challenges:
Challenge 1: Budget
Perhaps the biggest challenge that comes your way while migrating your legacy system is the budget associated with the migration process. Calculate the cost of the entire migration process, compare it with your estimated budget. If it goes with your budget, head with the migration process. The cost that you need to consider during the process includes-
- The cost of the cloud or the software you are migrating to.
- The implementation cost.
- The hardware up-gradation cost, if required.
- Employee training cost.
The cost calculation will also help you estimate the ROI of the migration process. This will give you an idea of whether it’s profitable to migrate the software or not. Based on this, you can plan your migration.
Challenge 2: Time Management
Just like the budget, time management is also very challenging for the employees. Migrating software is a time-consuming process. Therefore, the other processes must be temporarily suspended during that time period. Make sure when you plan your migration process you take your other processes into consideration. If you are dealing with a critical process, it is recommended to complete that first then start the software migration process.
Challenge 3: User Acceptance
User acceptance is another big challenge in software migration. Software migration won’t be beneficial if the users are not ready to use it. Having used the legacy system for a long time, the users become comfortable with it. They, therefore, resist moving to a new system or learning new things since adapting seems difficult to them.
You can rectify this by communicating to the users and explaining to them the importance of the migration process, the power of the new software, and how the new software will benefit them and the organization. Once this is done, you can write down their issues and requirements to ensure that you include the necessary items and make the transition as easy as possible for them.
Challenges 4: Data Migration
Data is the most important and vulnerable thing for an organization. Loss of a single record can cause serious damage to their reputation and work. Hence, before heading with the migration, make sure you have developed a comprehensive plan of migration and backup of the data in your legacy software.
To assure that the data have been migrated successfully and without any loss, it is highly recommended to map every data field from one system to another. Mapping helps not only helps you to make your data migration fault-proof but also empowers you to validate its accuracy and efficiency. Along with this, there is a number of tools that you can use to prevent data loss.
Challenge 5: Dependency Bottlenecks
Along with the direct dependents, that is the software, hardware, and users who are directly affected by the software, you should also find out the indirect dependencies. Indirect dependents are the users, software, and hardware that are indirectly connected to the legacy software.
Make sure you find out all the interdependencies between the systems and make the necessary arrangements accordingly. To find out the dependencies, you can temporarily shut down the software, and then if you receive any notifications, you can list down the dependencies. Hence, when you migrate the software, you can make the necessary arrangements for the dependent software.
Failing to discover the interdependencies can prolong migration times and increase costs. To ensure that migration timelines are appropriate, it is imperative that you map dependencies during the application assessment process.
Challenge 6: Preparing an Effective Plan
If you are someone who does not believe in planning, software migration is going to be challenging for you. According to Benjamin Franklin( an American polymath), Failing to plan is just like planning to fail. This holds true for software migration as well.
Prior to the migration of legacy software with a new software or cloud solution, there are several activities to complete. Along with developing the system, you should train the employees, maintain the system, and establish a support system. Here, planning can be of great help. Planning helps you manage things effectively and prevent issues down the road.
Challenge 7: Post Migration Preparation
Challenges do not end with the migration process, there are certain risks and challenges that tend to occur post-migration as well. No matter how carefully you implement the migration process, there is still a chance that the migrated system may not work. Make sure the process does not occur in the first place.
For this, you should have a contingency mapping and backup or continuity plan on your side. This will not only help you to prevent future mishaps but also resolve the issues post-migration. Here is the post-migration checklist you should take into account-
- Check the migrated data.
- Check the support channels of the existing software and the new one.
- Check the links to the knowledge base.
- Make sure the templates are updated.
- Make sure the integrations are configured properly.
- Raise User Awareness regarding software migration.
- Ensure that the testing process is done efficiently.
Resistance to evolution is the biggest threat to your growth!
Software migration is also a part of the evolution of your business. So, once you have decided to move on from legacy software, it is advisable to consider the above challenges prior to the execution of the process, in order to make the migration smoother.
Another challenge for companies apart from the list typically involves identifying the right team who can help them with the process. Our Ace developers are can be the best fit for this. Having experience with several migration projects, our migration experts can not only help you find the right software or cloud providers based on your needs and budget but also help you migrate to it flawlessly.