This year, 61 percent of companies say they plan to migrate more workflows to the cloud

Some of these companies have handled migrations before, but for a few, a cloud migration will be new territory. So, what should you know before you migrate? What do those who have gone through the process already wish they knew at the start? And what you can learn from their answers?

With thousands of migrations under our belts, we have some ideas. Here are the top things we’ve heard people say they wish they knew:

1. Your apps and workflows will probably change

Unleashing the potential of all teams in the cloud

Sometimes, a cloud app and an on-prem app will work similarly and your teams can hit the ground running with systems that feel familiar. But most of the time, you’ll notice some differences between cloud and on-prem. Over the past year, we’ve been able to develop and release top-requested improvements in cloud that aren’t available on server, such as native roadmaps, Jira Automation, improved templates, and more. 

Our Marketplace partners have also been releasing new functionality and improvements to cloud apps, meaning your cloud site likely won’t be a one-to-one match to your server instance. One of the best things you can do to prepare for a smooth transition to cloud is to understand how your workflows will change.

The easiest way to see if your server apps are available in cloud is with the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant and Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant. The app assessment built into each assistant let you see which add-ons your team is using and what’s available on cloud. This can help you:

  • Map out your migration
  • Understand what to prioritize
  • Anticipate training and documentation needs
  • Improve processes and workflows 

The best part of migration assistants is knowing what will change prior to migrating, so you can review new workflows and optimize or standardize your teams before you make the move. This means quicker onboarding, higher productivity, and fewer post-migration support tickets.

The second answer here – for both Atlassian and other tool migrations – is that you should include testing in your pre-migration timeline. Any vendor worth their salt should give you an opportunity to test your migration, try out new apps and workflows, and get ahead of any roadblocks. 

Make sure your testing phase includes testers from all stakeholder teams that will be using the new systems, and that each walks through their new core workflows to identify any issues before migration.

2. Onboarding takes time

Good planning and early training can shorten the learning curve, but onboarding still takes time, and your migration plan should factor this in. In the weeks just after the move, your help desk may be busier than usual. Productivity hiccups are normal, but if you’ve done proper planning and preparation, your teams will soon be back to collaborating better than ever. 

And the larger your migration, the more this holds true. Onboarding 2,000 people to a new system is always going to be a lengthier process than ten or 20 or 100. This is why large companies often choose to migrate users in batches.

3. The best migrations are methodical

If one of your teams is running behind or one of the items on your checklist has been hard to check off, it can be tempting to skip over it and keep going. 

Resist the urge.

There’s a reason your checklist is in the order it is. There’s a reason you’re checking in with security and legal before you move on. There’s a reason you need to test migrating your data and users early. Without those sign-offs and early planning tasks, the possibility of hitting a blocker or having to duplicate work later increases exponentially.

While some planning and testing can obviously happen in parallel (e.g., assessing your apps while security reviews their requirements), skipping whole steps (like that pesky security review) tends to create headaches later. If you skip checking in with security because their schedules are unwieldy, they may become a blocker just when you think you’re ready to launch. Same goes for legal, compliance, and every other stakeholder you’re involving in the process. 

In short: the smoothest migrations we’ve seen follow a plan and follow it to a T – and don’t skip the prep work. 

4. Migration is a great opportunity for a process clean-up

If migration is already going to change how your teams work, why not use it as an opportunity to optimize all your processes? If teams have to learn a new way of doing things, there’s no reason to make them re-learn again in a year when you decide to audit your workflows. 

During your pre-migration planning, make some time for a strategic audit. What’s working? What’s not? What can be improved? What data do we still need, and what’s just cluttering up our systems? What customizations have gone unused for ages? What features have teams been asking for in vain? Is there anything we can automate? Any tasks we can take off our teams’ checklists and build into our new systems?

There are a lot of good reasons to trim the proverbial fat by automating or improving workflows, but the biggest one may be the cost savings. In fact, 45 percent of the tasks employees do could be automated, according to research by McKinsey. In the US alone, that represents about $2 trillion in potential savings. This tracks with our own findings: the majority of admins say automation in Jira saves them six-plus hours per month.

Not to mention that task-switching – which only increases when you have more administrative work on your plate – can cost employees as much as 40 percent of their productivity, according to the American Psychological Association.

Assembling your migrations A-team

5. Get buy-in early – from as many corners as possible

As any change manager will tell you, the more teams are excited about a change, the easier the process will go. You’ll need help from teams across the organization to audit their processes, identify the features they really need, and start training and testing early. 

The most successful migrations have champions across the organization working to keep their teams in the loop and excited. The bigger your company and the more substantial your migration, the more important this is.

6. Atlassian has free training resources for you

You don’t have to handle all the heavy lifting of training yourself – or at least you shouldn’t. While we can’t speak to other vendors on the market, we can speak for ourselves. And at Atlassian, cloud is a priority. 

It’s a priority because of the substantial gains we’ve seen for customers – in profits, speed, scalability, security, and pretty much every other metric that matters. And every study we’ve seen in the last few years has confirmed what we already knew: cloud is the future. So moving to cloud should be as painless as possible for our clients. 

You’ll find free trainings on our website. And for enterprise customers, a dedicated account rep is there to help point you toward additional resources and answer your pressing questions. 

To learn more about cloud, visit our Cloud Migration Center, where you’ll find free tools, resources, and support. Existing server and Data Center customers are also eligible for a free cloud migration trial, which allows you to explore, evaluate, and migrate over time – at no cost.

6 things you should know before migrating to the cloud