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.

Understand - Analyze and Plan

Now that you've listened to your users, executives, the data, and your soon-to-be legacy systems, it's time to analyze all of that information to truly understand the needs and desired outcomes and build a plan.

Identify the Components

Your efforts in listening have likely yielded a tremendous amount of information. Focus on the current business challenges alongside the wish list items. When carving out time to solve them, think about:

  • What aspects of the system today are working well and are "must keep" components?
  • Which elements of the system today present the most significant challenges and are the "reconfigure" components?
  • How could those challenges be addressed with the new platform?
  • Are there components or datasets in the current system that don't need to migrate?
    • If so, what are you going to do with that data when you leave the legacy system?
  • Which apps or services will be necessary to build out the platform of their (your) dreams?
  • Which licenses will be required?
  • Who needs access to which components?

There is plenty to consider here, so take your time. It might be helpful to document user stories from your notes. Adopting a specific phase can be beneficial: As a {role}, I want to {task/item}, so that I can {action}.

As a salesperson, I want to see my top opportunities at a glance to identify the ones to spend time on.

As a customer service rep, I want a dashboard of recently responded to cases to close them in a timely fashion.

Identifying the critical user stories can help surface items that need priority and help determine what aspects of the migration may need more attention.

Consult the Budget

One of the most impactful aspects of, well, everything is the costs. Analyzing the needs and desires of the users alongside the costs of the licensing necessary to build and use the system is a great place to start.

While you will save in physical hardware, people often overlook the overall storage costs and the API (application interface calls) limits. These are aspects that could result in additional fees, so they are essential to think through.

You can find storage costs detail here (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/capacity-storage?WT.mc_id=DX-MVP-5004322).

API data pertains to the calls to the various components of the system. Every time someone opens or edits a record, runs a flow, or interacts with the system in nearly any way—an API call occurs.

You can find more information about this here (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/api-request-limits-allocations?WT.mc_id=DX-MVP-5004322).

Consider the Build

Now that you've identified which components and apps you'll be configuring and rolling out, you can start to think about the build-out plan.

  • Will you build out in stages, rolling them out piece by piece, or do it all at once and have a massive onboarding party?
  • What, if any, dependencies exist? For example, if you know you will use Power Automate to have notifications and approvals routed out, which system components need to be built out first?

These questions will help you put a timeline around the build and identify which features make sense to include when and where.

Think: What Could Go Wrong?

While the hope is that you have a perfectly smooth project with no hiccups, bumps will occur.

The more issues you anticipate, the less likely you'll be shocked when they arise. Plan out some preliminary mitigation tactics for each of the problems. That way, you've got a head start on some potential solutions.

Just as the listening phase has generated a great deal of information, reviewing and validating your understanding of what needs to move, what does not, and what needs improvement will be critical in planning an effective migration.

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!