Undoubtedly, technology evolves at a startlingly furious pace. New tech, coupled with changing market demands, will directly impact the trajectory of your business. At some point, you’ll be faced with a choice: upgrade your existing software or opt for a software transition.
Regardless of your choice, adopting disruptive technology is a must. According to Forbes, 27% of companies believe that keeping up with new digital solutions is a matter of survival. In fact, 56% of those that embrace emerging tech trends report significantly increased revenues.
If your company finds itself ready to upgrade or transition its software, a systematic approach pays dividends. Below is a step-by-step guide for implementing an efficient software transition.
Phase I: Make a Plan
The first phase of software transition involves the planning activities that precede implementation. This includes establishing the scope and requirements of the upgrade.
Communicate With Affected Personnel
The first step is due diligence. To achieve your objectives for a transition, identify key stakeholders who utilize the current system. From the end-user to the network administrator, try to understand what each team member needs from the new software.
Perform a System Review
Software integrations can be an undeniably complex process. Your existing software has already been fine-tuned to support the needs of its users and any necessary interactions with external systems. So, before creating an upgrade plan, take an inventory of what works and what doesn’t in terms of your core business.
Identify Transition Requirements
Next, it’s time to evaluate all hardware specifications and intermediate software upgrades. You can then form a solid transition plan that identifies:
- Affected parties
- The upgrade team
- Necessary resources
- Custom elements or integrations
- A time frame for the roll-out
Phase II: Prepare for Implementation
Phase II is the lead-up to implementation. It includes all the background activities necessary to put your transition plan into practice.
Backup Critical Files
No matter how solid your implementation plan is, there’s a level of uncertainty when upgrading your company’s core systems. Before initiating any changes, back up critical information so that functionality can be restored in case of an emergency.
Perform a Trial Transition
It’s useful to perform a dry run prior to initiating your full-scale upgrade. Doing a mock transition using a simulated version of your system can help iron out any potential kinks ahead of time.
Establish Your Staging Environment
The final preparation involves setting up your staging area. Specifically, this means shutting down general access and preparing your live system to receive critical upgrades.
Phase III: Go Live
The third phase involves implementing the new software, testing the fidelity of its integrations, and providing ongoing support to end-users as the new software goes live.
Testing and Configuration
Testing is needed to ensure the security and operational integrity of your system. Quality assurance is critical at this stage in order to resolve all issues promptly before the upgrade goes live.
Once testing is complete, it’s time to make sure all settings are optimized for your end-users. Take time to configure your new software environment to match your organization’s business-critical tasks.
Train Key Personnel
Be sure to train key personnel, including end-users and IT professionals, regarding the update’s key features. For one thing, the more training you can provide prior to the final implementation, the smoother the transition will be.
You’ll also want to avoid underestimating the importance of documentation. Be sure to compile user manuals and a detailed log of customized settings and integrations that are crucial to your new software.
Go Live With the Transition
Once all issues are resolved and key staff is brought up to speed, the penultimate step is taking your upgrade live. Of course, you have the option to phase out the older version slowly. However, that may not be in your best interest.
For many companies, operational integrity is reliant on impeccable logistics, procurement, and demand planning optimization. Your new software needs to be up and running on Day 1. All things considered, working with professionals to identify organizational constraints and keep the migration timeline on track reduces unforeseen risks.
Offer Ongoing Support
The transition process doesn’t end when the upgrade goes live, however. You must provide end-users with ongoing support after the update is implemented. This support is critical to business operations and should be viewed as a vital task that directly impacts the health of your business.
At Entrance, we specialize in custom software development services for the manufacturing, healthcare, engineering/construction, oil & energy, and education industries. If your company is looking for a seamless software transition, our team can help. For more information on creating a mobile and cloud-optimized tech stack for your business, contact us today.