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How to Execute a Smooth Legacy System Migration

As a business and its processes evolve, so must its technology, enter: legacy system conversions. In today’s world, technology universally impacts a business’ operational efficiencies. The right technology solves business problems, improves processes and ultimately improves the bottom line. As discussed in our previous blog post, COVID-19 has forced businesses to face digital transformations head-on. Whereas digital transformation has been a daunting subject company-wide in the past, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated the value of using modern technology to revamp current processes. So how do we kickstart a digital transformation?

The Business Case a Legacy System Migration:

  • Future-Ready Business: Technology continues to advance at the speed of light. (See Moore’s Law). A modern solution will allow your business to grow and advance along with technology.
  • Optimized Performance: Removing manual tasks allows your employees to focus on the mission critical. Furthermore, Legacy IT is more prone to crashes and downtime.
  • Competitive Advantage: Service your customers faster and with a more user-friendly experience.

Identify the Project Champion from the Start:

In order to have a successful User Acceptance Testing period, identify a project champion in each department, making sure to include end-users. A project champion will provide a mutually beneficial relationship to communicate the benefits of the technology from IT to various departments, as well as the requirements from internal stakeholders to IT. Understanding the needs and day-to-day of end-users will help to develop a software around those needs and ensure end-user adoption when executing a legacy system migration. 

Budget for Success:

When working with older technologies, there are bound to be challenges that come with working with outdated code, resulting in scope creep. Worst case scenario, scope creep can result in project failure, so it is important to plan for it and have a mitigation strategy in place. Budgeting for scope creep gives you a plan of action, allowing you to prioritize requests without adding new costs. Learn more about Susco’s method for strategic scope budgeting.

Transparency is Key:

A successful project begins with a clearly defined client agreement, but requires regular communication from start to finish. Collaborate with clients to show work in progress, iterate, and proactively involve them throughout the journey.  Learn more about Susco’s established communication protocol and client portal.

Streamline the rollout:

Prepare for resistance to change- this is where your project champions come in! Create a clear timeline for your rollout. Implement one process at a time, one division at a time, so as not to overwhelm the end-users.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Modernizing a legacy system is a massive undertaking, and should be expected to be met with resistance, even if the benefits are clear. Take into consideration the specifics of the project- industry trends, day-to-day operations, relationships, and involve internal stakeholders throughout the project to create a custom solution that simply, makes lives easier. 

Start defining the scope of your project:

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