CloudTweaks | Migrating Microsoft Workplace 2013

As of April 11, 2023, Microsoft will cease supporting Workplace 2013. The choice to finish assist for Workplace 2013 ought to come as no shock. Over the previous a number of years, Microsoft has been slowly ending support for its one-time buy merchandise to encourage adoption of subscription-based options. With all that’s altering, IT groups have loads to contemplate as they resolve find out how to proceed.

For a lot of organizations, transitioning to Microsoft 365—the cloud-based productiveness suite that can really feel most acquainted to Workplace 2013 customers—makes essentially the most sense. Nevertheless, no matter which suite firms change to, migrating to a brand new answer requires cautious planning and consideration. To tell their choice, IT leaders ought to determine the alternatives and challenges forward and perceive the perfect practices to comply with for profitable migrations.

Cloud Tweaks Flight Comic 768x713

Advantages of switching to a contemporary productiveness

Although end-of-life transitions will be disruptive for companies and finish customers, the shift will profit some enterprises. Since instruments like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are cloud-based, customers get all of the bells and whistles from the newest model of the software program as a substitute of being caught with the options accessible from the one-time funding. IT groups that change to a cloud-based choice gained’t should pay for periodic upgrades of bodily software program or miss out on the latest-and-greatest options since they’ll get the latest model robotically with their subscription.

Past having essentially the most up-to-date instruments at their fingertips, firms will profit from enhanced safety protocols. With Microsoft 365, firms can benefit from the newest options Microsoft affords. As IT leaders know, safety is complicated and doubtlessly costly from a price and administration standpoint. With the ability to leverage Microsoft’s appreciable assets and experience—quite than managing safety internally—is a major benefit.

Challenges of transitioning from Workplace 2013

Switching to an entire new productiveness suite isn’t with out its potential issues. Software program end-of-life deadlines usually drive firms to make an unplanned transfer as a substitute of a proactive change—which may imply the migration course of is lower than superb. Enterprises can even must expend price range to entry Microsoft 365 or one other enterprise productiveness software program. They’ll additionally should stability the price of coaching workers on the brand new system and decreased productiveness as staff regulate to the brand new platform.

Regardless of the disruption that comes with transitioning to a brand new productiveness suite, the dangers of constant to make use of Workplace 2013 past its finish of assist are far larger. Utilizing a product that’s now not being up to date or supported might look like a great way to keep away from added expense and headache, however it might probably truly trigger larger issues down the road. Going with out software program updates and assist means bugs gained’t get mounted, which suggests potential publicity to safety points. If one thing doesn’t work correctly in Workplace 2013 after assist ends, Microsoft gained’t be capable to assist.

Given the benefits of Microsoft 365 and different cloud-based choices, migrating to a brand new productiveness suite is a brilliant long-term funding. However migrations aren’t at all times simple or easy. Implementing a change that requires a giant adjustment in the best way individuals work may trigger extra resistance and end in frustration, points finishing duties and decreased adoption charges. Realizing what to anticipate forward of time can assist counter these points.

What to anticipate earlier than migrating

First, perceive that shifting from Workplace 2013 to Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace means a shift from a software program buy mannequin to a subscription-based mannequin. A shift in fee strategy may have an effect on firm money move and price range, so the enterprise might must flag this for his or her accounting division.

One other necessary consideration earlier than starting a migration is how different inside programs will likely be impacted by the transition. Take into account if and the way essential plug-ins and important instruments will work with the brand new answer. For instance, firms that leverage a instrument like Salesforce will wish to know the way the mixing will likely be impacted by a brand new instrument.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the worth of preparation and coaching. Taking the time to organize for the migration and develop a practical coaching strategy is crucial to success. Earlier than getting began, IT leaders ought to search for locations the answer may have issues in the course of the improve, to allow them to tackle them upfront. If wanted, IT groups can put alternate instruments in place that might both substitute particular functionalities or function an alternate answer.

As soon as the brand new productiveness suite has been chosen, IT employees can use the next steerage to make sure the migration course of is easy.

Plan forward

Planning is important to seamlessly migrate from one ecosystem to a different, since no two ecosystems are fully equivalent. Upfront of the migration, IT professionals ought to acquire a agency understanding of the variations between Workplace 2013 and the brand new answer. This information will likely be helpful for growing coaching applications and real looking, complete migration timelines. It additionally provides IT leaders time to unravel any compatibility points that would come up between the brand new instrument and current integrations the corporate depends on.

By growing a plan, IT employees can gauge how a lot knowledge must be moved, the place it must be moved and what timeframe it must be moved in. “In the end, firms can depend on the the channel to assist finish customers throughout this course of—serving to them to extra precisely plan their knowledge migration, so no issues come up,” stated Lon Clark, international channel gross sales director at BitTitan. “With correct planning and procedures in place, finish customers can mitigate dangers and setbacks that may happen with migrations, serving to to make sure every day operations don’t get disrupted and permit them the chance to plan for the change forward.

Pilot with totally different teams

Planning forward additionally permits time to pilot the brand new software program with inside customers to see what hiccups emerge and regulate accordingly. IT leads can conduct pilots with totally different teams throughout the group—comparable to HR, accounting, gross sales, and many others.—and compile findings to uncover frequent ache factors. Outcomes must be shared broadly, in order that individuals are conscious of challenges they could encounter and really feel like they’re a part of the method of selecting the brand new answer.

Predict surprises

If the pilot part reveals that almost all of the corporate shouldn’t be pleased with the brand new suite, IT leaders can contemplate an alternate choice. As an example, some firms might uncover that shifting to a browser-based answer merely doesn’t work for the group and impedes workers from being productive. Selecting the best answer from the get-go prevents potential roadblocks and can save firms cash in the long term.

Procure the best instruments

Migration instruments can function lifelines to make sure the transition is profitable and minimally disruptive for finish customers. The good thing about utilizing a migration answer is that IT groups gained’t must expend further time and power studying find out how to carry out the migration. Migration options are additionally designed by specialists, leaving much less room for error within the course of.

Put together workers

Accessible, company-wide coaching is among the most necessary parts of a migration. As soon as the corporate has migrated to the brand new answer, IT groups ought to provide trainings to workers who aren’t conversant in it. This may guarantee everyone seems to be on the identical web page and conscious of what’s altering. It additionally creates a deeper understanding of what it means to modify platforms and the way workflows might change with the brand new instrument. Coaching must also embody assets and ongoing assist that workers can use as wanted in the course of the transition.

Laying the groundwork now

With assist for Workplace 2013 ending in only a couple months, IT groups can start laying the groundwork to transition to a different productiveness suite. Cloud-based choices provide extra safety and simpler cross-team collaboration, along with giving enterprises entry to the latest-and-greatest model of the platform. Getting ready upfront and following finest practices will defend firms from frequent challenges that would hinder the success of their migration.

By Frank Suglia, VP of technical companies at BitTitan