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4 min read

Six steps to a successful Atlassian Cloud migration

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Making the journey from Atlassian Server or Data Center to Atlassian Cloud is a big decision that involves many moving parts. This is especially true for large enterprise organisations where migrations tend to be highly complex, involve considerable risk, and need a significant resource investment. Teams may find themselves scrambling to understand where to start, what they’ll need, and how the move will impact their business operations. 

That’s why working with an experienced migration partner is strongly recommended, to help you prepare for and carry out a successful migration, and make the entire transition as seamless as possible. 

In our role as a leading Atlassian Solution Partner, Adaptavist has worked side by side with customers around the world to collaboratively plan and execute migrations to Atlassian Cloud. Over the years, we’ve enabled many large organisations, with complex and unique needs to successfully make it to the other side. Along the way, we’ve stumbled across a host of blockers, considerations and learnings that have shaped the way we support our customers with the move.

In this blog post, we provide a high-level overview of our recommended approach to enterprise migrations.

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Our 6-step approach for a successful migration to Atlassian Cloud

No two migration projects are alike. But, generally speaking, the following approach will serve any enterprise well in their efforts to make the migration as smooth as possible, while still adapting to their specific business needs.

1. Discovery

The purpose of this initial discovery phase is to understand your current state – scanning and assessing existing processes, tools, and infrastructure to clearly define your specific requirements and the scope of the migration (including users, projects, data, phases, etc.)

At the end of this phase, you’ll gain an understanding of various aspects, including (but not limited to): 

  • How long the entire migration process will take
  • The key stakeholders that need to be involved and a communication plan to efficiently manage them
  • Size of your data and number of users, records, pages, issues, attachments, etc.
  • All business-critical apps and third-party integrations or customisations and whether they’ll be required in the new environment
  • The key differences between Atlassian Cloud and self-managed – or outsourced managed – deployments in terms of features, maintenance, costs, etc.
  • Current security and data residency parameters and how they will be impacted post-migration

2. Design and planning

Design and planning leverages the deliverables gathered in the assessment phase to create a migration plan. As part of this phase, any potential problem areas and gaps in the organisation’s cloud readiness that were uncovered in the assessment phase will be addressed – including instance/data cleanup and other complexity-reducing tasks. 

For instance, evaluating potential functionality and compatibility of all business-critical apps in the cloud and identifying migration pathways. Some legacy Atlassian apps may not be available with Atlassian Cloud, so you’ll need to check whether valid workarounds, alternatives, etc. exist.

Similarly, some custom integrations may not function properly in the new environment or may need to be configured differently to replicate functionality in the cloud.

3. Implementation

This is where you’ll put together a migration runbook that outlines every step of the migration plan, along with associated instructions, a list of the owners for each task, timelines, dependencies, and a mitigation plan.

The runbook will be used to run rigorous tests and iterate any changes as needed. The idea is to ensure everything is in order, get a sense of how long the migration will take, and uncover any issues/possible bugs and the steps needed to resolve them before the actual migration. 

4. Review

The right people in the organisation must always be kept in the loop about how their work will be impacted at every stage. That’s why it’s vital to come up with a clear User Acceptance Testing (UAT) plan, following internal tests. 

UAT enables your end users to recreate everyday tasks and validate any changes made. For instance, if we opted for an alternative app to address a specific business need, the impacted teams must be able to make sure that it’s working as expected.

It’s best to make sure every major user type, across departments, is represented in UAT and their perspectives heard. We ask users to take note of any pain points – especially with respect to anything that will change post-migration – and set up a feedback loop to collect feedback and iterate changes as needed.

UAT will help uncover issues that you wouldn’t have been able to spot otherwise and address them in a timely fashion before the actual migration. Additionally, all user types can gain a hands-on understanding of the new platform and share their feedback.

5. Knowledge transfer

With migration timelines and owners sorted, now is the time to communicate the official plan to stakeholders.

A well-planned training and user enablement schedule must be set up to ensure everyone is prepared for what’s coming. It’s also vital that the right onboarding materials are provided so users can seamlessly transition to the new environment. They need to be prepared for all the major changes such as how they will sign in, new site URLs, changes to apps, and differences in user interface.

6. Post-migration support

Once the agreed migration procedure is successfully executed using full production data, post-migration support ensures any issues that may arise as a result of migration are thoroughly investigated and resolved. The overall goal of post-migration support is to bolster your existing resource capacity, enable smoother user transition, and empower your organisation to use the new platform to its full potential.

Any organisation planning a migration to Atlassian Cloud is bound to face challenges, which can be especially daunting for large enterprise organisations. To minimise risk, ensure proper preparation, optimise deployment, and consider employing an experienced Atlassian Solution Partner like Adaptavist to take the reins and guide you through the process.

Contact Adaptavist today to learn more about how our team of experts can accompany you on your journey to Atlassian Cloud.

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