The first step in preparing for a cloud migration is knowing exactly why you are migrating to the cloud. There are a lot of excellent reasons to move to the cloud — from achieving easy scalability and flexibility to simply wanting to focus on core business instead of bogging your team down with on-premise management. Knowing your reasons will help you prioritize and strategize your process.
What functionalities do you want to take with you throughout your transition, and what should be updated or adapted? Are there any opportunities to improve your strategies or practices? Having a clear idea on what you hope to achieve can help you prepare for the change, measure success, and pivot if necessary.
Every organization is a little bit different when it comes to their readiness and appetite for implementing new programs. In addition to knowing your why, it’s also important to assess your organization’s readiness for change before you start.
- Who will be interacting with the new platform, and what is their readiness level?
- How can you help manage the change process for employees, drive adoption, and ensure the experience is smooth for employees?
- How can you ensure that employees aren’t frustrated and ready to throw in the towel on day one because the call transfer functionality changed, or a button moved?
Those might seem like small changes, but it’s important to remember that change can be uncomfortable—especially if you’re changing how employees perform their day-to-day responsibilities. How can you lead your team through the change, so that they’re ready, even excited, about the new platform?
Knowing what you want your migration to accomplish, and how you will support your organization and employees through the change, will take you a long way in your preparation. Here are some tips to make the rest of the transition smoother.
Don’t settle for simply recreating your on-prem in the cloud
It can be tempting to try to replicate what you already have as-is in the cloud. But this would be a mistake: if you take exactly what you had before, and replicate it on a new platform, you’re missing the opportunity to innovate. A cloud migration provides an excellent opportunity to audit best practices and assess points where employee and customer experiences could be better, or where work could be more efficient. Don’t be afraid to question the status quo. Ask yourself -- Why do we do it this way? Do we have to do it this way? Is there a better way to do it? What would that look like? What would that feel like for our customers? And for our employees? This process will look different for businesses that have recently updated their processes and businesses that have not.
Do plan for your employee experience
When you’re leading your organization through a change, employee experience needs to be the first consideration. This is where a good change management system comes in. Think about what your training sessions are going to look like. Will you grant early access to anyone? Consider giving early access to the new system or testing it on a smaller group. Subject matter experts can be super users in the field, and can help you avoid relying on two or three trainers having to answer every question that comes up.
Don’t rush and don’t procrastinate
Cloud migration is a big change, but it doesn’t have to be all-at-once, or all-or-nothing. There are options to create a hybrid environment or think strategically about sequencing your migration in smaller chunks. You can start by moving the IT help desk first, or the HR support line. This can help you build functionality and test within your organization before you commit.
The sheer scale of a cloud migration can be intimidating, and unfortunately lead to procrastination. If you’re choosing the cloud to replace an existing platform, give yourself enough time to make the transition slowly. Don’t wait until the last minute, where your only option is to massively rush and replicate everything exactly as it is now.
Do your research
Cloud migration is a ‘measure twice, cut once’ scenario, and it’s important to do your research before you start so you don’t run into avoidable issues during the migration. Are you truly getting a cloud solution, or are you perhaps just getting an on-prem solution that's simply being hosted in a cloud platform?
Ask potential partners: What happens if XYZ service fails? How will the system react to that? What happens if I suddenly double my business, and I need to go from 1000 agents to 2000 agents, or 4000 to 8000? Walk me through that process. What is the lead time you need, and what information can you provide? You'll be able to tell a lot about what they offer and their value as a potential partner based on their responses.
It’s helpful to work with an experienced partner to navigate these challenges, one who has deep expertise with cloud contact center transitions and is available to answer your questions. Different cloud providers can give different levels of service—don’t assume that you have to settle for a cloud provider who points you back to a website FAQ section if you want a more involved and active partner.