Since the early 2000s, scalable and flexible cloud-based software technologies have been slowly replacing traditional systems and on-premise solutions at work. And with the rise of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their place in modern work systems has been transformed from being a luxury into a necessity. Are you thinking of moving your CRM system to the cloud? What important steps should you take first? In this article, we’ll discuss things you should plan before a CRM cloud migration.
CRM migration is the process of moving data, resources, and other important files from your CRM platform to the cloud. Because there is cost and time required in the moving process, especially if you have a huge business or are transferring a huge amount of data, there are lots of things to consider before migrating your CRM. Learn what they are and how you can make the transition smooth for everyone in the company.
What are the benefits of moving your CRM to the cloud? Aside from opening opportunities for various integrations with new technology systems, moving to the cloud also benefits your business in terms of performance, speed, and security.
A business that operates its CRM from the cloud is able to optimize data more efficiently. It also increases the speed at which you process data for analysis or integration. Most cloud-based software are also built with multilayered security protections. This makes detecting threats easier and gives your data better protection from hackers.
There are a lot of benefits to moving your CRM to the cloud. These include flexibility, scalability, and ease of access. However, migrating your company’s CRM platform to the cloud can be overwhelming. Especially if done without a migration plan. But with the right planning and proper execution, the whole migration process can be fast and easy. So, without further ado, here are things to remember before a CRM migration to the cloud:
CRM migration is a critical workflow change that affects everybody in the office. So, don’t start a migration without first informing everyone on your team. This will ensure that your team can prepare well for the new changes. They can also be informed if there is data that will be lost or glitches that will happen during or after the migration is done. Don’t forget to discuss the reason for the migration, the benefits, the drawbacks, and your staff’s new responsibilities once the migration is finished.
Cloud migration is usually done by your company’s own internal IT teams or by hiring trained professionals or consultant companies. Whichever you choose, make sure that everyone is on board with the process.
Defining your migration goals is a critical step to ensuring that the whole migration process becomes a success. You must be able to visualize the gains your business can achieve by migrating to the cloud and be able to measure and document it after the process.
Is it to improve business performance? To increase speed in your operations? To boost security? Defining your goals helps you set an appropriate metric for the success of your cloud migration strategy.
This step includes identifying the exact use of the new CRM in your operations. You should also create a complete inventory of your existing infrastructure, including software, servers, and database. It helps you and your team to understand what data to move. You can choose to skip outdated parameters from your old existing CRM and only include the necessary fields in your cloud CRM. When reviewing the source, try to visualize all the data assets that you have to move to the cloud or target CRM.
Migrating is a huge cost of time and effort so make sure you have the funds to commit to it. When creating a migration plan, list all the expenditures you have to face. These include the cost of processing power, data storage, migrating tools, testing, and so on.
Now that you know what you need, decide on the kind of cloud model you want your business to adopt. There are many different kinds of cloud models you can choose from. Here are some examples: hybrid cloud, private, cloud, or multi-cloud.
While public cloud services are often served by a provider to several consumers, a private cloud usually only has one infrastructure owned by the cloud provider (it’s often a company-exclusive cloud service). Hybrid clouds, on the other hand, combine both environments together. To determine which is the most suitable for your business, try to assess your current and future needs.
Every business has its own technology infrastructure, so what works for another might not work for you. Depending on the type of business you have, there are certain cloud migration strategies that will work best for you. Here are some of the common migration strategy samples: rehosting, replatforming, refactoring, or repurchasing.
In rehosting, you’re simply moving your codebase to a new cloud environment. Replatforming involves partial rewriting of the codebase, refactoring is a complete rewrite, and repurchasing is the most costly because it needs to replace the legacy app itself.
Migration can be a lengthy process that many businesses often dread. They usually schedule days of downtime just for the process. The best way to make downtime less disruptive is to choose a date with the least amount of business or CRM activity. For example, during the weekends or on a date when work is usually minimal (it will vary based on business and industry).
Don’t underestimate how beneficial data backup is. Especially when you’re migrating business data from one CRM to another. Correct data backup will give you the peace of mind knowing that all your data is saved in case of any failure during the migration process. So, before starting your migration, create a backup plan with your team. Depending on how huge your data and operations are, data backup will take from five minutes to several hours. Many good CRM today like Zoho and Pipeliner have amazing integration capabilities that can help you do backups easily without losing data.
Spend a good amount of time comparing both your old and new CRM structure. This will ensure that you’re choosing a platform that’s well-suited to your business. When you compare, you’ll also find important benefits of the new CRM that you might not have noticed before. The best CRM systems for business are usually cloud-based and hosted on provider’s servers.
Once you’ve done all the preparations above, perform a partial import just to see possible errors. You can also do several trial runs to test the platform on different data clusters. Doing tests will allow you to change settings or any other tweaks needed before moving all data to the new CRM. Depending on how complex your cloud configuration is or your ecommerce business, you’ll need to perform several steps to make sure everything goes completely smooth during the final process.
Now that you’ve done all the preparations, it’s time to move your CRM to the cloud. Following the tips above should help you minimize downtime and other complex issues that may affect your migration. Remember, if done correctly, your cloud CRM migration will not only enhance your business relationships but also boost sales and organizational growth.
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