April 13, 2024

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 rather a lot to contemplate as they resolve how one can 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 probably the most sense. Nonetheless, no matter which suite corporations change to, migrating to a brand new answer requires cautious planning and consideration. To tell their resolution, IT leaders ought to determine the alternatives and challenges forward and perceive the very best practices to observe for profitable migrations.

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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 an alternative of being caught with the options accessible from the one-time funding. IT groups that change to a cloud-based possibility received’t must 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 probably the most up-to-date instruments at their fingertips, corporations will profit from enhanced safety protocols. With Microsoft 365, corporations can make the most of the newest options Microsoft provides. As IT leaders know, safety is complicated and doubtlessly costly from a price and administration standpoint. With the ability to leverage Microsoft’s appreciable sources and experience—quite than managing safety internally—is a big 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 typically drive corporations to make an unplanned transfer as an alternative of a proactive change—which may imply the migration course of is lower than best. Enterprises can even have to expend finances to entry Microsoft 365 or one other enterprise productiveness software program. They’ll additionally must steadiness the price of coaching staff on the brand new system and diminished productiveness as staff alter to the brand new platform.

Regardless of the disruption that comes with transitioning to a brand new productiveness suite, the dangers of continuous to make use of Workplace 2013 past its finish of assist are far higher. Utilizing a product that’s not being up to date or supported might look like a great way to keep away from added expense and headache, however it will probably truly trigger greater issues down the road. Going with out software program updates and assist means bugs received’t get mounted, which suggests potential publicity to safety points. If one thing doesn’t work correctly in Workplace 2013 after assist ends, Microsoft received’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 way in which individuals work may trigger extra resistance and end in frustration, points finishing duties and diminished adoption charges. Figuring out 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 cost method may have an effect on firm money stream and finances, so the enterprise might have to flag this for his or her accounting division.

One other essential consideration earlier than starting a migration is how different inner methods will probably be impacted by the transition. Think about if and the way essential plug-ins and important instruments will work with the brand new answer. For instance, corporations that leverage a software like Salesforce will wish to know the way the mixing will probably be impacted by a brand new software.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the worth of preparation and coaching. Taking the time to arrange for the migration and develop a sensible coaching method 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 handle them prematurely. If wanted, IT groups can put alternate instruments in place that may both change particular functionalities or function an alternate answer.

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

Plan forward

Planning is vital to seamlessly migrate from one ecosystem to a different, since no two ecosystems are utterly similar. Prematurely 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 probably be helpful for creating coaching packages and lifelike, complete migration timelines. It additionally provides IT leaders time to resolve any compatibility points that might come up between the brand new software and current integrations the corporate depends on.

By creating a plan, IT workers can gauge how a lot information must be moved, the place it must be moved and what timeframe it must be moved in. “In the end, corporations can depend on the the channel to assist finish customers throughout this course of—serving to them to extra precisely plan their information 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 day by 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 inner customers to see what hiccups emerge and alter accordingly. IT leads can conduct pilots with totally different teams inside the group—similar to HR, accounting, gross sales, and many others.—and compile findings to uncover widespread ache factors. Outcomes needs to be shared extensively, in order that individuals are conscious of challenges they might encounter and really feel like they’re a part of the method of selecting the brand new answer.

Predict surprises

If the pilot section reveals that almost all of the corporate shouldn’t be proud of the brand new suite, IT leaders can take into account an alternate possibility. As an illustration, some corporations might uncover that shifting to a browser-based answer merely doesn’t work for the group and impedes staff from being productive. Choosing the proper answer from the get-go prevents potential roadblocks and can save corporations cash in the long term.

Procure the suitable instruments

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

Put together staff

Accessible, company-wide coaching is without doubt one of the most essential components of a migration. As soon as the corporate has migrated to the brand new answer, IT groups ought to supply trainings to staff who aren’t conversant in it. It will 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 software. Coaching must also embrace sources and ongoing assist that staff 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 supply extra safety and simpler cross-team collaboration, along with giving enterprises entry to the latest-and-greatest model of the platform. Getting ready prematurely and following finest practices will shield corporations from widespread challenges that might hinder the success of their migration.

By Frank Suglia, VP of technical providers at BitTitan