If you listen to nearly anyone who has gone through a major upgrade, you might agree that there should be a new psychiatric condition called “Upgradaphobia.” The fear of upgrades. That’s understandable, since many upgrades go so wrong. They go over budget, last weeks or months longer than planned, interrupt business, and generally aggravate everyone. You hope that it has been worth it, but often when you finally reach the end, you’re less than thrilled with the result.
Upgrades should be part of your strategic plan
Nevertheless, it is important to keep up with where a particular product you’re using for your business is going. The only thing worse than a bad upgrade is trying to upgrade when you’re years behind the latest version of the software. Aside from the pain of the upgrade itself, you’re also losing out on what new technology offers. This is especially true today, when technology is making leaps and bounds by the day.
So, how do you get past the fear and embrace upgrades as a critical part of your strategy…of your organization’s continued health?
It all comes down to doing your homework, asking questions, and understanding the process. In other words, be prepared. Here are 6 things you can do to prepare for an upgrade so it will go smoothly and you’ll be sure to get plenty of bang for your investment buck.
6 Ways to Prepare for an Upgrade
1. Make an assessment. First, determine if you’re ready for an upgrade. As a general rule, if you’re more than a couple of years behind the latest version, you need to look at what you’re missing. Chances are, you’re missing enough for it to hurt your productivity and competitive advantage. A qualified partner who is experienced in upgrading your software can help.
2. Decide what type of upgrade is best. This question might surprise you, but there are several different ways to go about getting you up to date, including straight upgrade, migration, and re-implementation. Your upgrade partner can help you make that determination.
3. Determine whether to go online or on-premises. This is the big question. The answer is, it depends on your needs and how you operate. HOWEVER, with today’s offerings, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, you’ll probably find that the advantages to going online are very compelling. You’ll also find that many of the perceived negatives about cloud solutions are just that—perceived. Again, talk to a qualified partner about your needs to determine which route best.
4. Understand your responsibilities. Yes, you and your team will play a big role in an upgrade. You should not expect (nor should you want to) your upgrade partner to do it all. Be prepared by understanding what is expected of you. Your partner should discuss this with you.
5. Choose the right partner. In each of the last four points, we concluded with, “ask your partner.” Being an experienced Microsoft Dynamics partner with years of upgrade experience, we cannot stress this enough. Your partner should be qualified to implement the software for sure. But having experience doing successful upgrades is absolutely imperative because they will be steering the ship throughout the process. Do your homework, and make sure you choose a partner that has a proven process/methodology and track record.
To learn more about preparing for an upgrade, download our free eBook,