Maximize the upside during your upgrade
As the world and your organization both continue to change, your solutions must evolve to meet new challenges and needs. That’s why regular software upgrades are critical to realizing the return on your technology investment.
The latest version of your solution will give you access to new features and functionality, a better user experience, increased security, and — oftentimes — new tools and enhancements requested by users like you.
To ensure your organization gets the most out of its next upgrade and avoids potential pitfalls, keep in mind these seven things:
- Communicate, communicate, communicate: A smooth upgrade begins when everyone is on the same page. Both business and technical stakeholders can provide valuable insight, guidance and assistance regarding the upgrade process.
- Get a lay of the land: Good up-front communication with stakeholders and end users should help you better understand the scope of your project. You’ll know who will be involved in the upgrade, what your hardware and network requirements are and what your overall needs will be. Different solutions and vendors have different upgrade paths and deployment times. It is crucial to understand what those look like for each project. Some vendors provide largely automated upgrades that may only take minutes, while other upgrades are quite hands-on and could take days or weeks.
This is also a good time to take a look at your current deployment options. Is moving to the cloud the right option? Or does your infrastructure have what it takes to survive a business continuity crisis?
- Choose your upgrade path: There are two ways to upgrade your solution: the traditional method or the incremental parallel upgrade. The traditional method, because it is an all-at-once approach, is faster but carries more risk. If the solution is up and running afterward, you’re up and running. If there’s an issue, it could create downtime until the issue is resolved.
The incremental parallel upgrade is slower, but it provides less risk and greater flexibility. You replace the solution in a phased approach and reduce the number of potential issues and their scope. It also allows for both incremental end-user training and step-by-step switching from the old release to new.
- Know your slow time: Regardless of which upgrade option you choose, schedule your upgrade during your organization’s slow time. Decrease your risk by upgrading during a time when your organization is least reliant upon the software you are upgrading.
- Don’t forget third-party integrations: If your solution integrates with third-party software, make sure to find out whether there are plans to upgrade those platforms to newer versions as well. If so, make sure your upgraded solution is compatible with those newer third-party versions.
- Test, test and test again: Having a test system as part of your upgrade strategy provides you with several benefits, including the ability to test your upgrade process. It also gives you a place to make modifications to scripts without affecting production.
- Lean on your support structure: Take some time to understand how your software vendor will help you through the upgrade. From step-by-step documentation to expert advice, your vendor should be at your side during any upgrade process.
Are you beginning to plan your next upgrade? Schedule a consultation with the Hyland Global Services team to ensure everything goes smoothly.