Organizations making the journey from Atlassian Server or Data Center to Atlassian Cloud are bound to encounter obstacles, and for large enterprise organizations, those obstacles can be especially daunting. The good news is, with careful planning, some lead time, and the help of an experienced partner, these obstacles can be addressed.
In this post, we’ll cover four areas where enterprise organizations often face challenges in migrating to Cloud, as well as things to consider when working through them.
1. Solving the User Management Puzzle
For enterprise organizations, user management is an important piece of the migration puzzle, and Atlassian’s answer to it is Access. That said, some organizations have reservations about Access since it impacts how user management is handled across the board, not just for Atlassian users. If that’s the case for your organization, it’s helpful to approach this both strategically as well as tactically. It’s an opportunity to bring together everyone across the organization and manage user access in a consist way, with the added benefit of enterprise-level security. Afterall, security is only as strong as the weakest link.
Following are a couple of other user management obstacles we often come across, and some things to think about and plan for:
Multiple identity provider / user management systems in useIf your organization has multiple identity provider or user management systems in use, you’ll need to reconcile this. It’s not impossible to do so, but it does introduce a level of complexity that may take some effort to resolve. This is an area where we encourage relying on an Atlassian partner like Isos Technology who has encountered this challenge before and knows what it takes to sort it out. In addition, Atlassian Access has its own support team to help sort through complex user system obstacles.
Claiming your domainThe actual process of claiming your domain is pretty straightforward, but finding the right person or persons within your organization who have root domain access? Not so much. Our advice? Know that this may take some research and outreach and plan accordingly.
2. Meeting Security and Compliance Parameters
When it comes to security and compliance, every enterprise organization has a different set of parameters that must be met, and there are no shortcuts—every “i” must be dotted and every “t” must be crossed. Similarly, every new application vendor must be thoroughly vetted to make sure their practices clear all the appropriate hurdles. Fortunately, Atlassian is very transparent about their security and compliance practices, and the best place to get this information is from their Trust Center. Do be aware, however, that Cloud Marketplace apps built by third-party vendors will all need to be individually evaluated, as well.
Following are a few other security and compliance obstacles we’ve encountered, as well as some things to consider in overcoming them:
Security questionnairesEnterprise security organizations often require that a security questionnaire be filled out so that a new vendor can be evaluated. This process can be extremely labor intensive, so timing is key. Know that they can’t be done overnight, plan in advance, and allow ample turnaround time.
Security requirement discrepanciesAtlassian offers enterprise-level security features, and as we’ve already pointed out, they make it publicly available on their Trust center site. But what if the there’s a discrepancy between your organization’s requirements and Atlassian’s current security features? Be aware that by bringing the right people together, these issues can and have been worked through. And even if the feature isn’t available now, it may be on the roadmap: by laying the groundwork for migration now, you’ll be ready to go when that feature becomes available.
Compliance requirement discrepanciesWhen it comes to compliance requirements, there isn’t much room to give. One thing we’ve come across, though, is that there may be some misconceptions about what tool compliance requirements apply to. For example, if your organization must be HIPAA compliant, and you’re looking to implement Jira, Jira doesn’t actually contain patient data, so it may not need to be HIPAA compliant. Again, this is something that you should plan to work through with your Atlassian partner. Oh, and that roadmap I mentioned earlier? Compliance features are also included there, as well.
3. Managing Marketplace Apps and Customizations
When it comes to obstacles, we could write a whole white paper about apps. In fact, we did just that, and you can read it here. But for the purposes of this post, we’ll take a more high-level approach. First things first: large enterprise organizations often use a large number of apps. In our experience at Isos Technology, it’s best to consolidate these and bring over only those that are really critical, like those that house important data.
Next, we’ll cover a few other app-related obstacles to plan for and work through.
Feature parity concernsCloud apps are inherently differently than their Server and Service Desk counterparts, so they don’t always function the same way. You’ll want to work closely with your Atlassian partner to really dive into each app and understand how you’re going to use it in Cloud. You may find that the functionality, though different, is sufficient. If not, there are many other ways—and apps—to meet your business need.
On-premise instance API customizationsIf your organization has made API customizations to an on-premise instance, and you need to bring these over to Cloud, it is possible to do so since the API is available in Cloud. That said, you’ll need to do some reworking, and it is a time-consuming process. Rather than leaning on your internal team that would like need to develop the skills to do this, our recommendation is to lean on your Atlassian partner who will have experience in this.
App migration pathOne of the reasons we recommend only bringing over critical apps is because migrating them—and their associated data—adds a lot of complexity to an already complex process. Atlassian’s migration tools do not currently bring over app data, so you’ll need to work with each individual app vendor to see how they can support the migration. Again, this is an opportunity to lean heavily on your Atlassian partner—and be aware that they may actually have their own, custom-built tools to support the process.
4. Determining a Migration Strategy
Most large enterprises have a long-term vision for their Atlassian tools, and getting there sometimes includes more than a single, all-at-once migration. These include phased migrations and consolidating instances, both of which are achievable—and sometimes recommended—but add to the overall complexity of the process.
So last, but not least, we’ll take a quick look at both of these options.
Consolidating instancesWhen it comes to consolidating instances, the first thing to ask yourself is why aren’t you consolidated today? What’s holding you back? And what functionality are you hoping to get? Answers to these questions need to be deeply explored—they will likely unearth some challenges that need to be worked through either on a parallel path with or outside the scope of the migration. Know that tackling this in tandem with the migration will certainly add complexity, but it can be done.
Phased migrationFor a large enterprise organization, a phased approach is often both necessary and recommended. Still, it does introduce complexity and risk that needs to be managed. Work with your Atlassian partner in advance to understand what being in a hybrid state, with some users on-premise and some in the Cloud, will look like and mean for your organizations.
Any organization migrating to Atlassian Cloud, there are bound to be challenges. When that organization is a large enterprise, those challenges only grow. But as we said up front, with careful planning and the right amount of lead time, they can be managed. Your best bet is to work with an experienced Atlassian partner like Isos Technology who can partner with you to think through overcome the obstacles that come with an enterprise migration.
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