COVID-19 forced organizations to move fast, transforming, and digitizing their processes to survive and stabilize. Cloud services have seen a dramatic uptick in demand as businesses everywhere rushed to move off-premises and into the cloud.
The cloud and business transformation have become a must-have for every business – not just for short term survival but for long-term evolution. In order to support this, it’s vital that the move to the cloud is planned and carried out as effectively as possible, taking everything you need with you.
In this article, we’ll explore this new imperative to implement cloud services that many businesses are facing, as well as the toll these large-scale change projects have taken on IT professionals around the world. We’ll also look at some of the considerations they’ll need to make before they can harness the full value of cloud processes via a cloud-based workflow platform.
Let’s start with a little look back on the story so far.
It’s been a tough climb
IT teams have been working flat out in the mass exodus to the cloud undertaken by organizations around the world. Our unprecedented situation has meant a new imperative to implement cloud services and solutions to support remote working, setting up:
- Virtual machines
And getting up into the cloud is only the beginning. Once you’re there, these complex systems don’t take care of themselves. They need to be monitored and managed to ensure they continue delivering everything you need, all the time.
All this has meant a lot of work for technology professionals. Professional networks Dice and Blind have investigated the impact on workers, and the results have been eye-opening. A new survey from Dice found that around 12% of those surveyed felt their workload had doubled as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 73% of respondents to Blind’s tech industry survey said they were feeling burned out.
For users, who see the results but not the work that goes into achieving them, their IT folks are like the swan: gliding serenely above the water but paddling away frantically under the surface. And many IT teams can’t slow down and catch their breath yet.
Beyond COVID-19, another spur for change is that a major part of many organizations’ IT infrastructure is rapidly being phased out on-premises in favor of its cloud incarnation. That’s the system they use for their workflows: SharePoint 2010.
Leaving SharePoint 2010 behind
Microsoft has announced that it will be retiring SharePoint 2010 workflows in Microsoft 365 over the course of 2020.
The reason, ostensibly, is to ensure Microsoft’s customers are using a modern workflow solution that’s fit for purpose today. By moving to SharePoint Online, businesses can unlock the possibilities and value of cloud processes. But it’s a daunting change for many.
Here’s the timeline for the phase-out:
- August 1, 2020: workflows retired for all new tenants.
- November 1, 2020: workflows retired for existing tenants.
The clock’s ticking. November’s not far away, so if your organization hasn’t already started planning your migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online, or undertaken it already, it’s time to start.
However, many organizations have fallen victim to workflow sprawl: workflows growing like weeds, out of control, and out of visibility of administrators. Although they exist under the radar, many of these workflows are vital to those who use them regularly to do their jobs and must be migrated from on-prem to the cloud. But if admins don’t know about them, they may end up being left behind. And if the migration process isn’t handled correctly, it can be tricky, laborious, and stressful for already beleaguered IT personnel.
So, how do you get a full sense of all the workflows in your organization and their value?
A bird’s eye view of your workflows
So that nothing is missed out in the migration, organizations need to be able to perform a full on-premises workflow audit. Fortunately, Nintex Workflow for SharePoint includes an inventory tool that will list each workflow in the site collection, as well as details such as their workflow types. This list can be exported to provide a process register that you can work within your audit.
Using process intelligence from Nintex Analytics, you can also obtain a detailed inventory of all your on-premises SharePoint workflows. Administrators can find out information such as when a workflow was last run, how often it’s used, who it was published by, and more. Armed with this data, you can then approach the migration methodically, with a plan for effective execution and safe in the knowledge that no vital workflows are neglected.
Deciding what to migrate and how
When you’ve evaluated what to take with you and whatnot, there’s more to consider. SharePoint Online workflows use a different infrastructure from their on-premises counterpart. That means that some of your existing SharePoint 2010 workflows may need more work before you can get them up and running in the cloud.
These tricky workflows may have one or more of the following attributes, and may:
- Involve queries against large sets of SharePoint items
- Update the metadata on high numbers of SharePoint items
- Have many thousands of instances running at the same site
Some may need to be refactored or converted into another technology such as SQL or a cloud workflow tool such as Nintex Workflow Cloud. That needs to be decided case-by-case and dealt with. And, once again, November isn’t far off – no organization wants to find themselves working their way through a pile of on-premises workflows when the clock strikes midnight on 31st October.
We can support you through the change
As SharePoint experts, we’re here to assist organizations who would like third-party support in their move to SharePoint Online. If you’d like to learn more about migrating SharePoint 2010 workflows and how Nintex can help, visit our page on this topic.
You can schedule a personalized consultation where we can figure out your needs and your best path together. Or you can find further information on Nintex Workflow Cloud, Nintex for Office 365, and more. And if you’d like to try Nintex for yourself, you can always request a free demo.
Helping you realize the value of cloud processes
At Nintex, we want to enable you to truly make the most of cloud-based process management and automation, make life easier for admins and users, and ensure you’re realizing all the value of cloud processes. We hope this article has been useful.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you adopt cloud-based workflows and use them to the full benefit of your business, just get in touch.