“If you go Online you’ll never pay me for a migration again.” I’ve said this to a number of clients lately and I’m sure I’ll say it to many more over the next couple of years. I always say it with a smile and, at first, the client thinks I’m kidding. I’m not.
It is an odd thing to hear from a consultant. “Do this and you won’t need my services again.” I don’t say this to be magnanimous. It’s not to be provocative or shocking. It’s true. To me, it makes sense to be honest about this. With the introduction of Project Online, we will not be doing nearly as many migrations as we have in the past. Our role will change with our clients and we’re okay with this. Our value is far greater than our skills performing migrations.
For those whom we’ve migrated from 2003 to 2007 and/or 2007 to 2010, the next move presents an interesting opportunity. Move to cloud and never go through a full migration again or stay on premise with 2013 for now and face at least one more migration. There is a legitimate business case and ROI in the decision to go Online now versus later. Even if the migration from 2013 on premise to 2013 Online isn’t a full redo and isn’t as expensive as the original move to 2013 it is still an expense that can be avoided. The migration expense to cloud likely increases the longer the time between the move to 2013 and the move to Online because new features may be introduced that require more effort to handle in the migration.
If it’s inevitable then do it. That’s my argument. If the organization is going to Office 365 anyway, move to Project Online. In fact, I have argued with a number of clients in this situation that the PMO should be an early adopter of Office 365. I am working on a more in-depth blog on this argument now. Quite simply, if the organization has determined that cloud and Office 365 are the way forward then it does not make financial sense to move to 2013 on premise and then be “forced” to move to Office 365 once the organization moves. I realize “forced” is a strong word but it would be quite illogical to maintain a Project Server environment internally with E-mail, Lync, Office and SharePoint all moved to the cloud. That would truly be a house divided.
The momentum towards Office 365 is unmistakable and the reasons are sound. This is where most organizations are going and many are already there. We believe that Project Online is the logical move for every organization who is adopting a move to the cloud and needs a project management solution or needs to update their current solution. As stated in a previous blog, we are “all in on the cloud”.
The move to Project Online is not significantly more work than a migration to Project Server 2013. Our advice is to take it to Online and focus future investments on incremental improvements, productivity apps and skills development. Leave the migration expenses as a thing of the past along with the internal support costs and hardware investments.