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Software migration – the procedure in detail

  • Post category:IT Services
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Every company that wants to keep pace with the latest technical developments regularly updates and changes the software landscape it uses. A well-planned and executed software migration is the basis for an always up-to-date and powerful software landscape – with more security and access to advanced functions.


In this blog article, we will guide you step by step through the software migration process, from the initial inventory, planning and organization to implementation and continuous development. As professional IT experts, we give you valuable tips on how to overcome common challenges.

Modernization of the IT landscape thanks to software migration

What is software migration?

IT experts refer to software migration as the process of transferring a software application or an entire system from one environment or platform to another.


This can include updating software from older to newer versions, switching from one operating system to another or migrating from local servers to the cloud.


The process serves to benefit from improved functions and optimized IT security. Software migration is often a complex undertaking that requires careful planning, implementation and adaptation to the new systems to ensure maximum functionality and minimum disruption to business operations.

The ideal procedure for software migration

In order to master the challenge of software migration, a procedure has become established in the IT departments of leading companies. This process consists of seven phases:

  1. Taking stock of the software situation
  2. Analysis and decision: Software migration – yes or no?
  3. Creation of a requirements profile
  4. Planning and organization of the software migration
  5. Backup before software migration
  6. Implementation of the migration
  7. Establishment of change management

Analysis of the status quo as a basis for migration planning

The first step in a successful software migration is a comprehensive inventory of the current software and system landscape. This includes the analysis of all hardware elements, interfaces and the software implemented on the systems, including the respective dependencies.


Such an inventory not only provides information about the technical condition and compatibility of the systems, but also helps to identify potential problems that may arise during the migration. Precise knowledge of the current situation is essential in order to take a well-founded approach to software migration and develop a suitable migration plan.

Analyse und Entscheidung: Software-Migration - ja oder nein?

The second step in the software migration process is to analyze the previously conducted inventory. It leads to the decision as to whether migration is actually beneficial. Companies should only consider migration if there are clear benefits such as cost savings.


If there is no clear benefit, such as a reduction in operating costs or significant performance improvements, it may be advisable to stick with the existing solution and postpone the software migration to a later date. This may be when the next major update or an end-of-sale is announced.


The expiry of support for the current software version or unavoidable changes to the IT infrastructure may also require a software migration. Careful consideration of these factors helps companies to make an informed decision about whether to carry out a software migration.

Creation of a requirements profile for the software migration

Once a conscious decision has been made to carry out a software migration, the next step is to create a precise requirements profile. This should map both technical and business requirements in detail. Neglect in this phase can lead to costly corrections later on.


Companies should use this opportunity to identify potential savings on software licenses. Such a strategy could, for example, include switching from commercial operating systems to open source solutions. This approach not only reduces license costs, but also increases the flexibility of the software environment.


A thorough analysis of current and future needs and available software options is crucial to ensure a successful, complication-free and cost-effective migration.

Planning and organization phase for software migration

The planning phase makes the necessary preparations, such as tidying up the systems, and is therefore one of the most important stages of the entire project. When planning a software migration, choosing the right migration technology is crucial.


The choice of a suitable project methodology that emphasizes transparency and controllability is also of great importance here, as many IT projects repeatedly fail due to inadequate planning methods. A step-by-step and well-monitored methodology helps to identify and eliminate potential weaknesses at an early stage before they lead to major problems in the course of the project.


To ensure a low susceptibility to errors, companies should base their software migration procedures on standardized methods and processes that enable clear compliance with rules and simple verifiability of intermediate steps. This allows deadlines and budgets to be met more effectively.

Before software migration: Perform a comprehensive backup!

Performing a thorough backup is an essential step in the software migration process. Before the migration begins, it is essential to back up all relevant user data, from documents to emails. This safety measure serves as a safety net in the event that unforeseen problems occur during the migration.



A comprehensive data transfer concept ensures that the user data is still available and accessible after the migration.


In addition, thanks to data storage, a reliable data source can be accessed in an emergency to prevent data loss and minimize the risk of significant downtime. The importance of this step cannot be overestimated, as it forms the basis for a low-risk and secure software migration.

The hot phase: implementing the software migration

Once the careful planning and preparation has been completed, the decisive phase of the software migration begins – the implementation. In this phase, the migration is carried out in accordance with the detailed plan drawn up beforehand, with particular attention being paid to following the specified steps and timelines precisely.


The actual implementation is followed by a test phase in which all systems and services are checked for functionality. This step is important in order to identify and rectify potential problems at an early stage.



Thorough and methodical implementation is the key to ensuring the success of the software migration and guaranteeing a smooth transfer.

Continuous further development of the IT landscape with change management

Although the technical part of the migration ends after the successful launch of the new software, the process of continuous development is only just beginning. This step completes the software migration process and is crucial in order to reap the full benefits of the software migration.


As part of change management, the project managers create an environment that enables process-related updates. The aim is not only to use the newly implemented software and system solutions, but also to continuously improve them and adapt them to the changing needs of the company.


This approach ensures that software migration is not just a one-off update, but an ongoing process of improvement and adaptation that generates long-term, sustainable benefits for the company.


Expert tip: Rethinking the application landscape with software migration

A migration project is an ideal opportunity to rethink outdated business processes and streamline the application landscape. Many companies operate a range of applications that are being phased out, but still take up resources and budgets. By critically reviewing these applications, a more efficient and leaner software structure can often be achieved without having to sacrifice functions. Instead of continuing antiquated processes without reflection, they should be eliminated or adapted.


Software migration is a complex process that requires strategic planning, careful execution and continuous management. By following the steps outlined in this article, organizations can ensure that their software migration projects are carried out successfully and with minimal risk.


From the initial inventory to the establishment of effective change management, every step is crucial to fully exploit the benefits of the new software while maintaining business continuity.

A well thought-out software migration is not only a technical necessity, but also an opportunity for companies to optimize their processes and be prepared for future challenges.


In order to leave nothing to chance in the software migration process, you can rely on the support of IDERI as your IT service provider. Get in touch with our team of software migration experts to discuss your individual approach. We look forward to your inquiry.


Frequently asked questions about the software migration process

You can find our answers here

In a software migration, the process typically begins with an inventory of the current software landscape in order to identify technical requirements and potential challenges. This is followed by the planning of the migration, which includes the selection of suitable technologies, the creation of a migration plan and the preparation of backup strategies. Finally, the migration is carried out, followed by comprehensive tests and adjustments to ensure that the new software environment functions smoothly.

The decision to migrate software is based on a detailed analysis of the potential benefits, ranging from cost reductions to a competitive IT environment. In addition, a software migration may become necessary due to the end of support for the current software version or necessary adjustments to the IT infrastructure.

The first steps of a software migration include a thorough inventory of the current software environment, including all hardware components, interfaces and installed software as well as their dependencies. This phase makes it possible to precisely understand the requirements of the migration and forms the basis for further planning.

Careful planning and organization are essential to minimize the risks of a software migration. This includes selecting a suitable migration technique, creating a comprehensive backup before the migration begins and implementing effective change management to ensure that the migrated software is smoothly integrated into the existing operating processes.