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Blog | May 18, 2022

Migrating IA & RPA Platforms to Cloud: A Step-By-Step Guide

Migrating IA & RPA Platforms to Cloud: A Step-By-Step Guide
Table of Contents

If you’ve started using intelligent automation (IA) to automate business processes, chances are you’re thinking of applying IA to more processes. As IA enables you to meet increasing demand and automate more processes, it becomes business critical.

At this point, it makes sense to migrate to cloud delivery of IA, ensuring that you always have the functionality you need. A cloud automation platform, with predefined automations in the form of digital workers, allows you to respond more quickly to changing priorities.

If you’re viewing cloud-based IA as an increasingly attractive option, you’re not alone. Deloitte found that a third of organizations it surveyed (31%) had accelerated their investment in cloud‑hosted IA in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Only one in ten (11%) weren’t using cloud infrastructure for their automation solutions, and almost half were already using it for some of their automations.

IA and RPA cloud platform migration

It's easier than you think

Cloud migration demands time and effort, but it’s easier than you think. You’ll soon be benefiting from a lower total cost of ownership, more features and the ease of a fully hosted and managed platform that removes the pain of upgrades and day-to-day management.

If you’re considering migrating your IA to the cloud, you may be concerned about disrupting business operations. Rest easy. There’s no requirement for a sweeping implementation overnight. On-premise and cloud systems will work in parallel until you’re certain that the cloud platform is working well.

Sprint to migrating RPA and IA platforms

Migration to the cloud works best when divided into small, projects. Until you’re confident about migrating processes yourself, we’ll support you through a handful of sprints, covering the first five or six processes. We begin with a single process. Then, the second and third sprints will cover two or three processes.

For each sprint, we break the migration approach into three critical steps:

1. Getting ready

We start by working together to assess your current processes. We'll walk through them to understand any complexities or non-standard practices that could be relevant for that migration. This includes reviewing your reporting requirements. Part of this phase is setting up a governance framework so that you’re clear about roles and responsibilities — and what’s going to happen and when.

In preparation for migration, together we’ll connect and integrate the cloud platform into your environment and set up the environment for migration, installing applications and configuring digital worker identities.

To avoid delays later, we’ll focus on good planning and early engagement with business leaders. These leaders include the business owner for the current automation software, your IT network team and your IT security people. These stakeholders must be available at the testing stage to make sure that it’s working as you expected. Agreeing to a migration schedule — and making sure that the right resources from the business are available at the right time — will pay dividends.

It’s important to lay the groundwork by having a clear agreement on which applications are going to be in which process. Also, prepare pre-built application configurations so that your IT team can push those deployments straight to the digital workforce.

Access controls are specific for each process. Each application for each automation must be deployed to the digital worker, along with the credentials that are used in those automations. At this point, make sure the configuration credentials that are relevant for each process are ready. Submit credentials for digital workers for the planned migrations at once, rather than piecemeal — this will ensure a smooth migration.

Identify potentially long lead times for IT tasks. Typically, firewall or security changes take a long time to process, so get those in early.

In the enthusiasm to migrate to the cloud, it’s vital not to rush and bypass best practices. If you fail to build redundancy and resilience into automation, you’ll struggle later when you want to expand your use of IA. These are good reasons for building a robust platform from the start.

2. Pre-production and testing

When an IA process is ready, development is frozen at the pre-production stage so that we can test the process. At this stage, we export from the old system and import it into the non-production environment on the cloud. This allows us to test the actual process, looking for things like application response-time variations.

It’s important to be clear about what a successful test looks like. The test must replicate what the process does today, with no additions or changes. Once you've completed the migration, you might look at enhancements and the addition of new platform capabilities. Once processes are migrated to the cloud successfully, you’ll have a chance to revisit some of those processes to make them better, faster and stronger, tapping into cloud features that may not have been available in your on-premise environment.

3. Going live

After testing has been completed successfully, we’re ready to move the process into production. Once it’s promoted into production, we’ll do the production validation to ensure the process is behaving as expected.

The existing on-premise and new cloud platforms will run in parallel for an agreed-upon time and are designed as part of the migration plan. This allows you to migrate in a controlled manner. Then it’s a “go, no go” decision to run the process live on the cloud.

Now rinse and repeat

Once the first sprint is complete, it’s time to rinse and repeat in a second sprint, this time migrating two processes to the cloud. It’s a good idea to begin with a simple process that’s well known and understood and relatively straightforward — with slightly increasing complexity as you go through the sprints.

Later in the process, it’s useful to choose your most complex process so that we may assist, while still supporting you through the initial five or six migrations.

Once we've gone through the first three sprints, you’ll understand exactly what you need to do to automate more processes. You can copy and paste the approach to processes that you wish to migrate in the future. Of course, if you need further help and support, we're here for you.

All set for success

Our tried and tested methodology means you can be confident of a streamlined migration to cloud RPA or IA. We can help you with the heavy lifting and get you set for success in no time.

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