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What really happens during an Atlassian partner-led cloud migration

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  • Post published:March 29, 2023
  • Reading time:13 mins read

February 2024 seemed so far away and now there is less than a year until Atlassian Server support ends. 

You know that ready or not, you need to get your cloud migration underway, and you need to do it fast. So, where do you start?

You could do it yourself. Atlassian makes it pretty easy to move your core data with their whizzbang cloud migration tools. If your data and existing setup are simple and you’re confident you can do it in-house, then we say – go for it! Smaller teams and organisations with straightforward requirements have completed their cloud migrations with great success.

But what if it is not that simple? What if something goes wrong? Many businesses run into unexpected obstacles and end up rolling back the migration and starting again. It can wind up being a colossal time suck.

I know you’ve probably got some pressing questions as you start your cloud migration journey, so let me help answer them for you.

When is an Atlassian partner-led migration a good idea?

Atlassian Solution Partners are certified and trusted by Atlassian to deliver part or all of a cloud migration project. Atlassian partners often have a team of specialists with in-depth knowledge of Atlassian products and processes. They can help you get the most out of your Atlassian platforms.

You might choose to work with an Atlassian partner for your cloud migration if:

You don’t have the in-house expertise.

An Atlassian partner can help you plan, execute and manage your cloud migration project from end-to-end, or just the parts you need.

You have limited resources.

A cloud migration can be resource intensive. You may have people with the expertise, but they’re also busy doing other things and can’t give their full attention to your cloud migration.

You have complex requirements.

You have lots of data or users to migrate or marketplace apps that will need migration path planning.

You want to take the opportunity to optimise your environment.

It’s the perfect time to reimagine your environment. Take advantage of the features available in cloud to optimise how your team works to keep up with modern requirements.

You want to ensure a smooth transition.

Atlassian partners are not only specialised in the technical aspects of migration, but can also support you with change and user adoption activities.

You have a very short timeframe to complete the migration.

An Atlassian partner can make it happen. Take a look at how we helped The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Queensland migrate within weeks.

What does a cloud migration led by an Atlassian partner look like?

Whether you’re engaging a partner or completing some or all of the migration in-house, the process itself looks much the same. The difference is you have a dedicated Atlassian specialist to guide you through and provide additional best practice expertise to ensure your success.

At a high level, a partner-led cloud migration looks a little something like this:

  1. Evaluate
    Your Atlassian partner will evaluate the current state of your environment, data and applications. They will listen and understand your short and long term goals to help you determine your requirements and provide relevant recommendations on migration approaches and timing.
  2. Plan
    Your partner will create a detailed migration plan that includes the process, timelines and responsibilities. They’ll consult with you to establish the combined project team with the key players from your organisation and theirs.
  3. Prepare
    The Atlassian partner will prepare your new environment and set up users, permissions and customisations. They will work collaboratively with you throughout the process to make sure the platform meets your specific goals and requirements.
  4. Test
    A good partner starts testing during the ‘prepare’ phase to identify any issues early on and make sure everything works as intended. This ensures the production migration goes smoothly. Your partner will also start to develop support and training materials here to prepare your organisation for the change to Cloud.
  5. Migrate
    Your partner has completed tests and is now ready to go with the migration at an agreed time when there will be minimal impacts for projects.
  6. Launch
    You’ve made it to the Cloud! Your Atlassian partner will support you with launch and change activities.

If you’d like to know what a more detailed cloud migration plan looks like, we’ve put together a handy cloud migration checklist guide that you can download for free.

What’s so special about an Atlassian specialist?

For many Jira and Confluence administrators, managing their Atlassian environment is only one part of their job. Administrators are often very experienced in using Jira and have integrated clever automations, tricks and tools to create fantastic workflows for their organisation.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what you can achieve.

An Atlassian specialist works with Atlassian platforms daily and has a close relationship with the Atlassian team. This means a partner will have a much deeper knowledge of the Atlassian product suite and often find solutions that others may never have known were possible.

Under the surface, we get to see the intricacies of how it all works together. We know all the cool things you can implement to automate and save time, and what happens over here if you tweak this permission over there. 

Most administrators understand and run with 10% knowledge, whereas we have in-depth experience with the other 90%. We can find the best way to standardise the administration of your Atlassian Cloud products and allow for scalability while reducing the administrative burden. 

For example, we worked with a Government organisation on a cloud migration to do a thorough assessment and design a migration approach. Rather than just doing a lift and shift, they took the opportunity to engage us to further optimise their environment in the process. 

Their instance had a lot of projects that weren’t used anymore, but still needed to be migrated for audit purposes. We found a way to enable these projects to exist in cloud but not clog up the site. Our team migrated the unused projects earlier to minimise the impact of change freeze windows when migrating the live projects.

We also found that they could manage licensing more effectively. They saved on licensing costs by switching many of their Jira Software users to Jira Service Management customers, which is free, and keeping only those who needed the higher level of access on the paid Jira Software licences. No one minds when you save them money, so our clients were happy about that!

What’s the customer’s role in a partner-led migration?

You are busy with your day job. We get it. That’s why you are thinking about outsourcing your cloud migration. 

At the end of the day, you’re still closely involved in a partner-led migration because you have all the business knowledge and your input is needed, but your partner will take the lead and do the hard yards. 

At Strategenics, we establish a project team that includes your key players but we respect your time and minimise the burden. We do this by not only minimising the meetings you need to attend but expertly steering those meetings to ensure everyone stays on track and we get the information we need as efficiently as possible.

What should you look for in an Atlassian partner?


Just kidding, you want our team of Atlassian specialists as well!

This is my blog post after all, and I think we’re pretty excellent at what we do so I’m going to tell you all the things that make Strategenics a great partner. Don’t worry — it absolutely applies across the board so it’s a great checklist to help choose your perfect Atlassian partner match.

Look for a partner who will:

  • Listen to you and ask the right questions to understand what really matters to your business. They’ll use the full breadth of their knowledge and experience to figure out the smartest and most efficient way to achieve your goals.
  • Work as a team — A great Atlassian partner listens and collaborates with you throughout the journey. They’ll leverage your expertise while making sure everyone stays on track to achieve your cloud migration goals.
  • Deliver with purpose — If there’s a better way to achieve your goals, a good partner will always explore that option with you.
  • Be responsive — You don’t have time to chase, that’s why you are working with a partner. You need to trust they’ve got everything under control. Responsiveness = peace of mind.
  • Preempt potential showstoppers and mitigate them before they happen. An experienced partner can problem-solve and come up with novel solutions you may never have dreamed of.
  • Provide care and support till the end including training on your new environment and assisting with change management and launch activities. There’s nothing worse than feeling abandoned at the end of a project and not having support during an important transition period.

Okay, you’re convinced. What now?

My advice? 

Contact an Atlassian partner for an assessment now, even if you aren’t likely to complete the migration until later on. You need to give yourself (and your team) enough time to understand the migration process, any possible hurdles, and how long you will need to complete it. 

Choose an Atlassian Partner who you trust to listen, be proactive, collaborate and deliver a solution that’s better than you thought possible. I happen to know a team who would do an incredible job for you.

Book a free discovery call to see how my team and I can get you started on your Atlassian cloud migration.

Ash Pitt

As Strategenics’ resident Atlassian wizard, Ash has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry and delivers high-value, productivity-focused solutions to customers. Ash’s main superpowers are in developing effective automation and collaboration outcomes. Under his leadership as Atlassian Team Leader, our team has successfully delivered countless projects and helped customers achieve their goals.