Preparing Your Processes for Migration and Modernization

April 23, 2021 Andrew Glasser

Process automation is a core need for any business organizational group – from HR, Finance, and IT to Legal, project management, and product development. Some may benefit from process automation through simple Excel macros and mobile notifications, but even more so from multi-stage approval and process flows. Regardless of size efficiency brings the productivity and predictability we need to get the job done. At Cognizant Microsoft Business Group (MBG), we have helped many organizations realize these gains for years. As time moves on, many of these processes go unchanged, becoming obsolete with business and even platform changes. Now is the time to modernize your workflows and gain back your time in the workplace.

It may be hard to imagine, but there are thousands of organizations still using the original king of workflow and collaboration: SharePoint Server 2010 and 2013. These content management solutions brought with it a tool called SharePoint Designer that enabled users to build workflows. SharePoint Designer created a new and easy way to build and deploy workflows for everyday processes. But quickly, we learned that they had their shortcomings as well. The need to extend the native abilities of SharePoint Designer and improve the design experience spawned the innovation of Nintex, a new workflow platform.

As on-premises SharePoint platforms age beyond extended support with Microsoft, organizations are increasingly considering moving to the cloud. This is a perfect opportunity to modernize your processes as well. So, what are your options, and what does it mean to modernize?

If you are migrating from SharePoint Server on-premises to SharePoint Online there is a major change that Microsoft recently put into place. SharePoint 2010 Designer workflows are no longer available on the platform and SharePoint 2013 Designer workflows are not enabled in any new tenants by default. In this case, your best option is to use Microsoft’s replacement solution of Power Platform or continue to use 3rd party solutions like Nintex and Nintex K2. Nintex has the Nintex Workflow Cloud (NWC), a SAAS process automation solution that integrates within all the data locations within O365, including SharePoint. To quickly migrate existing SharePoint Designer workflows or even Nintex workflows from SharePoint Server to NWC, Nintex has provided a new tool to convert them. This converter creates the structure of your SharePoint Designer workflow within Nintex, saving you the hassle and time to figure out the comparable Nintex action that befits your SharePoint workflows. All that is left is the final configuration of Nintex actions, and you will have a functioning Nintex workflow that replicates the functionality of SharePoint Designer workflows.

Migrating workflows is moving them from one site or platform to another but modernizing them improves efficiency, predictability, and performance. As you move to build workflows within Office365 or Nintex Workflow Cloud, you will find new features to better your workflows. One of these features is connecting to any API as a data or information source, granting further reach into automation possibilities. Update your classic forms to modern structures that are responsive and allow immediate mobile use without additional effort. It is a best practice to review your workflows during migration. Ask yourself:

  • Are the workflows still relevant?
  • What changes have taken place?
  • Have the people within the workflow changed?
  • Can AI now perform some of the approvals and eliminate additional steps?
  • How can the workflows become more efficient?

If you are preparing for a migration we advise that you: review your cloud destination choices, plan for modernization, and build a better process.

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