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There is no question that undergoing an IT transformation project for thousands of assets is a massive undertaking. There are many ways you could tackle this — IT project managers have traditionally tried to manage migrations with Excel spreadsheets and hand-cranked databases because there was no other option available.

But since IT migrations are incredibly involved, manual methods are simply not an option for managing migration for thousands of users or devices. 

The alternatives are modern IT migration tools or IT transformation management tools that leverage data warehousing, Big Data, self-service, workflows and automated email communications. These solutions will enable you to manage your project more effectively and efficiently.

Buyers_Guide.pngHowever, these solutions vary widely in how much they can help you, how versatile they are, how much of the process you can control or automate, and how much they cost, 

So, how can you make the best-informed choice?

We just published a new resource, the Dashworks Buyer's Guide, that tackles all the hard, but important questions you need to ask before purchasing the best solution for you.

In the buyer's guide, we address the six most common objections and concerns we hear from IT managers who want to use Dashworks, but are not sure if they can. Today, we will share this information with you so that if you have similar concerns, you will already know the answers!

I Have Already Started My Project - Is It Too Late To Implement Dashworks?

This is one of our most common questions, because only after an IT migration project has begun do companies fully realize the full extent of the project — and they realize their current solution and methods are not adequate. However, at this point, since a lot of time and effort have already been put into the IT migration, the project manager might think that it is too late to switch to Dashworks.

This is not true. Obviously, Dashworks is most useful and efficient the earlier you use it, but it still can be extremely effective once your transformation project is underway. The challenge is to take a step back and realise just how much longer it is going to take if you keep flogging the same Excel horse.

Dashworks allows you to view your project from a holistic perspective. It enables you to manage the entire project rather than attack each hurdle as it appears. For instance, you might think that the discovery phase is your biggest problem until you have tons of data and no idea what to do next.

If the project is not managed holistically, IT teams usually find themselves running into unforeseen road bumps and delays as they are moving through the project — putting them further behind schedule. Even by implementing Dashworks in parallel, the tool positions you to become more efficient — or in other words, you can crank the handle harder and get bigger numbers on the board faster.

When you buy Dashworks, experienced solution specialists will be available to help you setup the tool to fit the needs and goals of your organization so you can get the most out of the product and most benefit for your project.

How Complex Is The Setup?

Imagine you are planning to build a new house. You will get the land surveyed, hire an architect to draw up plans, get permits, etc. Doing all of this prep work properly will save you time and money down the road when it comes to plumbing and wiring the house, and makes it more likely that you will get the "okay" from the inspector.

The same is true for Dashworks! To use the tool effectively, an appropriate amount of time and planning is required. The resources you need to invest will depend greatly on the complexity of the projects and cleanliness of your data. However, since using Dashworks makes you more efficient, you can significantly cut time spent on the planning phase. In our experience, planning will average 7 days with Dashworks instead of 7 weeks without!

In addition, you get years of experience built right into the tool. We have continually updated Dashworks based on our first-hand lessons and best practices from more than 4.5 million asset migrations. You are essentially investing in the invaluable experience that's built right into the product. Also, you can get up to speed faster because an experienced professional services team will collaborate to set up the tool to deliver maximum return on investment for your unique business needs.

Whenever you adopt a new tool, there will be a learning curve. However, Dashworks is built from the ground up with you in mind. It is not only intuitive and easy to use, but most of the setup work can be done through wizards that guide you through the process step-by-step.

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Can I Reuse Dashworks For Another Project? What About Evergreen IT?

Absolutely! Dashworks is the only IT transformation management tool that does focuses not only on one specific use case (e.g., Office 365 Migrations) but can be used for all kinds of transformation scenarios, such as hardware refreshes, OS upgrades, email migrations, service updates and much more. Set it up once and get a head start on your next project.

Since Dashworks can help in so many different areas, you should first identify which goal you want to focus on.

We have found that our most successful clients are those who first consider what they are trying to get out of the tool before focusing on the output, will be the most successful. For example, if you are using Dashworks to track deployment readiness, think about your current end-to-end scheduling process, what you want to report on, and the process required to support getting there.

While the tool is applicable for many use cases, you will manage them most effectively by first defining the different projects and the data you will need to input and output. By knowing your implementation goals, your setup and implementation will go as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When you are ready to run your second, third or fourth project, your current state is already defined. While you are using only a subset of Dashworks features in your Windows 10 migration, you are likely to use other features, such as automated deployment or self-service, in your next project.

Thinking long-term, Dashworks makes sense because it's built so it can power your Evergreen IT efforts!

I Am Worried About My Data Quality! What About Garbage In / Garbage Out?

Some of our customers were concerned about their data quality before buying Dashworks and they asked us, “If the data fed into the tool is garbage, won’t our results be unreliable?”

No matter what tool you use, the quality of the output is always directly related to the quality of the input source.

If your data isn’t the quality it should be, you will have to address it at some point, and highlight the pieces that need further work! While Dashworks is not a magic tool, it quickly shows the missing elements, and gives you one authoritative place to significantly improve the quality of your data and fill in the gaps. Then you can pass the data back to your source systems and solve the problem for future projects.

By using Dashworks, IT teams have one tool to access, sort, and clean data. It also makes exception reporting easier and you gain a place from which self-service can be used to validate information with the end users.

If you are concerned about user locations, you will need to figure out where your users are before migrating — with or without a tool. Dashworks can help you create an IP mapping table to map locations correctly, or can take in feeds from your HR systems.

Additionally, going through this process even just once makes it easier to tackle any project in the future as you’ll now have a central data warehouse solution for data management. With a spreadsheet, you’ll need to start from scratch every time as your information is often static and goes quickly out of date.

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I Am On A Tight Deadline! How Long Does It Take To Spin It Up?

You have always managed your IT projects in a certain way, and you are concerned about adding a new tool to the mix. It’s understandable to be concerned about adding yet another layer of complexity. Keep in mind that the time you spend setting up Dashworks can cut your overall project management time by more than half.

Of course, just like any other software tool, Dashworks does require some setup. Depending on your IT landscape, the scope of your project, and the cleanliness of your data, this process can take between a couple of days to a couple of weeks. However, that's nothing compared to the many weeks or even months it will take you to stitch together a hand-cranked database or spreadsheet— not to mention how much easier Dashworks is to maintain.

Many of our most successful customers understand the need to invest extra time in properly planning and createing a holistic strategy, rather than jumping in head-first. This approach not only streamlines the project, but it also makes budgeting and the allocatingon of resources easier.

Juriba’s professional services team has experience in hundreds of IT migration projects just like yours. They will help guide you through the configuration process and even help cleanse your data to provide the quickest and smoothest implementation possible.

Won't There Be Two Versions Of The Truth? Who Is Right: The Tool Or The User?

With an IT transformation project of any size, there are always at least two sides to the story: The story your tool tells you and the story the user or information owner would tell you if they could. Dashworks has the ability to create a single version of the project truth!

Dashworks provides a place to immediately visualize the data that has been loaded. Missing information is simple to spot, and investigations can then pinpoint where the issue lies. It is a perfect place to improve processes and to establish exactly how good your organization is with data management

With Dashworks, you can set up rules to find  applications that can be rationalized. However, while that will significantly reduce the number of applications that you must migrate and maintain, there are sometimes specific situations in which a user needs a certain application even though it has not been opened in the past 6 months (e.g., financial apps).

End users can also validate any software requirements as well as identify any applications that are no longer needed because an employee has been moved to a new department or is no longer working on the project or job function that required that application.

Conclusion

Using spreadsheets and hand-cranked databases might seem like a feasible way to undergo a major IT transformation project, but it usually turns into an out-of-control Frankenstein monster. Using a tool like Dashworks can save you time and help to fix data/organizational issues as well. If you have already started your IT project, or you think Dashworks won't work for you, think again.

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Barry Angell

Written by Barry Angell

Barry is a co-founder of Juriba, where he is focused on using his experience in IT migration to help drive product strategy, pre-sales and service delivery. He is an experienced End User Services executive that has helped manage thousands of users, computers, applications and mailboxes to their next IT platform. He has saved millions of dollars for internal departments and customers alike through product, project, process and service delivery efficiency.

Topics: Dashworks