A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration for Higher Education Systems

Monday, 26 February 2024

Introduction

In industry generally, but especially in the Higher Education sector, cloud migration stands out as a common strategy for organisations aiming to enhance flexibility, speed, and innovation in their IT operations. As the demand for Cloud technology surges, the need for expert guidance in navigating cloud migration's complexities and ensuring it is fit for purpose has never been more critical.

Understanding Cloud Migration Challenges

For university IT teams, the transition from on-premise to cloud-based Student Information Systems (SIS) presents a unique set of challenges. These challenges include data migration / security, environment sizing, re-pointing or re-writing integrations, optimising performance, and ensuring important functionality remains in place. We have worked with SITS, Banner, SAP Student and others.

Prolifics Testing's comprehensive approach to cloud migration testing and quality assurance is built on four foundational test phases, ensuring a smooth transition to the cloud while maximising benefits and minimising the risks involved.

  1. Data Migration Testing: Central to the success of SIS Cloud migrations is the intricate process of data migration. Prolifics leverage our expertise in ETL testing and data validation to ensure smooth data transition with minimal downtime. Our in-house developed data validation tool, Effecta can compare millions of records from source to target database, including the testing of transformation rules. This approach provides much needed confidence that data integrity is maintained before switching over to the Cloud.

 

  1. Performance Testing: To leverage the cloud's performance and scalability advantages, thorough performance engineering can illuminate problems before they make it through to production systems. This vital test phase validates system behaviour under increased load, ensuring that response times are acceptable under load and that the system delivers a seamless experience for users, even during peak periods, for example Clearing or Results Release.

 

  1. Integration Testing: Given the interconnected nature of modern applications, integration testing is crucial. SIS applications are interfaced with other key enterprise applications within institutions, such as finance, timetabling, e-learning and more. Interfaces often need to be re-configured when applications move to the cloud and sometimes they need to be completely re-written. Our team has experience working with major application vendors, including SAP, Microsoft, Workday, Salesforce, Moodle, Blackboard and more. The Prolifics team have a strong integrations background, having technical integration partnerships with MuleSoft, IBM and Microsoft Azure.

 

  1. Prolifics Testing meticulously verifies all dependencies and third-party integrations to ensure seamless end-to-end functionality in the new cloud environment. This includes ensuring that applications work harmoniously with third-party tools and services, maintaining integrity and performance.

 

  1. Functional Testing: Functional and regression testing of the migrated application are also an important part of the QA process. Our functional testing verifies that functionality is intact on the new cloud-based version of the system, taking into account any changes or upgrades that are a part of the new system. This includes comprehensive validation of the application's end-to-end functionality and a level of User Acceptance Testing, to ensure a smooth and reliable operation in the cloud environment. 

 

Mitigating Risks and Harnessing Opportunities

With Prolifics Testing's structured and strategic approach to cloud migration testing, universities can confidently navigate the transition to cloud-based SIS. Our focus on data migration, performance, functionality, and integration helps mitigate risks associated with cloud migration, ensuring operational excellence, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimisation, and sustainability.

As the higher education sector continues to embrace cloud technology, the expertise and comprehensive testing strategies provided by Prolifics Testing become invaluable assets. Our dedication to addressing the unique challenges of cloud migration in higher education enables institutions to achieve their digital transformation goals, enhancing flexibility, performance, and user satisfaction.


Contact Us to find out how Prolifics Testing can transform your Cloud Migration journey.

Jonathan Binks - Head of Delivery
Prolifics Testing UK

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