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Software Migration: Moving From Desktop to SaaS

by Victor Purolnik
Converting Traditional Software to SaaS: A Comprehensive Guide

Software as a service (SaaS) offers a compelling opportunity to businesses or individuals looking to migrate or port their old software to a modern application.

This transformative shift modernizes applications and introduces numerous benefits, from simplified updates to enhanced collaboration.


The team at Sherweb.com found that switching from traditional software to cloud-based servers or saas, can cut server-related costs by 79% per month (from a monthly cost of $1,476.31 to just $313.90, in SherWeb’s example).

That’s more than $1,000 a month, ready to be utilized elsewhere.

Today, we’ll be looking at how to migrate your software to the cloud efficiently and effectively.

What Are the Benefits

Before diving into the migration process, it’s crucial to recognize the compelling reasons to switch to a SaaS model:

  • Automatic Updates: This takes away the need for manual updates, ensuring users always have the latest version.
  • Access to Talent: It’s generally easier to find web developers than desktop developers.
  • Recurring Revenue: A subscription model that would come along with a saas, provides a steady income stream.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Simplifies collaboration and data synchronization across devices.

Planning Your Migration

Step 1: Analyzing and Improving

The first step to a seamless transition to a SaaS model is to first take stock of the state of your desktop app. This is the perfect opportunity to evaluate and enhance your application since you’ll be migrating it anyway:

Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your app, focusing on user experience and potential improvements.

If there is anything that can be improved, especially in terms of making it easier for your users to navigate and use your product, then do it at this stage.

It is also a great time to do an advanced customer flow analysis and deeply understand how your users have been interacting with the app, where there are blockers, and how they can be improved as you migrate to a modern saas application.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Technology Stack

Selecting the appropriate technology stack is critical. Opt for an open-source, scalable stack with a robust library and good developer availability.

JavaScript full stack is currently among the most popular tech stacks due to its versatility and wide support.

Step 3: Documentation and Strategy

Documentation acts as your map and guides for what has been done, where, and why. Create detailed documentation outlining – Features to retain or discard, and improvements and new functionalities.

This aids in deciding whether to outsource the migration or handle it in-house.

Step 4: Execution

Development Approach

The first part of the execution is to assess if your current team can adapt to the new technology stack or if new hires are needed.

Consider outsourcing the initial rewrite to speed up the process, allowing for a smoother transition to in-house development for ongoing maintenance.

Customer Migration

Last but not least is migrating your customers to the new platform. This involves several challenges that you need to be aware of.

Data migration can be complex and requires careful planning. Ensure mechanisms are in place for user activation and retention, particularly if significant changes were made to improve the app.

Consider offering concierge services such as virtual assistants to assist users in onboarding and transitioning to the new platform.


Migrating from a desktop to a SaaS model presents an exciting opportunity to modernize your software, enhance user experience, and tap into a sustainable revenue model.

While the process requires meticulous planning and execution, the benefits of operating in the cloud far outweigh the challenges.

Ready to Make the Leap?

Are you planning to migrate a software project to a more modern app or looking to build a SaaS?

Get in touch with us today!

Our team of product and UX advisors can help provide you with the necessary guidance and support to ensure a seamless migration.

Let us help you make the right decisions and connect you with the right developers or software houses for implementation.

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Victor Purolnik

Trustshoring Founder

Author, speaker, and podcast host with 10 years of experience building and managing remote product teams. Graduated in computer science and engineering management. Has helped over 300 startups and scaleups launch, raise, scale, and exit.

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