Top Five Best Practices for Streamlining a Windows 7 Migration
With the April 2014 deadline when Microsoft eliminates support for Windows XP quickly approaching and the migration of entire IT estates to Windows 7 in full swing, many organizations are now in the midst of migration projects. It is just as likely many have not yet begun this lengthy, challenging process that can take as long as two years. Due to the large number of legacy and homegrown applications being supported by IT, many companies are encountering hurdles along the way – particularly with application compatibility – adding significant time, cost and complexity to the process.
In fact, application compatibility is the biggest and most unmanaged problem that can occur in a Windows 7 migration project. The number of applications and application platforms are exploding, with organizations averaging 10 apps per every one person. This means application compatibility should be a top priority for a Windows 7 migration to avoid its potentially significant impact on an organization’s operations. Organizations must determine how to get their current applications to work in the updated environment – which typically requires a manual effort. This process can take as much as six months of a two-year Windows 7 migration period.
Manual testing is time-consuming and costly. The standard attrition rate for an application is one application every three years, and 500 applications could be updated, patched or changed numerous times over a 6- to 9-month period. In fact, with many organizations implementing Agile development methodologies, organizations can change faster than IT can test the applications. The cost of manual testing is impacted by the number of people it takes. If you use a large portion of your IT staff to do the testing, there’s an imbalance in the number of staff left over to run the business. If you are going to hire additional staff to test, you have to pay them thus increasing the total cost of ownership for a Windows 7 migration project.
Automation is the key to successfully managing the application compatibility portion of a Windows 7 migration project. Automated tools will help you reduce the time, cost and risk to the project by detecting exactly which applications exist in the environment, which ones are being used and how frequently, and delivering a clear view of the status of each one. Automating the application compatibility process will shorten that portion of the migration from six months to a week or less. After migration, the perfect tool will automate the desktop’s continual application and OS updates and patches keeping the organization productive amid the dynamic application change cycle.
Below are five best practices for preparing for a successful Windows 7 migration that keeps your applications intact, and delivers a user workspace that’s always available and productive:
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Application Discovery
Today’s software estate often contains more than 1,000 apps, both packaged and custom, and some are not accessible or visible. You will need to assess your entire application portfolio and understand how the migration will affect mission-critical apps. In this discovery process, it’s extremely important to understand your applications completely – which ones you have, where they are, who’s using them, how often they are using them and, most importantly, who is going to pay for that app to migrate to the new system. Complete assessment of the complex application environment requires a clear view of what you have in your application portfolio, so you can create an up-to-date, streamlined portfolio that’s ready for rapid migration.