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How to ensure your enterprise tech migration is seamless

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Migration

In the natural world we understand migration to be the physical movement of a certain species from one area to another. Often based upon seasonality, the need for gene pool diversity or (as in us humans) even cultural factors, migration is an everyday part of life.

In information technology, migration is just as prevalent an issue, but its motivation usually comes about for very different factors — and it’s usually a end-to-end journey that essentially drives us forward, if we do it right.

Why IT migrates

The stimuli for IT migration arises from any firm’s need to move to new industry-wide platform changes (cloud computing and ubiquitous mobility would be good examples), but also from new competitive advantages which can be realised through new software applications (Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning tools would be good examples).

But unplanned migration without a strategic process and set of goals is dangerous, in every sense — for animals, humans and in hardware and software alike. The truth is, IT transformation is a complex process that needs trained professionals often supported where possible using guidance from dedicated consulting services.

The baseline function all firms should be looking for here when they chose a migration specialist is end-to-end management as a core competency. Migration support services for hardware and software must extend from the first second of requirements gathering – right through implementation and deployment – and onward to quality assurance, testing, tuning and updates. This breadth of scope is essential to our definition of end-to-end when we talk about technology migration.

Further to this core caveat is the time curve factor.

Migration in the animal kingdom might typically happen once a year based upon the seasons of the Earth. Migration in the technology kingdom has similarly defined ‘time curve’, but it spans over three years instead. The process of migration and refreshing a firm’s IT infrastructure within defined three-year cycles helps ensure that we can always drive down the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and maximize efficiency.

Migration7-key migration implications

So what are the implications thrown up by a typical enterprise tech migration project and what factors do we need to consider?

  1. IT migration doesn’t just mean hardware and software refreshes, it also means data migration — it is important to remember the lifeblood of our information technology before we start to rip and replace.
  2. It is important to understand the implications of new technologies through workshops, Proof of Concept (PoC) testing and emulation technologies where available.
  3. Firms must perform an accurate and detailed assessment/audit of their existing IT infrastructure to identify opportunities for improvement inside the migration process once it is executed.
  4. Strategic planning for migration is the only way to minimise IT resource strain and keep costs under control.
  5. Some migration tasks may be capable of being completely outsourced to Migration-as-a-Service models — this is close to the consulting workshops approach, but actually more wide-ranging.
  6. Migration without prioritisation is a gamble. Why put the business at risk when a more ordered approach to project scheduling can be achieved? Once again, third party consultancy specialists can play this role.
  7. Migration must always be undertaken with a consideration for users such that end user impact is mitigated at all times. This way the business can progress forwards without stumbling backwards.

As noted in our first bullet above, migration must at all costs avoid the nightmare of rip and replace where inefficiencies prevail and data hemorrhage is inevitable. Like the birds that do it right every year, only fly south when you know where you are going.

 

Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian is a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily, he worked as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, he is also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. He has spent much of the last ten years also focusing on open source, data analytics and intelligence, cloud computing, mobile devices and data management.

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Tags: Business, Productivity