Win 7, win 8, win 9, win next: application readiness & future proofingyour software estate.

Author:Smyth, Vincent

Rumours are rife that Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) is scheduled for launch in April 2015. If true, this operating system (OS) will come in less than 18 months after the launch of Windows 8.1. This is when many enterprises are scrambling to transition to Windows 7 from Windows XP; and some businesses are potentially underway in their Windows 8/8.1 projects. OS migrations are among the most costly, stressful, time intensive and manpower heavy projects for IT departments. What does this increasingly shortened software lifecycle mean for businesses?

Application Readiness & Software Migrations

IT organisations are reaching a crisis point. Little known to business-level executives, every time a new application, OS upgrade, or even bug fix is introduced into the corporate environment, a complex series of Application Readiness best practice steps need to occur to ensure the software will function properly.

Those steps include:

  1. Identifying Deployed Applications- Obtain an accurate view of the applications that are deployed across the organization. Identifying all of them is important to get an accurate picture of the effort involved in an OS migration, and to avoid surprises with systems and application compatibility issues post deployment. This is a good time to take stock of what applications are actually being used as opposed to what is deployed. When organizations undertake a major migration, every app they move to that new environment requires time, effort and money. Reducing the number of applications that must be migrated is an important goal.

  2. Rationalize Applications to Reduce Migration Scope--IT should verify the need to continue to support certain applications or consolidate targets to a reduced number of products and versions. This saves time and cost around the migration and enables the company to reduce wasted IT spend on unused application licenses.

  3. Assess compatibility--With a platform migration project, all applications need to be tested to see if they will be compatible with the new environment. This includes testing them against the OS, the browser, and the hardware. It also involves testing against other applications that will be running with them in the new environment. Given the volume of applications involved, manual testing is not practical. Through years of experience, there are a number of general rules and specific application compatibility tests that can be run to speed the process. Without automation, it's...

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