Research has shown that for many people moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do. So imagine that instead of moving house you have to move all of your prized IT applications. Whatever the trigger - your current data centre may not meet future needs or you may need to change for contractual reasons – you will have similar concerns to moving house, only amplified:
Find a new house – when moving IT applications you are negotiating a significant contract and getting it wrong could mean moving again.
The stress of packing – moving IT applications typically involves a lengthy process to understand all of your applications and the associated interdependencies. After which you will need to work out how you can move applications in a sensible order while minimising the impact on the business
The actual move – you will be moving large numbers of applications including some which support critical business processes and directly affect the customer experience.
The financial and brand impact of failure is significant, due to loss of productivity, cost of recovery and possible contractual penalties. So what can you do to maximise the likelihood of success? PA Consulting Group’s practical experience of working with Energy, Utility and Investment clients on application moves has shown that you should keep three things top of your mind:
Focus on risk and schedule
The primary goal is to get the move done on time, without downtime in critical applications. IT moves can often get distracted by ‘nice to haves’ such as technology upgrades, application upgrades, or operational enhancements. While all of these are important they are of secondary importance to the primary requirement to complete the move. Therefore, while ‘nice to haves’ should be considered they should only be implemented if they make the move easier.
Spend time defining your approach and stick to it
There are a number of different ways in which you can move your applications ranging from a physical move to rebuilding the application on a new site, with a host of other options in between. Spend time understanding your application portfolio and defining options you want to consider. Each application will need to be considered separately, but be clear about which move methods will work for your application portfolio.
Have a small central function responsible for ensuring effective delivery
Each application will need to be dealt with as its own project, and to manage this there will be need to be an effective organisation management model. You will need a point of co-ordination to monitor progress and manage risk. In addition it will ensure that each sub project has the support it needs to deliver. Just like moving house it will be a success if you get the move done on time and if you don’t lose any of your prized possessions in the process.
Contact us now to speak to an expert in moving IT applications to ensure success in your organisation.