Application Readiness: The Key to Surviving OS Disruption
|Maureen Polte in Apps Monday, December 15, 2014|
Microsoft’s recent Windows 10 announcement is surely causing stress among IT departments – especially for those who have yet to complete Windows 7 migration. New technological advancements are paving the way for faster operating systems (OS) updates and version releases, at an extraordinary pace that IT departments cannot keep up with. And with agile software development on the upswing, IT organizations – which are already strapped for resources – are caving under the pressure of trying to keep up with new technology.
Within two years, Microsoft has launched three new operating systems – Windows 8, 8.1 and most recently version 10. For enterprises who are looking for the latest technological innovations to support its business goals, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up. So what can IT departments with limited resources do to keep up with the pace of innovation and migrate seamlessly to Windows 10?
Organizations must implement an Application Readiness strategy that automates OS migration planning, testing, remediation and repackaging for deployment in order to stay ahead in this software-led world. Automated Application Readiness processes are the only efficient way for IT to ensure that software estate is future-proof and supporting the business’ strategic goals. Furthermore, doing so in a cost-effective way is at the heart of driving application usage and greater productivity.
So what can enterprises do to survive OS disruption? Here are the key phases to full life cycle Application Readiness:
- Identify applications: Every app that is migrated to a different OS requires time, effort and money, therefore reducing the number of applications that must be migrated is an important goal. In order to avoid application incompatibility issues and streamline the process, IT departments must first identify all of the applications that are deployed across the organization to get an accurate picture of the effort that will be involved in the software migration.
- Rationalize – validate and eliminate redundancy: IT departments must verify the need to continue to support certain applications and rationalize all of the products and versions deployed in the organization. In addition, consolidating targets to a reduced number of products and versions not only saves time and cost around the migration, but also enables the company to reduce wasted IT spend on unused application licenses.
- Determine compatibility for the target environments and packaging formats: Due to the costs and time associated with migrating apps, IT departments can reduce some of the effort by first determining whether or not the existing apps will be compatible with the new OS. This includes testing applications 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, and testing for compatibility with the operating environment.
- Plan resources required: Enterprises must consider hardware requirements, software requirements, and potential conflicts between the operating system and application to accurately calculate costs and duration time frames. For OS migrations, organizations must also ensure that they have sufficient horsepower to run the new OS and applications – both in on-premise and virtualized environments.
- Package and test for target environments: Enterprises need to deploy applications to multiple environments, such as on-premises, virtual/cloud-based environments and mobile. Often custom changes are required as well as converting applications to the required format. Ideally, a package-once, deploy-anywhere philosophy presents the best approach.
- Publish application for deployment: Once IT departments have identified all of the apps deployed in the organization, determined and verified which products and versions of the app can and should be migrated, and tested the apps in multiple environments, they can then hand off the packaged applications to the deployment system for delivery to end users. Some organizations create enterprise app stores to give users iTunes-like access to its business applications. If the app store is also tied on the back end to software license optimization processes, IT makes sure that users enjoys the benefits of self-service while still maintaining continual software compliance, financial accountability and control.
The launch of Windows 10 is yet another reminder for organizations that they must equip themselves for ever-accelerating change. By automating and centralizing Application Readiness best practices, enterprises have the key to surviving rapid OS disruption and ensuring that they are as agile as the quickly evolving tech industry.
Maureen Polte, Flexera Software
Maureen Polte is vice president of product management at Flexera Software for InstallShield, InstallAnywhere, and AdminStudio, where she is responsible for designing product releases that enable software producers to install their software reliably on PCs, database servers, Web services, and mobile devices. Maureen works with a variety of firms — from large enterprise packaging operations to part-time packagers – to design and implement solutions around application packaging, process
Read more: http://www.flexerasoftware.com
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