Posted by: Alan Perlman
Gartner, Windows 7, Windows 7 Migration, Windows 7 Trender
So, you’ve decided to heed Gartner’s advice and you’ve either begun your Windows 7 migration or you’re ready – now! – to take the first steps. What are your options and how do you get started? Basically, there are three options: (1) A forklift upgrade where you replace the operating environment on every machine; (2) an attrition migration where you bring in the new operating system as you replace existing machines; (3) a combination of the two, where you do the forklift upgrade for key applications and departments and you handle the rest of the environment through attrition.
The forklift upgrade is both more costly and more disruptive, unless yours is one of the very few companies that can to this type of upgrade with the flick of a switch. The hybrid approach is the more likely solution for most companies and, in fact, Gartner says about half of its customers are doing a hybrid migration while another third are doing an attrition migration.
The process, as outlined by Gartner is as follows:
Phase One: Information Gathering. This should take about three months and it involves taking a full inventory of your applications, hardware, peripherals, etc. You need to have the ability to scope the problem and then you can figure out what you need to fix. The average company is saying that one in four applications is having some kind of problem when it is migrated to Windows 7.
Phase Two: Engineering Testing. This would involve setting up a lab to test the applications, remediate them and get them working. It is an iterative process and you should allow six to nine months for this phase, Gartner suggests.
Phase Three: Pilot Testing. You should allow at least three months for this phase and you should make sure during that time you are covering all potential key business events, such as end-of-month closings and end-of-quarter closings. You should also make sure you do a test with true users and then do a full beta where you do an actual install and support it the exact way you would do in production, with your regular help desk and regular technicians.
If you add up the three phases, you can see that the process could take anywhere from 12 to 15 months (or more) to do it right. With ISVs and hardware companies planning to begin phasing out XP in 2012, you can see where Gartner is stressing urgency. So, if you’re getting started, what are the potential pitfalls to avoid and what are some of the best practices to embrace? Tune in next time as we complete our initial exploration of Windows 7 migration issues.