Most companies face the continuous challenge of modernizing their portfolio of applications. IT managers are constantly innovating to find better, faster and cheaper ways to maintain and manage IT assets. Especially platform migrations and upgrades can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, not when you have a well defined repeatable process, a way to automate the most complex parts of the migration, and a partner that can take you through the whole process from start to finish.

In this context an ‘Automated Migration Factory’ program is a perfect way to maximize economies of scale while migrating the application portfolio to the next level platform. The Factory industrializes the process of migrating and testing applications, and delivers a level of quality unrivaled in the industry. The Factory takes advantage of pre-configured tooling and automation, standard specifications and a repeatable approach to ensure consistent quality across the platform.

When starting the process of selecting a partner to help manage and run a large scale migration the following questions should be at the top of the list: Does the partner have a  proven automation platform that meets the requirements? Can the automation rates compete with the industry standards? Does the partner have a focus on forward-looking requirements and R&D investments that supports staying up-to-date with the latest available versions of the software being migrated? Are the services and technology delivered backed by well defined, enforceable Service Level Agreements? Selecting a reliable and experienced partner is critical to making a large-scale migration factory a success.

To start, your partner should spend the time analyzing your IT landscape and systems and use this analysis to deliver a detailed and deliverables based factory program plan. The program plan should group and order system transformations based on system complexity, criticality, and of course, business driven deadlines.

Second, the partner should work with your own team to establish and agree to the repeatable migration process that defines the standard migration steps for each system in scope. Both sides need to be clear on roles and responsibilities and operate as one team.

Third, an efficient mechanism to manage the inevitable change needs to be established. Large migrations projects WILL encounter change, and there needs to be an easy and efficient way to change the scope or order of the migrations when necessary. Predefining the approach to this with your partner is critical.

Fourth, you need to make sure that there is a clear definition of the Service Level Agreements (SLAs). SLAs need to translate to measurable metrics that cover the speed, quality and issue resolution aspects of the work. In addition, there needs to be agreement on the consequences of missing an SLA. SLA’s without incentives or penalties will not drive behavior or results.

Finally, once a plan is in place, the processes are well defined, a change management process is agreed too, and the SLAs are clear, the factory can start operating and the first system can be placed on the “migration conveyer belt”.  As always, it is advisable to find some quicker wins and complete some smaller, less complex migrations first. The resulting positive momentum and team morale will help prepare you for the more complicated work to come.

An Automation Migration Factory gives your company the flexibility and predictability to build and secure roadmaps. Optimizing your IT position as a Business Partner rather than a Maintenance or Support Partner is worthwhile. Focusing your lights on innovation with a Factory approach gets you IT landscape up-to-date and increases speed, accuracy and predictability to your business teams in parallel.

smartShift is in business to realize these promised Factory benefits. We offer services that help you quickly scope the time and effort needed to properly migrate desired technology. Then, using our unique and patented automation platform and dedicated migration specialists, smartShift helps you successfully migrate your IT landscape and systems. Using automation and a proven Factory approach, smartShift technology reduces traditional risks and costs associated with migration and technology upgrade projects to deliver a faster time to market. While an automation engine executes the work, you reap the benefits of consistent compliance.
 

“Ory is dedicated to meeting and exceeding customer needs. He works as a Client Partner for smartShift Technologies and helps organizations optimize customized systems with the company's patented automation technology.”