Well, it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days are cold and the nights are long. I was speaking with a customer who had his furnace break down over the holidays, which resulted in an expensive and untimely repair bill. His furnace was old and probably had it coming, but it got me thinking; most manufacturers of home appliances and of course, automobiles, recommend periodic maintenance of their products to ensure reliable service in the years to come. A few bucks spent now on routine maintenance could save you a whopping bill down the road when something really goes wrong.
This unfortunate scenario got me thinking about applications. Maybe it’s just me, but I see application portfolios as being the same, in that they require maintenance periodically to ensure that major issues are averted down the road. As an example, we have a customer who performed an analysis on a few hundred of their desktop applications, only to find that a large percentage of their apps were no longer supported by the manufacturer, due to their age. Some applications were over 20 versions behind the most current! This created a large problem for them, as most of these applications will not work on Windows 7 due to their age, and will either need to be upgraded, replaced, or hosted on a virtual application platform as a short term fix. If they had been proactively monitoring their portfolio for new releases and end-of-support dates, they would have had advanced warning that they were creeping into high-risk territory.
Upgrading or replacing the odd application is not the end of the world, but it’s a different story when you are faced with a change event like a desktop migration, as there is a deadline in place that you need to meet. A portfolio that hasn’t been well maintained is going to cost a lot more to migrate than one that has been looked after and is reasonably up to date, and there’s a good chance that there won’t be much of a budget for a substantial portfolio overhaul to coincide with a desktop migration effort. Once you have migrated, you can keep things running smoothly by being proactive with periodic portfolio maintenance.
Original post: http://futurestateit.com/2013/01/08/tis-the-season/
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