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36% of desktop professionals believe application discovery & rationalisation best accelerates desktop transformation projects.

Poll - 36% of desktop professionals believe application discovery & rationalisation best accelerates desktop transformation projects. - Juriba

Popular press has recently eschewed 2011 as the year that wasn’t for corporate Windows 7 desktop transformation. As a company that has more than a passing interest in this space, we were keen to gauge opinion on how best to accelerate corporate desktop transformation to Windows 7. With over 150 members joining our Windows 10 Project Management LinkedIn Group, and expertise from organisations across the globe, this seemed the logical place to ask such a question, and we’re delighted to announce the results from the first two weeks of input (voting figures are in brackets):

‘Where do you believe you can best accelerate your desktop transformation project?’

  1. Application discovery & rationalisation (36%)
  2. Application compatibility (10%)
  3. Readiness management (21%)
  4. Deployment automation (inc. profiles) (21%)
  5. Virtualisation (desktop and application) (10%)

‘Application discovery and rationalisation’ currently stands at 36% of the votes, and here is what the group has voiced. Voters mentioned that without application owners and developers having sufficient funding in place to resource remediation and testing efforts, a desktop transformation project will be slow to move beyond the discovery and rationalisation phase. Although numerous others did agree, it was highlighted that it often will take a few months for organisations to realise the importance of application discovery & rationalisation. Nevertheless, this facet was acknowledged not only as a means of accelerating projects, but also, a way of cost saving exercise in software licenses. As a word of warning, one commentator suggested that a desktop transformation project can too often result in an over-review of business applications which can have a detrimental effect on project progress, as these efforts can be significant. In other words, spending too much time on discovery and rationalisation can lead to analysis paralysis.

Voters mentioned that without application owners and developers having sufficient funding in place to resource remediation and testing efforts, a project will be slow to move beyond the application discovery and application rationalisation phase. Although numerous others did agree, it was highlighted that it often will take a few months for organisations to realise the importance of application discovery & application rationalisation. Nevertheless, this facet was acknowledged not only as a means of accelerating projects, but also a way of cost saving exercise in software licenses. As a word of warning, one commentator suggested that a desktop transformation project can too often result in an over-review of business applications which can have a detrimental effect on project progress, as these efforts can be significant. In other words, spending too much time on discovery and rationalisation can lead to analysis paralysis.

It is interesting to note that readiness management and deployment automation have thus far, accounted for 42% of the vote. Readiness management (the efficient tracking of end-user readiness status for migration) is a little talked about subject that can often contain the highest proportion of project cost due to business analyst and project management bloat. Commentators suggested that the efficient managing of readiness tasks, particularly in the application readiness area can save significant time on a project. Deployment automation is something that we at Juriba had always considered a ‘given’ with the technology available these days, and the ease of deployment through systems such as SCCM and Altiris. However, it is clear that if this is done correctly, extending out to pre-imaging of systems and end-user self-service migration, serious acceleration can be achieved.

Having helped large, global organisations migrate hundreds of thousands of users to their next operating platform, Juriba have always believed that readiness management provides the best opportunity to accelerate a desktop transformation project. It was intriguing to see one voter comment that test automation and a structured risk-based test strategy can reduce the testing effort by 75%, thus saving considerable time. The discussion highlighted that haste in identifying the applications that are ready for functional testing/UAT or that need remediation, secured a faster project. Indeed, most organisations with hundreds or thousands of applications to convert to Windows 7 will need extensive testing resource from the business/development teams. Without properly structured readiness management and executive buy-in, deployment numbers could fall dramatically as the project stalls on application conversion.

It’ll be very interesting to see if this changes, but the two least voted for accelerators (with 10% each) are arguably the most talked about by analysts and the press. Application compatibility and virtualisation have both been portrayed as the best way to accelerate desktop transformation efforts in multiple articles we’ve read in the last couple of years.

We will be updating the poll results and commentary in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for further update. But in the meantime, you've heard how a whole host of desktop professionals have voted - where do you say you can best accelerate your desktop transformation project? Share your thoughts below.

This poll is just the first of a huge variety of planned polls and discussions centred on IT professionals’ experiences and difficulties with desktop transformation projects. We’ve been thrilled with the early activity of the group (and the ever-growing membership base), and so if you would like to share some of your experiences, or would like to help your organisation in managing its Windows 7 programme, then please do join the group today.

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Barry Angell

Written by Barry Angell

Barry is a co-founder of Juriba, where he is focused on using his experience in IT migration to help drive product strategy, pre-sales and service delivery. He is an experienced End User Services executive that has helped manage thousands of users, computers, applications and mailboxes to their next IT platform. He has saved millions of dollars for internal departments and customers alike through product, project, process and service delivery efficiency.

Topics: IT Strategy Windows 10 Migration Application Management