Are you dreading your next IT migration project because of all the overtime, late nights and short weekends that your team will face over the next months? Wouldn't it be nice if you could wave a magic wand and all those weeks of tedious pouring over spreadsheets would just magically go away? Unfortunately, we do not have a magic want to give you, but there are ways to significantly (I am talking weeks to even months) shorten you planning phase of your Windows 10 migration project (and other IT transformation projects) by deploying an IT migration project management tool, like Juriba's Dashworks.
Let's walk through each of the planning phases of a typical Windows 10 enterprise migration project and compare the amount of effort and time it takes to get the job done manually versus with a tool:
Day 1-2: Inventory/Discovery Phase
In the inventory and discovery phase, you will create a snapshot of your IT landscape to identify the scope of your project. Assuming that you have inventory tools already in place, traditionally, you would spend about two weeks to manually stitch together different data sources, run a significant number of different queries and then pump the data into a hand-cranked database or spreadsheets with lots of different tabs.
In contrast, with a tool like Dashworks, you will need exactly two days. The first day quickly connects to your different data sources such as AD, SCCM and HR systems, then let the data imports run overnight, and in the morning your data warehouse is ready to begin validating your information.
Day 3: Assessment Phase
Moving to the assessment phase, you will be setting up rules to define what is in and out of scope, and some of the activities required. For example: which are the devices do we need to replace, which locations are included in the scope of the project, how many applications do we have and what is used/not used? Another question for a Windows 10 migration could be which devices can accept the new secure boot? Without a proper data warehouse tool, this analysis will take at least a week as you will be creating macros and new outputs into your DB or spreadsheet. In Dashworks, the same task takes mere hours.
Day 4: Application Categorization
Next, you will prioritize your application list: You must first decide which of all the applications are business critical and which to eliminate from the scope of the project (e.g. iTunes). Then, you determine what will happen to them - retire them, keep them as is or forward path them.
With Dashworks, not only can you eliminate about half of your currently installed applications from the project scope right out of the gate (e.g., games, drivers, hotfixes, XP specific items) but also cut down the time you spend categorizing the rest of them from weeks to minutes since you will be running a simple script instead of manually going through 10-20k rows in spreadsheets.
Day 5-6: Readiness Prioritization
In the next phase of your planning cycle, you can start to identify a master application list (which is a list of everything that is in scope) of your top applications to remediate. In Dashworks, you can leverage various views that are powered by smart, mathematical algorithms that will determine the 20% of all applications that you business critical to 80% of the users. Since you can run through your readiness prioritization and finish within minutes instead of weeks, you can mobilize your application packaging team quicker to start on the top applications, while you run through and prioritize the rest. This will enable you to run your migration process in parallel waves, eliminating many bottlenecks that keep you from putting deployment numbers on the board faster.
Day 7: Business Engagement
Last, but not least, the business liaison contacts will be asking for lists of users, devices, and applications to validate and categorize all of the project information pertaining to their area. You can either hand them spreadsheets to sift through after you spend days to pivot around all the data in a spreadsheet and generate a report — or leverage Dashworks to validate this upfront and create a single, authoritative place from which to manage and report. This saves a significant amount of time on engaging the business side and also on providing ongoing reporting for their needs as the project moves forward.
Of course it is possible to manage an enterprise IT migration using spreadsheets — but it is not efficient, is much less accurate and takes considerably longer. By leveraging cutting-edge data warehousing technologies, you can cut your planning phase from 7+ weeks to 7 days, resulting in exponential cost saving opportunities and consolidation potential in the steps following the planning stages.
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