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IT spring cleaning first step to windows 7 & 8 migrations.

2012 is the year of Windows 7 migrations, driven by the impending end of support for Windows XP. Many organisations see this as an opportunity to also simultaneously deploy the latest virtualisation technologies such as application virtualisation to simplify application management and reduce costs.

Mission critical operating systems (OS) migrations and software deployments are amongst the riskiest IT initiatives and yet they are approached as 'point-in-time' projects that are implemented with minimal or no planning. Enterprises often don't have an understanding of the applications they have installed and which of those that need to be migrated to the next OS. As companies embark on their Windows 7 migration and virtualisation projects today, or go straight for Windows 8 migration in the near future; the fundamental step to the success will be 'Application Rationalisation' - an IT spring cleaning exercise to ascertain what software must be retained and what is not required. This application inventory stock taking will provide an accurate view of the applications that are deployed and which ones are actually being used. Further analysing application usage will provide a deeper level of insight on the level of their usage.

This rationalisation of the application estate will also help address desktop application sprawl. Businesses can significantly reduce the number of versions and products through this process, potentially saving the organisation considerable amount of monies. Consider this in view of the fact that Gartner estimates that businesses potentially spend between $1500-2000 of software per device - the cost savings from reduced applications can be substantial.

The need for application rationalisation is now becoming more pronounced with the consumerisation of IT and BYOD trends, which if not approached systematically, can result in IT departments losing control of their IT estates, but with the compliance responsibility resting squarely in their shoulders. Already, Gartner believes that today organisations overspend by 40 per cent due to fear of audits. Against this backdrop, as organisations now look to offer enterprise AppStores to meet staff demand for varied applications, an in-depth understanding of the applications that are truly required by users will ensure that the business critical applications are well supported.

In summary, an application rationalisation process enables organisations to identify deployed and used applications, and eliminate duplicate and unnecessary software. With most companies updating, repackaging and deploying over 30 per cent of their applications annually due to new versions, upgrades and patches, the requirement for application rationalisation in reality extends beyond one-off Windows 7 and Windows 8 migrations and enterprise AppStores projects - it must be an ongoing process.


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Title Annotation:IT News and Products
Publication:Database and Network Journal
Date:Jun 1, 2012
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