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Migrating away from Windows XP - are your applications ready ?

(Published on behalf of Atul Kumar)


With the deadline for extended support for Windows XP coming up fast (April 2014), migrating away from Windows XP is a high priority program for most organizations. However, migration to a new operating system (OS) does not come without expense and hassle. One of the tough questions organizations need to answer is - How can applications on Windows XP make the trip to the newer versions of Windows i.e. Windows 7 and/or Windows 8?

Typical enterprise deployment can take 12-24 months depending on the business complexity. If you are starting migration from XP to another OS, it is crucial that you begin rationalizing the enterprise application list and then perform application compatibility testing on the target OS. In most cases, 70% of the organization's transactions run from legacy applications, and there are thousands of applications installed across distributed network. This means that the migration to a new OS can be treated as an opportunity to vet the current state of the application repository.

This scrutiny may lead you to discover applications that are sitting idle and not utilized by business. Once these applications are filtered out and the application compatibility tests are completed, you can identify the applications which can be moved as-is and the applications that need remediation. Remediation can then be done through strategic method (source code changes) or tactical method (tool based environment or configuration changes). Tool based testing and remediation approach can help reduce the effort required to remediate incompatible applications.

Organizations started planning for Windows 7 migrations when Microsoft announced the release way back in 2009. While some did a wait-and-watch, there were few early adopters.  Reach, a Hong Kong based telecommunication provider was one of the early adopters and engaged with Infosys to transform its end-user computing (EUC) environment. The client faced several challenges including a distinct lack of standardization of desktops and applications, security due to localized data, high IT support costs and poor user experience due to legacy hardware.  These problems had started impacting them on multiple fronts- cost, speed, efficiency, productivity and performance.
Infosys started with the assessment of their current infrastructure and provided a roadmap to address the gaps. We rationalized and reduced the future-state application count by 90% and introduced new technologies like SCCM, AV and firewall, self-backup and recovery, email archival, App-V and Outlook web access while migrating to Windows 7. This was surely a herculean task, but it resulted in a host of benefits for the client such as reduced downtime, faster recovery, improved IT management and productivity and performance gains.

Click here to read the detailed case study.

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