Application Deployment

Frequent Operating System Launches Crushing IT Departments

Within two years, Microsoft has launched three new operating systems (OS) – Windows 8, 8.1 and most recently version 10. This is when many enterprises are yet to complete their Windows 7 migration. With agile software development on the upswing, and the frequency of operating system (OS) roll outs, IT organisations – which are already strapped for resources – are crushing under the pressure of trying to keep pace with new technology. OS migrations are risky, stressful, labour and time intensive projects for IT departments. Furthermore, with every new OS version, the complexity of migration grows due to the increasing intricacy of technology, applications, devices and heterogeneous IT environments. 


It’s therefore not surprising that many enterprises delay migrating to a new OS until abstaining is no longer an option – Windows 7 is a case in point. But OS is business critical and essential to the smooth running of enterprise applications as well as modern initiatives such as consumerisation of IT. For a lack of resources to be the deciding factor in adopting the latest software defies business prudence.


Application Readiness best practices that automate migration planning, testing, remediation and repackaging for deployment will be fundamental to organisations looking to stay ahead in this software-led world.  Such an approach makes software upgrade and lifecycle management ‘par for the cause’ – at a fraction of the cost and with a fraction of IT resources compared to manual migration readiness.  Application Readiness applies best practice processes and automation to the following:


  • Identifying all the applications that are deployed across the organisation to get an accurate picture of the effort that will be involved in the software migration. It helps avoid surprises of application incompatibility issues, post deployment. Especially when enterprises undertake a major migration, every app they move to the new environment requires time, effort and money. Reducing the number of applications that must be migrated is an important goal. 
  • Rationalising all the products and versions deployed in the organisation.  Verifying the need to continue to support certain applications and/or consolidating targets to a reduced number of products and versions not only saves time and cost around the migration, but also enables the company to reduce wasted IT spend on unused application licenses. 
  • Compatibility testing with the new environment.  This includes testing applications against the OS, the browser, and the hardware. It also involves testing against other applications that will be running with them in the new environment, and testing for compatibility with the operating environment – such as virtualised or mobile.


  • Planning to accurately calculate costs and duration timeframes. Enterprises must consider hardware requirements, software requirements, and potential conflicts between the operating system and application. For OS migrations, organisations must also ensure that they have sufficient horsepower to run the new OS and applications – both in on-premise and virtualised environments.
  • Fixing and packaging in preparation to deploying in the new environment. Often custom changes are required as well as converting applications to the required format. Enterprises also need to deploy applications to multiple environments, such as on-premise, virtual/cloud-based environments and mobile.  Ideally, a package-once, deploy-anywhere philosophy presents the best approach.


  • Finally, handing off the packaged applications to the deployment system for delivery to end users. Some organisations create enterprise app stores to give users iTunes-like access to their business applications.  If the app store is linked to an Application Readiness solution, the process of deploying packaged applications and making them available to users can be simple. If the app store is also tied on the back end to software licence optimisation processes, IT makes sure that users enjoy the benefits of self-service while still maintaining continual software compliance, financial accountability and control.


The launch of Windows 10 is yet another reminder for organisations that they must equip themselves for continual and ever-accelerating change and not get caught out by vendors who are leveraging agile software development as a means of constantly improving their software. Automating and centralising Application Readiness best practice processes are essential for IT organisations to ensure that the software estate is future-proof; and that the right technology is supporting the business and helping it achieve its strategic goals. Not doing so may almost be reckless in today’s evolving technology landscape.



Vincent Smyth is Senior Vice President EMEA at Flexera Software


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