Migration of software is a special variant of change management in IT. It usually means changing the technology of a substantial and critical component in the whole conglomerate of applications. The challenge is to make sure that there is no unwanted impact on other areas in IT and business and that the transition will not lead in any reduction of business performance.
We generally make a difference between following categories of migration:
• Changes and migration of hardware
We find this when replacing one server with another one.
• Migration of infrastructure
Migration of infrastructure means changes of the network, the operating system, replacing critical components or changing the organisation like outsourcing operating and/or support
• Changing the application framework
This is the case when we change the software package either through a major upgrade or by replacing one vendor's product with a completely new product like it happens when replacing a legacy application with a standard package like SAP.
• Rollout projects
Rollouts are a special kind of project where you apply a change to a large number of target installation in an identical fashion. Other than in a migration a rollout installs the identical aggregate of software on a large number of sites (consider "a large number" definitely being higher than ten). The result of a rollout will be identical and comparable to its master installation and may only differ in some local add-ons like adding another language or special treatment of country specific legal requirements in the case of international rollouts.
Unfortunately the expression is often unwittingly abused by project teams for naming a template based migration project to several individually structured sites although the target implementation is fairly different from the template or the number of individual changes takes more effort than the application of the rollout template.
It is our profession to cope with change. Therefore migration of any kind is our basic business that we have all learned from bottom to top. Experience in migration allows us a dedicated opinion on matching the right strategy