A very exciting time in your company might be when you realize that you have to upgrade your systems to keep with the times. It can be very frustrating and can take some time too depending on what needs to be updated. There’s a lot that has to go into the thought process before starting…
- The company in question always has to have the latest and greatest, who change their systems as soon as upgrades become available.
- The company in question goes through more traditional means. Why change what they have when it’s working perfectly fine? These companies upgrade only when forced to do so.
The upgrade plan has to focus on future growth and changes forecasted by the company. The question that needs to be asked when looking ahead is, how will the changes affect upgrade needs in the future?
Five Steps to Planning Upgrades
1. Categorize and Prioritize: Categories include
i. Client Computer Systems
iii. Client Software
iv. Server hardware and software
vi. Network devices
vii. Network Infrastructure
Here items can be picked and chosen as to what the organization decides to upgrade. In this if needed subcategories can be created in order to create a more organized plan.
2. Set Priorities: Prioritize based on the costs and benefits ratio. What items need to be upgraded first? Is it an urgent need or a want? Make sure to not upgrade needlessly, make sure that it’s really needed.
3. Consider Dependencies: When the company is upgrading their systems they need to take into consideration what might be dependent on others. This might create more upgrades in order for the system to work with the new equipment. Or if applications are being upgraded, the system might need to be upgraded in order to work with them.
4. Phased Rollout: Don’t rush it. Testing and discovering of bugs need to be worked out before starting to use the new system. After the tests are completed use small groups of employees to test the upgrades in the production environment. If there’s a learning curve use the fast learners first as they can then learn the new system and assist/teach the others when it rolls out.
5. Keep it Scalable: Write out the plan. Get input from other departments and different levels to help create the plan. Plans for expansion of the company and any restructuring needs to be taken into account here too.
If the organization follows proper planning with scalability included in the process, it can create a very smooth upgrade environment for the company. It would help immensely as upgrading systems can be very costly and stressful if not done correctly. Never rush the process and take time to consider all options before jumping in.