All applications start life in a development environment before moving to a staging or test environment where functions from different developers are brought together.

Then they move on to a user acceptance environment for the acceptance of the new business functions, before finally being put into use in production – the most revered environment of all - the area where real business is done. Some organisations with rapid development programs will have multiple environments running in parallel. There are at least seven production versions of Facebook. It is usual to expect that the environment that receives the most planning and attention, as it is operating the real life business, is production. But not always.

Business change is relentless and continues to drive value through new and exciting business models. Often new developments will be part of a structured plan to deliver these new products and services to the market and will include aspects that are not directly related to software, such as marketing, advertising or training for the sales and delivery teams. Regardless of whether there is a rapid development lifecycle, or a much slower and surer approach, the overall development cycle can often be more important than maintaining production service.

One example I experienced was a situation where our customer was migrating their datacentre to a new environment. Their research website was slow and subject to significant complaints from their customers. A new optimised site was in development that would improve the customer experience and drive an increase in revenue. Moving the new development system to the target datacentre had a significantly higher priority as the customer had already committed the new functionality to the market. They had to get the new application into the new datacentre order to meet the deadline set by the business. There was no debate - the production system was less important. I’m not arguing this is always the case – far from it – but to assume that production is the priority by default can be misleading. Sometimes the priority is to clear the path for the migration.

In a datacentre migration or transformation programme, really understanding the application and business priorities is just as important as the technical aspects. Smart organisations will be allocating up to around 40% of their total budget to the application and business side of a migration project, depending on scope. Read my article on Triumvirates to learn more about how this should operate.

Xceed Group has the expertise to explain to customers why allocating a significant part of the migration budget to the business side of the migration is so important and can provide a resource model that they should consider emulating in a migration. No harm in asking, but potential harm in not.

Do you need assistance turning your elephant into a cheetah? We’re primed and ready to help.