EOL or End Of Life is the term for programs to be discontinued to either stopping the service or the contract of that certain product. For companies that plan to EOL like IBM iSeries, AS400, this is pretty much doable, but it’s a problem on its own that some or even most people in the organization are not open to.
The problem with EOL and transitioning to a new service provider are the people that are calling all the shots as far as timeframe goes. Switching is easier said than done because there are a ton of factors that people need to consider and it’s not as easy as switching from one phone to another. At best most companies are able to pull it off successfully after 2-4 years.
A budget needs to be considered: Your company might have decided that a different service provider suits your needs. Before your company decides to take this route, it’s important that a risks assessment should be made as far as budgeting is concerned. If it’s really ok or not. because what good is a thousand dollar deal from a new service provider when you need to shell out 10 million dollars just to get your system from old to the new. It’s still not worth it.
The proper planning: The most important thing into any transition is planning. Careful planning is the secret to proper execution. Risks assessments should be done first in order for the people to get the picture on what they are facing because this is not a very easy undertaking and certainly switching from old to new service providers is not a walk in a park.
The expected downtime: Downtime is the risk stoppage that cannot be avoided but with proper execution can be minimized. Downtime is that nail in the coffin that if it cannot be controlled will prove to be disastrous. A downtime is an unproductive hour, an unproductive hour means no income, an unproductive hour means angry customers and the sooner this can be controlled or fixed the sooner that customers will forgive you and the cash flow will once again start.
EOL might be something that can never be avoided since there are times that the service or server rather is rather old that it needs to be scrapped for an even better service. But regardless, it’s still not as easy as icing on a cake. Because there are a lot of things that are needed to be considered in order to flawlessly pull off a successful transition. The important thing is to manage the expectations, have a risks assessment, have a proper determined and sound deadline that people can agree to, the expected downtime that will result in customer dissatisfaction and loss of income and more importantly the cost that will incur during the whole process. Always and always lay out your options, your plan A to even plan Z for any contingency plans of how to pull off a successful transition. Or you can junk everything and just upgrade your current plan with IBM! It’s easy, hassle free and light on the pocket