Sunsetting, sounds rather appealing to me – kind of romantic. It makes me think of having a sundowner at the shores of Zambesi River. Imagine the soft light of the last sunrays and the sounds of a hundred birdcalls in the air. A perfect end for a magical day!
Sunsetting refers to the phase of disposition in the life cycle of a software. Other terms also widely used are phasing out or retiring. As for my part, I really fancy the metaphorical term of sunsetting. It gives a touch of well-deserved grace and dignity to the end-of-life of an application, which I find appropriate, considering that most often, users, developers and project managers have put their hearts and souls into an application over years. Yes, it is not always easy to say goodbye – even to a piece of software.
Nevertheless, one day the time comes for every software to be discontinued or replaced. Missing this moment or delaying it too long will have serious consequences for the business. One of them is increased vulnerability to cyber threats. Insufficient support for current encryption techniques or limited availability of security experts for the specific systems are some of the risk factors here. But there are also other aspects such as outdated infrastructure and thus an more and more instable operating environment or the fact that budget badly needed for innovations is blocked by increasing maintenance costs. So, don’t procrastinate too long.
Immature breakups hurt, so it is all about developing a good retirement and decommissioning strategy. Having a team of experts in place will help to make the process faster, better and repeatable.
From a technical point of view migration-center in combination with OpenText InfoArchive provides a perfect approach to setting up such a Sunsetting Factory – which you could of course also call Decommissioning or Archiving Factory.
While OpenText InfoArchive provides easy access to data without the original application, migrations-center helps to prepare the data for ingestion from almost any legacy system. This is done by creating so-called SIPs (Submission Information Packages).
Migration-center can also distinguish active from inactive data. Therefore, that is perfectly possible to process some of the data to be ingested into OpenText InfoArchive, where it is still available for customer service, operational reasons or to meet industrial regulations, and other to be migrated into ongoing alive systems. All activities can be simulated and discussed with stakeholders before doing the actual migration/archiving.
Sunsetting needs the combined expertise of data analysis, knowledge of regulations, ETL tools, source and target platforms as well as project and change management skills. So having the right people in place and finishing your first projects is worth celebrating. Go-Live and Release Parties are increasingly popular. I once attended an End-of-Life Party. Former clients, developers and project managers came together to say goodbye to a software that connected them over more than a decade. It was a great event with a good mix of nostalgic feelings and lots of enthusiasm for new ideas. Which leads us back to the sundowner, the end of a magical day and the excitement for what the future holds for us, once we have established a highly performance Sunsetting Factory. Cheers!