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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

The importance of flexibility in an IT upgrade

September 5th, 2017

Technology often changes too fast for IT upgrade plans. If you aren't willing to be flexible, upgrading can be a real pain.

Lately we have been working on upgrading a client to an Oracle 12C database from a 10G database that was built around 2005 or 2006.

We drafted our initial plan to upgrade this client's system two years ago. But thanks to procurement lag and technology advancements, we've had to change the plan entirely.

Fortunately, our client is flexible. That's not always the case. Some customers are stuck on their original plan, and they have trouble coming to terms with the fact that today, technology can ruin your plans in the blink of an eye.

Staying flexible

Often clients stick to the original plan because they're afraid of price increases. Sometimes they have experienced what we call "death by change requests," where each change has required a little more money on their end.

A good vendor can help you stay flexible within your budget and adjust the plan so that you get what you need. But for us to make that happen, customers need to be flexible. In today's world, no plan is going to stay the same.

No matter how many paint color samples you see, the paint is always going to look different once you've put it on the wall. Likewise, your original IT plan is going to look different after a year's worth of technology advancements.

Ideally, you should be willing to do some re-prioritization or regrouping if a year has gone by. If you're forcing everyone to stick to an old plan, you're cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Tech changes too fast for stubborn planning

I once heard a frustrated CFO wonder when these technology advancements were going to slow down. The answer is maybe never. Bottom line is that the days of slow and static tech are long gone. In the blink of an eye, everything can change.

That's why it's important to be flexible when you're planning on upgrading systems. Why would you want to fight against changes that will improve your new system? Quit working so hard to be worse off than you were at the beginning. Embrace the flexible nature of technology and adapt your plan accordingly.

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