Migration of an Application Environment Following a Company Split
Company mergers and splits are constant occurrences in the life sciences. They require a restructuring not only of the organization but also its infrastructure. During a recent project, ARCONDIS demonstrated how to achieve this: when an international life sciences company split from its parent enterprise, ARCONDIS took care of the program management and migration of the entire application environment.
Half of them are GxP-relevant and subject to revalidation. The most complex part of the project is the sequential transfer of the entire infrastructure to the new environment. Once all involved components have been migrated, integration testing will help ensure compliance. It involves user accounts and peripheral devices, such as printers, that interfere with the application. To ensure that no component or interface remains untested, the project team has developed a watertight traceability matrix that traces all dependencies.
During the next and last step of the program, applications that are orphaned or no longer needed will be disabled.
Not only did the program achieve its objective of a smooth one-to-one migration to the new environment, it also created additional benefits thanks to an intelligent migration strategy. The client will continue reaping these benefits even after the end of the program:
- The new inventory records all applications in a central location.
- The GxP status of every application has been determined and all gaps have been closed.
- In order to create synergies, ARCONDIS worked with the application owners to determine the optimal point in time for life cycle changes and migration processes. The applications only had to be validated once. This made it possible to integrate new functions and optimizations into day-to-day operations with minimal disruptions.
- The entire application landscape has been tidied up, and orphaned applications have been eliminated.
In addition, ARCONDIS is working with the same client on another project involving the introduction of ServiceNow. Thanks to the application inventory, the configuration items can be set up fast and efficiently.
■ Stefan Eckert
UPDATE interview with ARCONDIS project manager Stefan Eckert:
Mr. Eckert, in your opinion, what are the most important success factors for a M&A‑driven migration of an application environment?
“For a program of this enormous scope, you need a solid set-up with high-quality data and a powerful scope management, as scope creep has spelt the end of many large projects in the past. The centralized application inventory and clean change management allowed us to trace relevant decisions and keep a firm handle on the scope of the project.
When setting up the program plan, never start at the level of individual applications. You won’t see the forest for the trees. Instead, establish a comprehensive strategy for the various types of software before moving on to the details. And never underestimate your communication strategy. You will need platforms for regular exchange and the management buy-in to ensure participation by all relevant stakeholders. Above all, a holistic approach with a well-coordinated team will yield success where piecemeal strategies fail.”