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How lifecycle management can stop the end-of-support problem
Wed, 19th Apr 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft announced it has ended support for Office 2013 as of April 11, 2023, resulting in some IT administrators scrambling to upgrade. Yet others are not. IT administrators who practise software lifecycle management have already identified, scheduled and implemented necessary upgrades.

While some administrators are losing sleep over the looming loss of access to technical support, updates, bug fixes and security patches, those practising lifecycle management have moved on to focus on other vital business functions.

Simply put, software lifecycle management reduces surprises by configuring the IT environment and following a plan for ongoing assessments and updates.

Although the concept is simple, it is not always easy to implement. As IT environments have become more complex and geographically dispersed, an entire team can be consumed by just trying to keep up.

Each new addition of hardware or software that requires specialised knowledge can mean additional hiring and lengthy learning curves.

So how to make lifecycle management work?

Software lifecycle management has to start with a big-picture look at the configuration of an IT environment. A clear-eyed assessment can expose issues that need to be addressed before this strategy can be effective.

Issues include sprawl, cumbersome legacy systems, and the demands of critical business functions. Of course, it’s also important to understand the capabilities and availability of staff who’ll be able to monitor the environment while managing change and innovation.

Lifecycle management starts with careful configuration, then involves ongoing drift analysis to identify systems that are due for updates, reconfiguration or patching.

IT systems require continuous attention to avoid performance loss, noncompliance, and security vulnerabilities. But this is increasingly impossible as systems are becoming larger and more complex.

Fortunately, automations are being developed to streamline the tasks of identifying, patching and updating of systems. Implementing automations not only gives precious time back to a tech team for more important activities, it helps to mitigate the potential for human error.

Migration tools may be overlooked while implementing a lifecycle management plan, but what’s migration got to do with it?

IT administrators often think of migrations as the result of a merger or acquisition, not necessarily as a management tool. Yet migration can be the starting point for configuring an environment so that a tech team can implement efficient lifecycle management.

Moving to the cloud or consolidating tenants is a growing strategy for taking the burden of day-to-day administrative chores away from an IT team, allowing them to focus on more impactful work.

Established cloud providers like Microsoft Azure handle maintenance, updates, patches and security, so an organisation doesn’t have to. The flexibility of a cloud environment also assures more capacity to optimise system configuration and implement new applications more quickly.

Without an automated migration tool, some IT administrators are hesitant to take on what they perceive to be yet another big project. Now, strategically executed migrations have become a component of streamlined lifecycle management because a consolidated cloud environment can result in lower support and operating costs, significant time savings, improved productivity, and the end of costly and embarrassing downtime.

A tech team may be feeling the pressure to migrate Office 2013 if they haven’t already upgraded. Or they could be planning a migration as part of their lifecycle management plans. Whatever the reason, now’s a good time to get migration app licences. Look for promotional pricing on popular licences. Some deals are available: for example:

  • 50GB shared document licence: Migrate files, folders, permissions, versions and metadata for just USD $22 per licence.
  • 100GB shared document license: Migrate larger document workloads for USD $29 USD and save $35 per licence.
  • Teams collaboration license: Move Microsoft Teams and components, including channels, conversation history, and chats, for USD $39 per licence.
  • Tenant migration bundle (TMB): Each licence includes one user migration bundle licence and a flex collaboration licence enabling users to migrate mailboxes, documents and personal archives with no data limit. It available for USD $47 per bundle licence/per user for a limited time.