If you depend on computer systems to run a company or any other business for that matter, one of the challenges you are likely to face at least once in your life is a system changeover. There are many times when you may need to switch from one operating system to another. Some of these include when you are upgrading your equipment and processes, and even when you are expanding the capabilities of your current system.
When you are tackling this process, it’s important to remember that there are many challenges you need to address in order to get the changeover right. The only way to prevent this is through proper planning way before you institute the change. Some of the things you need to plan for include:
File system issues
If you are switching from one operating system to another, the issue of file compatibility might arise. This is particularly so if you are switching to a system that is not compatible with the one you are migrating from. One of the solutions for this is to have the files converted into a format that the new system can recognize. Sometimes, this can be a very technical process, and you may need to consult high quality computer support firms to get it done. The other alternative is to opt to switch to a system that is compatible with the one you are migrating from. Of course, you would first need to find out if it has the features you need.
When you are switching from one system to another, you may need to take the entire computer system in the business offline. This usually depends on the way the system is designed to run. In the case of a bank, for instance, you might want to switch the ATM operating systems to a more advanced one in order to avoid fraud. When doing this over the air, it might be necessary to first make all of the bank’s ATMs offline, so that this can be done.
Since this will be an inconvenience to many people, you will need to inform them in advance so that they can prepare for it. If the downtime is likely to have major consequences on the company’s operations, you could also consider doing the upgrade at a time when business volume is low, such as at night or during public holidays and weekends.
How your employees will adapt
When your employees are suddenly switched to a new computer system that they don’t fully understand, things have the potential to get disastrous. The commonest problem is that they may not know how to proceed with the new system, and this in turn means that they could fumble a lot. This has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the entire system, and could even result in data losses.
You should consider taking your staff members through a training course in order to prevent this. You should also aim to ensure that by the time the new system is in place, the people who will be using it most will be in a position to understand how to do so.
In addition to that, they should be familiar with any new features, so that the changeover will add value to how they work. Spending money on a system that does not result in efficiency in the part of the employees could be considered as a waste of money.
If you are thinking of changing your company’s operating system, always consider the technical details that this might involve. Working hand in hand with a computer specialist is usually the most effective way of doing this.