Here at iNTERFACEWARE, we get asked a lot of questions surrounding interoperability. Therefore, we’ve decided to take some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our customers, and have our experts share their answers. We will be posting these questions and our experts’ advice through our new blog segment, iNTERFACEWARE Answers. In this first kick-off post, we will be discussing integration engine migration.
We find that many of our customers are concerned about the risks and necessary resources associated with migrating from one integration engine to Iguana. This post is designed to address some of these concerns by outlining a plan to ensure proper change management when switching to any integration engine.
What is Change Management?
Change management is the process of ensuring that the entire organization is prepared, equipped, and well supported to successfully adopt change and therefore, drive success. More specifically, change management is a formal way of communicating what change will be occurring in the organization, what it will look like at every functional level of the organization, and how it will help employees to do their jobs better.
Why is it important?
Change management plays an important role in the adoption and implementation of new technologies. It is common for people to become comfortable with current processes, workflows, and technology, therefore, changes are often met with resistance from employees. By putting a plan in place that informs employees of the changes occurring and the roles that they play in making the change successful, they are better prepared and therefore, more open to the transition. This facilitates a smoother change process as all those involved are accepting of the change and can assist in making the implementation successful, saving the organization time and resources.
FAQ: How can I prepare my team to ensure a seamless migration from one integration engine to another?
Often times, a large concern for our customers when considering the migration of integration engines, is experiencing downtime and running into issues that may slow down day-to-day operations.
At iNTERFACEWARE, we believe that the end goal of an integration engine migration is that the system looks and operates the same way it did before, both internally and externally to users and clients. Below we’ve outlined some of the necessary steps shared by our experts regarding the components of effortless migration.
Organizational Migration Plan
Informs all personnel of the migration so that all departments are informed and aligned with the changes taking place.
This is important as migration will affect both internal and external stakeholders, their data, and processes. Some points for consideration are:
- Downtime: Informing internal and external stakeholders of the downtime necessary to perform the actual migration
- Labour Utilization: Ensuring that the necessary resources are in place to not only complete the migration, but also keep up with day-to-day operations. If there are not enough resources available to handle both, organizations will have to decide whether the migration takes priority over using staffing resources for day-to-day activities
- Communication: Making sure that the IT staff is able to coordinate with other teams (security team, hardware team, etc) and effectively communicate the details of the integration system change
- Hardware: Understanding what hardware resources will be necessary to complete the migration
- Timeline: Preparing a realistic timeline for how long each stage of the migration process will last
The details of how the old interfaces using the old integration engine will be converted into new interfaces using the new integration engine
The implementation plan will differ depending on organizational structure but, in general, there should be an implementation team, responsible for building interfaces, and a separate quality assurance (QA) team that tests the interfaces. This is important for efficiency as interfaces can be built faster but more importantly, the separation of teams helps to avoid overlooking errors and bias
QA /Testing Plan
Helps to ensure the output of the new interfaces matches the output of the old interfaces
Managers should keep in mind that QA testing is often considered to be the bottleneck during the migration process. Therefore, it is important to communicate to all those involved internally and externally that this may be a lengthy process. Although this process takes the longest amount of time to complete, it is important not to rush through the testing phase. It is also crucial to allocate the time necessary to ensure that interfaces have been coded and are working correctly
The three types of testing that we recommend include:
- Functional Testing: This is a checklist of all the functions used in the interface and ensuring that they are working correctly. This includes ensuring that the outputs from the old interfaces match the outputs from the new interfaces. Functional testing will ensure that all components are set up correctly
- Performance Testing: Otherwise known as load testing, this involves sending typical message volumes to the new interface to make sure that it can handle the load
- Integrated Testing: End-to-end testing with test systems that the new engine will eventually be exchanging messages with
The process of switching from the old integration engine to the new one
All users and clients should be informed of the downtime that will occur during the migration
Migration Approach 1: Involves switching all interfaces at once, from the old integration engine to the new one. This is a recommended approach if an organization handles a small number of interfaces, as it is easier and more efficient
Migration Approach 2: Involves switching over interfaces in stages, or migrating in groups, one at a time. This approach is recommended if an organization handles a large number of interfaces. Using a stage approach allows for the IT team to catch problems quickly and fix smaller issues as opposed to all interfaces being affected and having to be fixed at once
Post Launch Support
Once the migration to the new integration engine is completed, it is important to ensure that there is some form of post-launch support from the software vendor. This will act as a check-up to confirm that all is working correctly and efficiently.
We hope that we’ve provided some insightful information on how you can better ensure a seamless integration engine migration. Feel free to leave us some question suggestions for our next post down below!
If you want to learn more about integration engine migration or have any questions, feel free to contact us.