Cutover Strategies for System Migration
The final stage of the system development life cycle is devoted to migrating the new system from a development-testing-staging environment to the production environment and turning over control to the user. The main goals of migration are to meet the system requirements and to complete the project within constraints of time and cost.
The two basic migration steps are to (1) design and perform final system test and user acceptance tests, and (2) transfer system control to the users.
When the user accepts the new system as it is constructed, the developers turn the system over to the user and the system goes into production. This process may be called cutover, publishing, or deploying, depending on the context.
Cutover to the New System
There are four basic cutover strategies: (a) pilot system, (b) immediate cutover, (c) phased cutover, and (d) phased cutover.
Each of the three main strategies incurs different migration costs and a different degree of risk. Immediate cutover offers low cost yet high risk. Parallel cutover is a high-cost strategy but features low risk. Phased cutover offers a compromise in terms of medium cost and risk. Each can be an effective strategy, depending on the nature of the system being installed.
A pilot system is one that is installed in only one part of the firm's operations as a way to measure its impact. Once the pilot performs satisfactorily, the system is installed in the remainder of the firm in an immediate, phased, or parallel manner. A pilot system is like a test marketing activity that a firm can follow to evaluate the reception that consumers will give a new product. As an example, a soft drink firm can use such a city as Phoenix to test the appeal of a new drink.
When immediate cutover is followed, the old system is dismantled and the new system is put into operation simultaneously. In other words, the old...