System deployment in the 21st century is a complicated matter. Between all the possible hardware combinations, operating systems, and software in use, it takes a highly skilled professional to oversee system deployment on an enterprise scale.
Understanding System Requirements and User Needs
Begin the process by sitting down with your client to better understand the scope of the project, establish system requirements, and address the needs of users. This conversation might even take place over the span of several days and weeks, but it’s a critical first step that makes every subsequent task that much easier.
Considering Any Legacy Systems
Don’t forget to ask your client about any possible legacy systems already in place. This probably isn’t an issue if you’re working with a brand new company, but established organizations will almost always have legacy hardware and software to overcome. Finding out this information as early as possible is the key.
Backing Up Critical Data
It goes without saying that this is one of the most important steps in the entire system deployment. No organization wants to lose the valuable data they already have, and doing so could result in a major catastrophe. Make sure to avoid this issue by taking the time to backup their current system before making any changes – even if the company already maintains backups of their own.
Performing Comprehensive Testing
You’ll also want to test the new system before deploying it across the entire company. This gives you the opportunity to address any significant bugs or flaws in a private environment.
Deploying with Confidence
If you’ve followed all of the steps thus far, you should be ready to confidently deploy the system. Depending on the size of the company and the scope of the deployment, this could be a lengthy process that requires days or even weeks of work by multiple technicians. Thankfully, you should already have a good idea of the system requirements and easy access to the necessary resources.
Offering Training if Necessary
In some cases, you might be tasked with training the users to ensure their proficiency with the new system. This is best handled with group-oriented sessions and hands-on demonstrations of any new processes or procedures that the users are expected to know. Don’t forget to give them some time to ask their own questions at the end of the class, as this will ensure their own confidence when using the new system.
Providing Quick and Efficient Troubleshooting
Regardless of how much pre-planning and testing you’ve already done, there are bound to be a few bugs or unexpected issues with the new system. As such, you should be prepared to provide quick and efficient troubleshooting in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Releasing Regular Updates
Most systems aren’t deployed in their finalized state. Generally speaking, you’ll likely be expected to provide regular updates, including hardware and software upgrades, to maintain pace with the evolution of technology.
Finally, don’t forget to maintain communications before, during, and after the deployment. Not only does this give you the chance to ask any questions during the process, but it gives your client the peace of mind in knowing that their needs are being taken care of.