End in sight for Queensland Health's Windows 7 migration

Original budget revised upwards from $11 million to $25.3 million

Queensland Health says the largest part of a massive migration program that will see its standard operating environment shift from Windows XP to Windows 7 is expected to be completed by mid-July at the latest.

“By project end over 62,000 workstations located across Queensland will have been successfully migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7,” Colin McCririck, chief executive at eHealth Queensland, Department of Health, told Computerworld Australia.

“The core objective of the program — migration of the workstation fleet off Windows XP — will be largely complete by end June/mid-July 2016, with only a relatively small number of devices remaining on Windows XP.

“Any remaining devices will be managed separately by operational business units within Queensland Health.”

“Queensland Health’s desktop environment is ageing,” noted Queensland's eHealth investment strategy, which was released in September. “Trends in desktop services and software have changed considerably with the increasing emergence of Cloud-based services,” the document stated.

“The current desktop environment, based on Microsoft’s Windows XP, is no longer supported and inhibits upgrades to existing clinical and system support applications.”

McCririck said that the migration program is on-track for closure by its revised forecast end date of October 2016. The program had originally expected to be closed out this month, but both its budget and end date were revised last year.

“The original planned expenditure did not include the labour costs associated with the replacement of a substantial portion of Queensland Health’s aging workstation fleet,” McCririck said.

“A revised forecast incorporated these additional costs and expanded scope.”

Read more: Queensland earmarks $119.9 million for health tech

“A significant proportion of program resources were also invested into remediation activities to ensure the compatibility of Queensland Health software with Windows 7,” the eHealth Queensland chief said.

“The end date was extended under approval from the program steering committee in September 2015 based on learnings from previous deployments and consideration of the complexity of the program.”

The original planned expenditure was $11 million; planned expenditure is now $25.3 million.

The migration program has been largely delivered as an internal initiative at Queensland Health.

“The program engaged a number of partners to assist with project delivery, however it has primarily been managed, driven and resourced using Queensland Health resources,” McCririck said.

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