Windows transition a long process for Screen Australia

Project started in 2009 won’t be completed until 2011

Government agency Screen Australia’s decision to move its desktop infrastructure from Apple to Windows has taken longer than expected due to challenges with managing disparate IT systems.

The agency's consensus to move from a Apple environment in favour of Microsoft Windows, made in July 2009, followed the merger of new.

At the time, Screen Australia explained the new environment would provide the basis for "scalability and future business initiatives and directions" and as a means to align its IT platforms with the vast majority of Australian federal government agencies.

According to a Screen Australia spokesperson, the past year and a half has been spent in preparing itself for the transition to Windows.

“A number of readiness activities were identified to prepare for an all MS Windows environment including the consolidation of a number of disparate systems and the associated data," the spokesperson told COmputerwoordl Australia. "All current applications and data have been tested to ensure compatibility with the proposed Windows environment.

"These activities will help streamline the migration and significantly reduce transition risk as well as improve the availability and access to information after the transition.”

The spokesperson said that other activities had also taken place prior to the transition to ensure that the small IT organisation within Screen Australia was well placed for the move.

These included stabilising the current IT environment in an effort to reduce the likelihood of issues arising and impacting current systems during the transition period.

Simultaneous to these activities, Screen Australia has hired a vendor to assist with the transition and, in consultation with the Screen Australia business and relevant stakeholders, draft a detailed design and transition plan.

“Following Departmental funding approval and after a rigorous selection process, Screen Australia has now selected the infrastructure and services supplier,” the spokesperson said.

The agency is in the final stages of contract negotiations and has planned to build, deploy and test all back end systems by the end of January 2011, followed by the migration of data, desktop deployments and user training throughout February and March.

Screen Australia has about 147 desktop/laptop systems of which 80 per cent are Apple Macintosh and 20 per cent Microsoft Windows based.

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