Business constraints play a significant role in determining the nature of a deployment project. One key to successful deployment design is finding the optimal way to meet business requirements within known business constraints. The business constraints can be fiscal limitations, physical limitations (for example, network capacity), time limitations (for example, completion before significant events such as the next annual meeting), or any other limitation you anticipate as a factor that affects the achievement of the business goal.
This section describes several factors to consider when defining business constraints.
Typically, a deployment project replaces or supplements existing software infrastructure and data. Any new solution must be able to migrate data and procedures from the existing infrastructure to the new solution, often retaining interoperability with existing applications. An analysis of the current infrastructure is necessary to determine the extent migration issues play into the proposed solution.
The schedule for implementation of a solution can affect design decisions. Aggressive schedules might result in scaling back of goals, changing priorities, or adopting an incremental solution approach. Within a schedule, significant milestones might exist that deserve consideration as well. Milestones can be set by internal events such as scheduled service rollouts or external events such as the opening date of a school semester.
Most deployment projects must adhere to a budget. Considering the cost of building the proposed solution and the resources required to maintain the solution over a specific lifetime including the following:
Existing hardware and network infrastructure. Reliance on existing infrastructure can affect the design of a system.
Development resources needed to implement the solution. Limited development resources, including hardware, software, and human resources, might suggest incremental deployment. You might have to reuse the same resources or development teams for each incremental phase you implement.
Maintenance, administration, and support. Analyze the resources available to administer, maintain, and support users on the system. Limited resources might impact design decisions.
In addition to maintenance, administration, and support, analyze other factors that affect the cost of ownership. Hardware and software upgrades might be necessary, the impact of the solution on the power grid, telecommunications cost, and other factors influence out-of-pocket expenses. Service level agreements specifying availability levels for the solution also affect the cost of ownership by requiring increased redundancy.
The implementation of a solution should provide a return on the investment into the solution. Analysis of return on investment typically involves measuring the financial benefits gained from the expenditure of capital.
Estimating the financial benefits of a solution involves a careful analysis of the goals to be achieved in comparison with alternate ways of achieving those goals and with the cost of doing nothing at all.