Adjusting PeopleSoft 9.2 Maintenance
For more than two decades, PeopleSoft followed the industry standard for how to deliver new application functionality to customers. The periodic delivery of massive application upgrades which were difficult and costly to apply was a model which customers had no choice but to accept. Internally, IT Departments and Line of Business system owners took up battle positions over upgrade scheduling. IT, which controlled the resources, would hold out for as long as possible to avoid committing time and money to an arduous PeopleSoft upgrade while Business owners would track and monitor fixes and enhancements delivered in new releases to build a business case in their favor.
Habits built up over the years – and assumptions based on these habits – need reassessment. Oracle has completely revamped how it delivers fixes and updates to customers; With 9.2 applications and 8.55 Tools, customers should be able to stand up a new PI (PeopleSoft Image) with one click and 20 minutes. Automating migrations and testing will both standardize and further accelerate the update process. An update mentality and process is different than the old upgrade mentality.
The arrival of SaaS applications turned the model on its head with patches and new functionality automatically applied on a regular schedule to enable business to take advantage of enhancements much more rapidly. While PeopleSoft is not a SaaS application, this delivery model is very appealing to line of business users who have been used to waiting years for new functionality. This is the driving requirement behind the Continuous Delivery model introduced in the PeopleSoft 9.2 application suites. By applying features and functions made available in PeopleSoft Update Images released multiple times each year, end users get the benefit of the SaaS delivery model within their tried and trusted PeopleSoft applications. Changes from Images can be absorbed in smaller, more manageable individual units, rather than as an enormous package from a traditional upgrade. The PeopleSoft Update Manager allows flexible updates: what you want, when you want it, with each image cummulative, and up-to-date.
The challenge for PeopleSoft customers in the age of Continuous Delivery is to overcome the traditional mindset of deferring all updates until there is some overwhelming need to apply the full scope of updates and enhancements. There is great benefit to applying incremental improvements from Images as they become available; the update approach accelerates the time-to-value for business with a much smaller impact to resources from both IT and the business. As a part of the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2, or very soon after, the customer business and IT owners should work together to define the cadence and decision making process for evaluating Images and applying selective updates.