A Cutover is a transition from one system to another while maintaining service-related data. As the previous system is already in operation and business processes rely on it, it is imperative to keep the disruption of the service at a minimum to avoid losses on business transactions, customer churn or fines by authorities and regulators.

What are the challenges?

The challenges in a Cutover come from a typically broad set of well established IT systems, interfaces, batches and processes. But when parts of the system are exchanged, questions arise regarding data integrity, initial data loads, etc.

Moreover, as the activities required to exchange a part of the system are not part of day-to-day operations, manual interaction and execution become requirements to perform Cutover. We call this Cutover Orchestration or Cutover Management. It involves the planning and coordination of all resources (technical and staff) in the extraordinary situation of a Cutover.

The data maintained in a Cutover is typically Client data, transaction data, audit data, market data and financial data. Depending on the system used, the data might include internal and operational data and data used in strategic planning. If the data is not available via interfaces of the daily business, then data migration needs execution on the day or weekend of the Cutover. A key aspect is then the data reconciliation, which ensures that the correct and complete data has been migrated. In some scenarios, that can be a rather simple task. In other cases (e.g. when cutting over an Insurance Management or Investment Management platform), it requires profound scoping, planning and execution. The time pressure arises from the tight timeframe to reconcile and to validate the data (day or weekend).

What are the requirements to manage a Cutover smoothly?

In our projects, we always start with the definition of the Cutover Scope, which maps out all involved systems, platforms, interfaces, batches, and other technicalities. You can call this re-engineering the architectural and technical landscape. In parallel, we tailor the so-called Cutover concept to the specific situation at hand. The centerpiece is a so-called flight path on how we are increasingly preparing and practising for the actual Cutover. Key elements are: systems and data involved, business departments and support areas involved, the communication and decision making concept along the waypoints of the project.

When is a good time to start Cutover preparation?

We often hear this question. The answer is for many surprising: You should start planning your Cutover straight away when kicking-off the project! A key reason is that there is a wide involvement of many project stakeholders. And usually, the review of the Cutover scope and concept is a relevant input from other project members. Timing is very important in all we do.

If you have any question or comments, or would like to have a chat on your current and upcoming projects Cutovers, please get in touch. More information on what we do in our Readiness Advisory is available here.

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