Work/Life Parallels A "Real IT Story of Windows Server Migration and Step Families

Image credit: New Zealand Transport Agency | Licensed under: Wikimedia Commons





Recently, a good friend of mine got married – remarried actually. He and his lovely bride are a good match. They have similar interests, enjoy each other’s company and each already had a son and a daughter in their mid-to-late teens.

This is the second go round for both my friend and his new wife. So, of course, their union came with the whole rigmarole of kids and step kids, which cars get parked in the garage, negotiating a peace treaty between territorial pets, etc. But, by far, the most difficult part was creating a home from two sets of everything: two coffee tables, two dining room sets and two dressers.

Further complicating this merger, the furniture and other décor items were from two very different schools of design.

So, the journey to creating their home together required some adjustments, a few gut-wrenching decisions and compromise from everyone.

We're Talking Mergers

Observing this whole process of creating one organized structure out of two formerly very independent organizations struck me as being parallel to what many companies experience when merging with another company.

When two companies merge, you have two entities that, at first glance, appear very similar. They’re usually in the same industry with some overlapping product and services. They’ve typically made an acquisition to fill gaps in their offering or to capture more market share. Even when both companies both have Window-based infrastructures, the challenges of merging can take years and not always go smoothly.

Oftentimes, they must undergo an extensive migration. Now, I don’t know if there are resources like Dell’s Windows migration assistant for merging two families into one, but I’m sure my friend would have appreciated the guidance.

Two of Everything and Cutting Down to One

And for IT managers that have the tremendous responsibility of overseeing critical elements of mergers – such as Active Directory (AD) migration and Windows server migrations – it can be a stressful event that consumes not only their daily professional lives but also their family lives.

We’ve written a Real IT story about an IT manager whose AD migration project kept him from his passion in life, coaching his son in baseball. Our Real IT stories combine our customers’ actual circumstances – in this case, merging 27 AD forests into one – and some of the circumstances that we believe surround them in their personal lives. Have a look at the story and let me know if it reminds you of yourself and your own journey for work/life balance.