Sunset Policy

What is it?

What is it?

A sunset policy refers to an organization's predefined plan or strategy to phase out, decommission, or discontinue a product, service, or technology over time. It outlines the steps, timelines, and considerations for retiring outdated offerings while minimizing disruption to customers, users, and stakeholders.

Key points to remember

Key points to remember

  • Lifecycle Management: A sunset policy is part of a product or service's lifecycle management process, encompassing planning, development, deployment, operation, and retirement phases. It ensures that offerings are regularly evaluated and updated to align with evolving business objectives, technological advancements, and market demands.

  • End-of-Life Planning: The sunset policy defines the end-of-life (EOL) timeline and roadmap for retiring a product or service, including notification periods, support cessation dates, migration options, and transition assistance for affected users. It aims to provide clarity and transparency to customers regarding the product's lifecycle and future availability.


  • Customer Communication: Effective communication is crucial in implementing a sunset policy. Organizations inform customers, users, partners, and stakeholders well in advance about the planned retirement of the product or service, outlining reasons for discontinuation, alternative solutions, migration paths, and support options during the transition period.


  • Mitigating Impact: A sunset policy aims to minimize the impact of product or service discontinuation on customers and users by offering migration assistance, data export tools, backward compatibility support, or extended support agreements. It may also involve refunds, discounts, or incentives to encourage the adoption of replacement offerings.


  • Continuous Improvement: After retiring a product or service, organizations evaluate the effectiveness of the sunset policy, gather feedback from stakeholders, and incorporate lessons learned into future lifecycle management practices. Continuous improvement ensures that sunset policies remain responsive to changing market dynamics and customer needs.

Example of Use

Example of Use

  1. Software End-of-Life: A software company implements a sunset policy for one of its legacy software products, announcing a phased approach to discontinuing support and maintenance. The company communicates the EOL dates, offers migration guides, and incentivizes customers to upgrade to newer or alternative solutions.


  2. Cloud Service Deprecation: A cloud service provider introduces a sunset policy for a deprecated service offering, notifying customers about the planned shutdown and offering migration assistance to alternative services or platforms. The provider ensures data portability and offers refunds or credits for unused service portions.

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