Windows 10 is now clearly on the horizon. For developers, gamers and casual users that means getting carried away in the hype and excited by shiny new features. But what about businesses? They could be forgiven for dreading a new operating system. Migrating over seems like a daunting prospect – and one that is potentially unsettling to the day-to-day operation of any organization.
The first thing for businesses to be aware of is that this fear of upheaval is largely based on a dated assumption. As technology has moved on, so too has the migration process.
For most companies, their last migration involved relying heavily on lengthy desk visits and unproductive down time. But there are now ways of handling such changes which eliminate the vast bulk of this. 1E Zero Touch Windows Migration, for example, is a process that enables the vast chunk of the migration to be automated, using software that can distribute the upgrade in the background and ensuring that it’s not only quicker and less disruptive than traditional manual OS migration – but it’s also lower risk, putting significantly less strain on the business network.
Put simply, business owners and IT departments should no longer consider a migration to be the hassle it once was. The sole factors that should determine a businesses move to Windows 10 should be the merits, or otherwise, of the operating system itself.
There are strong security reasons why anyone currently using Windows 7 might want to take the jump to 10. Mainstream support for the six-year-old system is already at an end, while paid-for extended support will only stretch to 2020. CIOs and CISOs will be keen to explore the added benefits of the new OS – with protection provided from individual user identities. This offers a ‘two-factor’ authentication when users access applications, websites and devices.
Windows also promises that its new system will make it easier for organizations to achieve smoother, more streamlined operation. The way apps can be downloaded and assigned to users within an organisation offers promise for those looking to improve their software asset management and fully support BYOD. With programs available to be used across desktop, tablet and mobile, the need for multiple downloads and installations of the same software should be eliminated. This should also cater better for a flexible workforce – with documents available to be shared, updated and edited across the full set of devices used by an employee.
At a user level the focus is on productivity and – with Cortana showing potential for organising a busy calendar of meetings, the new Edge browser offering help to share and annotate important webpages and the evidence of a more recognisable Windows style making the transition swifter for users of all capabilities.
These developments show a clear desire from Microsoft to build on the strengths of Windows 7 – an OS popular with businesses because it works for them, which many will have chosen to stick with because of fears about the weaknesses of Windows 8. Those people will be satisfied to see that this year’s release offers a more natural jump for their enterprise.
It’s also important to realise that Windows 10 could be the end of the line for ‘big bang’ upgrades such as this. From now on Microsoft will issue upgrades and updates for the individual components of its system, rather than a sweeping change. For businesses, this is an almost earth-shattering change: just one more migration, and then business as usual forever more, with IT departments simply adding OS updates to their existing schedule of patches and updates.
The promise of an end to migration projects is even more compelling than all of Windows 10’s future working features. In fact, it is this development that takes the notion of IT that is fast, responsive lean and secure out of the realm of aspiration and places it within every organization’s grasp. Unlike Windows 8, it’s an opportunity that few can afford to miss.