Here’s your complete Windows 10 migration guide
It’s true, we’re only a few weeks into 2019 – but you need to mark January 14, 2020 on your calendar right now.
That’s the day Microsoft is officially calling it quits on Windows 7 – and if your business is still running it, it’s also the day your migration to Windows 10 needs to be complete.
Yes, it’s going to take a little time and effort, and yes, it’ll be totally worth it. We gathered a few tips from Ross Sorensen, HP Distinguished Technologist and Windows 10 Services Lead, on why this is the most important Windows migration in years – and how to get started.
Security, security, and did we mention security?
Windows last End of Service deadline was back in 2014, when Windows XP was put to rest. As IT pros recall, there were a significant number of holdouts – which resulted in a worldwide ransomware outbreak that Microsoft had to patch in 2017. Lesson learned. Sorensen says:
Security needs are similar between an SMB and an enterprise organization. The difference is the amount of resources that each can apply towards the management of the security.
The security suite that comes with Windows 10 provides defenses against these attacks right out of the box, which is particularly handy for small- and medium-sized businesses.
It’s cost-effective in the long run.
Yes, any migration has some up-front costs – but if you stick with Windows 7 past its end of service date you’ll be looking at some serious problems down the road.
“You can extend support until 2023, but in the past, this has cost anywhere between $50 and $200 per device,” Sorensen says. Then there’s all the third-party application developers who’ll be discontinuing Windows 7 support (if they haven’t already).
Worried about the Windows 10 compatibility of your own business’s apps? “That’s one of the main blockers for businesses,” Sorensen says. “Microsoft has put a lot of thought into this and recently released the App Health Analyzer tool, which can reduce testing costs.”
A good migration plan is key.
“Planning is the one part of the project that usually gets the least amount of attention,” Sorensen says. “But developing a strategy for how to deploy Windows 10 to all the users without impacting productivity is essential.”
Here are a few tips:
- Get started on testing managed applications. Most organizations put applications into four buckets: managed, supported, unsupported, and unwanted applications. Test your managed applications first, since these are critical to your business.
- Decide if you’ll be completely wiping the existing hardware and putting on a new operating system or just doing a simple upgrade. Both have benefits and drawbacks; work through these and include support as part of your decision.
- The other critical part of a Windows 10 upgrade or deployment is testing. “At HP, we do a lot with Proof of Concept labs and pilot the approach with a select group of users to ensure that the process is correct,” Sorensen says. “This is where all the changes and tweaks occur to make sure that the deployment is successful.”
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