Why you should already be planning for Windows 10…

If you have not already started doing so, then now is definately the time to be planning for the adoption of Windows 10 into your business.  There are several good reasons why this is the case, but I am going to focus on just 4.

Windows 10 has now been available for just under 12 months, in that time it has taken approximately 14% market share. So far general perception has been positive, and whilst device shipment volumes have continued to decline across the market, Windows 10 continues to have a high degree of interest, particularly across business users.

There are a number of factors that are driving Windows 10 adoption, these are rapidly converging to form  a “pincer movement”.  As such the time to act and plan for the future is now.

User Expectation

The first factor, one we speak of often, is Users and User Expectation.  Clearly adoption of Windows 10 has been focussed in the consumer environment, so awareness of and interest in the platform is high from a user perspective.  Users are starting to take advantage of some of the modern features and benefits that Windows 10 has to offer.  In today’s world of highly influential and “tech-savvy” users, driving Windows 10 as part of your Digital Workplace strategies is a good way to deliver higher user engagement, greater satisfaction and enhanced productivity by using modern tools.  To the IT department, Windows 10 is clearly a core pillar upon which other services will be layered on and integrated to.

Skylake Supportability

The next factor which is highly significant to many organisations relates to the hardware market.  As you may have seen recently, Microsoft has altered its position regarding support to existing platforms (Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) on current Skylake chipset technology.  These OS will now only be supported on these platforms until July 2018, meaning that if they haven’t already, organisations need to start their planning to move to Windows 10 in order to stay supported on their current hardware and best exploit the investments they have made.

Windows 7/8.1 Retirement

Notwithstanding the above, the final date for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 support is January 2020 and January 2023 respectively.  With Windows 7 currently holding c52% of market share and Windows 8/8.1 only c12%, clearly the compelling date is the sooner one!

While Windows 10 offers several enhancements to make the transition from old to new platforms much simpler, the planning for mainstream Windows 10 deployment and adoption across large organisations needs to begin with earnest to ensure your business and users are ready and don’t fall into the kind of “supportability gap” we saw with the XP transition.  Appropriate up front planning will ensure the maximum opportunity to exploit new features and capabilities to enhance user experience and make your users more productive and effective.

Business Opportunities

Many organisations have struggled to fully exploit modern ways of working based on legacy Microsoft platforms.  Windows 7 and 8.x did not provide the kind of mobile experience that users demanded, which in part no doubt led to the BYOD trends we saw emerge over the past few years.  With Windows 10, the business and IT benefit from what is a viable platform to support modern workstyles including mobile and remote workers, across a vast range of use cases.  The technical capabilities of Windows 10 will help organisations be more secure in the modern world of cyber threats, as well as make users more productive and effective with enhanced capabilities and new features that are provided through the new platform.

So…?

The time for action is now. If you are not already piloting or planning for Windows 10 in your business, the time is right to do so.  Whether the starting point is qualifying what it will deliver to your users via a Workstyle assessment, undertaking a Readiness Assessment of your infrastructure to integrate Windows 10, or moving into a pilot or proof of concept, there are a range of activities that can be undertaken to help you prepare for and exploit the opportunities… and importantly, avoid another last minute “XP replacement” rush!

 

About Paul Bray

Paul is Computacenter’s Chief Technologist for Workplace and User Productivity

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