To migrate or not to migrate? For many enterprise firms this is the million dollar question arising every time Microsoft releases the next version of its flagship operating system.
Windows 10 may have been receiving rave reviews for its build quality and new features (including a new web browser and the return of the Start Menu), but that doesn’t make migrating an easy decision. There are still plenty of factors for businesses to consider and we’ve taken a look at some of the most important below.
One of the main reasons for migrating to a new operating system is that it usually offers better protection against the most recent cyberthreats. Although vulnerabilities are often present in new operating systems, developers are quick to patch them and Microsoft’s commitment to swift security resolutions has already been demonstrated since the launch of Windows 10.
Enterprise firms will also find that Windows 10 comes with a number of additional security features that are not available across older operating systems. Both Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello enable employees to log in to their devices or business apps without a password, instead using two-factor authentication and fingerprint recognition respectively.
Modern cyber threats are constantly evolving and businesses may want to consider whether an older operating system offers an adequate level of protection.
For many enterprise firms the question is not so much whether they are ready to migrate, but whether Windows 10 is ready for them. The operating system will continually evolve as Microsoft adds updates and improvements and businesses may not want to rush into an upgrade if they feel the product is not yet right.
As is to be expected, a number of issues were reported in the immediate aftermath of the Windows 10 launch, but for enterprise firms an OS problem could cause a loss of revenue or reputational damage. What’s more, Windows 7 support is not scheduled to end until January 2020, so there really is no rush for enterprises to migrate before they have absolute confidence in their new operating system.
The modern workforce
Being able to accommodate modern business processes is a key issue when deciding whether or not to migrate to a new operating system. Traditional ways of working are eroding rapidly and enterprise firms will have to consider whether legacy systems can provide the flexibility and agility that their customers and employees demand.
BYOD policies, for example, are now commonplace in many enterprises and as such, Windows 10 incorporates a unified Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform to help businesses organise and secure their own unique combination of corporate and personal devices.
Many new pieces of Microsoft hardware like Surface Hub and HoloLens will also run Windows 10, so businesses will need to assess whether these innovative devices will be of benefit to their operations. If they are looking to increase the number of devices at their disposal, then Windows 10 could be the ideal operating system.
It doesn’t matter how many new features an operating system has, if it is more difficult to use then employees are unlikely to be as productive. There are always going to be some teething problems as staff get use to different interfaces, but with Windows 10 it seems like Microsoft is taking user feedback seriously.
The Start Menu has made a return and is customisable, so employees can have their most frequently used apps on hand at all times. The full-screen start menu used in Windows 8 can still be accessed, however, which is likely to prove useful for firms that use tablets in the workplace. There’s also a Cortana search function that enables you to type or speak your requests and you can ask Microsoft’s personal assistant to remind you to do something later in the day. The added productivity features included in Windows 10 suggest that Microsoft is letting businesses decide which way of working suits them best by providing an adaptive and flexible OS.
Sometimes the biggest issue surrounding a large-scale technical migration is simply inertia – if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Microsoft has already witnessed this with Windows XP, which continued to prove popular with some businesses even after official support ended in April 2014. However, enterprise firms may also feel that by not embracing new software they run the risk of stagnating and being overtaken by their competitors.
Read more: Windows 10 adoption rate slowing
A reluctance to change operating system is not necessarily a bad thing, however. It is important for all companies to carry out a thorough evaluation of the advantages and drawbacks of migration before coming to a final decision.
Appreciating all the factors surrounding a Windows 10 migration is absolutely vital to understand whether moving to a new OS is right for your enterprise.