Many companies only recently made the jump to Windows 7. Is it really worth upgrading to Microsoft® Windows 10?
Microsoft had its work cut out for itself when it replaced Windows XP with Windows 7/8, for the first time having to span desktop and mobile needs. Though it was much improved in version 8.1, Windows 8 met unsurprising resistance.
Besides offering a stable and fast environment, Windows 10 addresses an issue increasingly dear to the CIO’s heart: data security. “Windows 10 features the Windows Hello framework, which replaces passwords with biometrics built into the operating system,” notes Charley Ballmer, principle consultant professional services for CompuCom. “Built-in Unified Extensible Firmware Interface Secure Boot provides protection against malware that interferes with the boot process. And support for Intel® RealSense™ enables 3D facial and heat signature recognition.”
That’s good enough for the U.S. Department of Defense, which will move all 4 million of its PCs to Windows 10 over the next 12 months. In fact, more than 75 percent of enterprises are now in pilot with Windows 10.2
More Than Secure
But security isn’t the only reason the operating system (OS) is enterprise-ready. “Windows 10 delivers the mobile-first user experience that millennials and others demand today,” Pekats says. “It starts with a graphical, touch- and stylus-enabled user interface and continues with a consistent mobile experience that follows users as they move among devices.”
In addition, because Windows 10 works with just about any device, companies can tailor devices to the needs of employees to maximize productivity. People can access what they need from anywhere — complete with prompts for where they left off — using devices optimized for them.
“This device independence is enhanced by the fact that Windows 10 helps IT deliver a fast, secure and personalized user experience,” Pekats explains. “IT can provide end users with a device or allow them to bring their own. They can use biometrics to log into the company domain and then automatically install applications, settings and custom configurations based on their role, group membership and device form factor.”
Counting Up to 10
Even if your organization only recently migrated to Windows 7, there are compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows 10, Pekats believes. Microsoft will end support for the older OS in just four years, and hardware makers increasingly prevent buyers of new equipment from downgrading to Windows 7. “Even if they do allow it, many security features and network drivers for connected equipment are no longer supported,” Pekats points out.
Windows 10 can make sense even if you’re still using older equipment. “Windows 10 is much more efficient than older versions, so it runs well on lower-performance hardware,” Pekats notes. In fact, Windows 10 can actually help you extend the life of older assets while gaining the advantages of the newer OS. “We’re seeing many companies embrace this benefit as a way to phase in their Windows 10 rollout,” Pekats says.
Windows 10 upgrades are typically driven by an event: a hardware refresh, a security breach or an expiring lease program. Another common driver is adoption of a new mission-critical application, such as a touchscreen point-of-sale system, that runs only on Windows 10. Other companies move to Windows 10 to take advantage of the collaboration benefits of Microsoft Office 365TM.
In fact, simultaneously migrating to Windows 10 and Office 365 often makes sense from cost, effort and disruption perspectives, Pekats advises. IT realizes economies of scale, because it touches each device only once for both upgrades. And employees can receive joint training, saving cost, time and hassle.
As with any software migration, validation testing and user-acceptance testing with power users are important steps. “Power users test differently, because they think through real-world scenarios for end users,” Pekats explains. “They uncover issues IT can miss.” And they can become strong proponents for the change.
By starting to take these practical steps now, Pekats says, you can ready your organization for an effective upgrade. And you can start realizing the benefits of your investment in Windows 10 that much earlier.
Office 365 for Higher Productivity, Lower Cost
Once upon a time, upgrading Microsoft Office involved a costly, three-year purchase and a high-touch migration. Today, Microsoft puts the cloud first — and it’s radically changing how end users consume Office.
Microsoft Office 365 is available by subscription in the cloud. It’s more cost-effective, because it allows end users to run five copies on five devices, with 1 TB of cloud-based storage.
Companies running Windows 10 also realize new collaboration and productivity advantages. For example, they can use Microsoft OneDrive® and Word Online, which allows people to post, view and securely work on documents with others remotely, and monitor the progress of collaborators in real time while participating in the collaboration.
Including Office 365 in a Windows 10 upgrade maximizes value to the business. All it takes is an in-place update to devices running earlier versions of Office.
1 NetMarketShare, March 2016
2 “Windows 10 Now Active on Over 200 Million Devices,” Microsoft, January 2016
All data cited in this article is used with permission.
Office 365TM is a trademark and Microsoft®, OneDrive® and Windows® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
RealSenseTM is a trademark and Intel® is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.