Windows XP Support End Looms – Automation Eases Windows 7 Migration

By Randy Littleson

Companies of all sizes have one eye on the clock ticking
down to the end of Windows XP support.
Numbers vary on the percentage of corporations and desktops that have
been migrated to Windows 7 (we are not seeing many migrating to Windows 8), but
all numbers point to a large number of companies that have yet to finish.  It’s a pretty safe bet that the overwhelming
majority of companies that are not finished are at some point in their project
to get there.

No matter where you’re at in the planning or execution
stages of your Windows 7 migration, you will clearly benefit from automation of
the Application Readiness process.  As
the clock ticks down, you may think that an option is to outsource the management
of application preparedness to a third party in an effort to get done by the
deadline by “throwing bodies at the problem.”
As is typically the case in such situations, you may succeed with this,
but you’ve really just put a band aid over the core issue that will come back
to bite you later.  What you won’t be
achieving by going this route is establishing/improving your overall Application
Readiness processes
, systems and tools critical to dealing with future
changes (and keep in mind that industry data shows that 30% of applications
change each year and need to go through this process).   Future changes are likely to include moving to
Microsoft System Center 2012 or standardizing on application
virtualization
delivery models.

Since the big Windows 7 migration projects began over 3
years ago, Application Readiness solutions to manage application
migrations
have emerged and matured substantially, evolving from tactical
tools to integrated solutions that are highly functional for day-to-day
packaging tasks but also highly scalable for mass application migration
projects.  And, they are field proven to work—saving you time and
increasing the success rate of application migration projects.

While focusing on applications is a critical component of
your Windows 7 migration you can’t forget about your users.  The massive
time and effort of manually scheduling deployment to users can be a large
project.  New solutions have emerged in this area as well.  App Stores
not only allow you to deliver new apps to users but can also be used by IT and
end users to manage and schedule OS Deployments in a way that minimizes mass
help desk calls and network traffic, allows IT to have a controlled deployment
and gives end users control over when their machines will be updated

You can complete your Windows 7 projects by the XP deadline,
but you need to leverage advancements in automation for these critical
areas:

  • Assessing application compatibility status
  • Remediating issues
  • Publishing fixed applications to your deployment
    solution
  • Scheduling deployments with users

Be sure any solution you select has the following critical
capabilities:

  • Proven and reliable in many successful Windows 7
    migrations, application virtualization projects and day-to-day application
    packaging
  • Allows you to implement best practice MSI and application
    packaging standards at the same time you are assessing and preparing
    applications for Windows 7 deployment
  • Ability to deploy back to System Center with the
    new user-centric Application Model fully populated
  • Fully integrated with an App Store so that once
    you are ready to update users for Windows 7 – you can easily provide
    self-service scheduling
  • An automation layer that not only reduces the
    manual tasks – but one that supports the automation techniques and tools that
    you already know – like PowerShell

Thousands of companies have used
proven Application Readiness solutions to successfully migrate to Windows 7
while at the same time establishing a competency in managing application
preparedness on an ongoing basis.  You can implement new standards and
practices to enable a continuous Application Readiness process so that as you
are filling day-to-day application requests you are ensuring your entire application
estate is always ready for the next change.

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