Business interest in deploying Windows 10 is high but sysadmins need to plan their Windows 10 migration strategy well, as a badly executed plan will cost a businesses both time and money.
The arrival of Windows 10 has brought about some welcome changes as it offers users a different interface to Windows 8 and goes further to unify the desktop, laptop and mobile device ecosystem. Many have already started seeing Windows 10 as a patched-up version of the previous OS, and, since Microsoft has offered a free upgrade, the uptake of the new operating system has been very positive.
Upgrading your personal computer might be an easy endeavor, but in a business setting you need a well-executed Windows 10 migration plan to minimize any disruption. Here are some things to consider before taking the plunge into Windows 10.
1. Make things clear.
Communicate to your staff that they are not to download and install Windows 10 themselves, even if they see the Microsoft pop-up inviting them to do so.
Start with an audit of all your assets. Check what systems are still in use and what drivers are needed for existing hardware (and if these are available on Windows 10), taking into account compatibility and identifying any old systems that might need to be replaced rather than upgraded.
3. Classify apps.
Windows 10 has made do with some apps that your users may have gotten used to in Windows 7 and 8.1, so you will need to find replacements for these. On the work front, you will find that certain software might not be Windows 10-compatible. If unsupported legacy bespoke software is needed for business, you will need to consider running it in a virtual machine environment.
4. Create a testing environment.
If possible, consider creating a testing environment for the most common configurations within your company so you can ensure hardware compatibility before deploying to a live environment. Test applications, drivers, network devices and other accessories.
5. Stagger deployment.
Don’t opt for upgrading your machines during working hours, and always go for staggered deployment. This way, you will ensure minimal disruption to your users, and, in case something does go wrong, you can always roll back to the last OS.
6. Get your users on Edge.
Introduce your users to Microsoft Edge, as this newest browser is truly amazing.
7. Free some disk space.
The Windows 10 upgrade can be heavy on some machines, and keeping the previous Windows data version is not advisable. If all went well with the upgrade, consider cleaning up the system files of the old install.
8. Keep up to date.
Once deployed, it is time to stay on top of updates and patches. Windows Update will look after all of Microsoft’s patches, but this still leaves you with third-party apps and software. Consider deploying an automated patch management solution similar to GFI LanGuard to help you deploy and manage drivers and other software updates. Click here for a free, fully functional 30-day trial complete with GFI tech support.