Over the past few years, we have received feedback that our Windows 10 and Office 365 timeline graphics have been beneficial to those in the IT space, especially with the timelines being updated regularly. Now with the new OS of Windows 11, how does this change things going forward in terms of servicing? We've created a new graphic with the current Windows 11 and Windows 10 update policies, to show how this will affect enterprises going forward.
Theoretically speaking, Wave Planning (also known as Windows Deployment and Ring Scoping) is an easy-to-understand concept: you divide your estate into different waves (or rings) and deploy them accordingly. For example, you might choose a careful approach and only put 5% of your IT team in a pilot 1 ring, and as soon as the new OS version is released, they will be the first ones migrated. Once that is complete, maybe you want to move the rest of your IT team and 5% of business unit end users (friendlies who volunteered) as part of a second pilot before going into a broader deployment.
Aug 30, 2021 8:47:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Did you know that according to a Security Signals report for March 2021, more than 80% of enterprises said they have experienced at least one firmware attack in the past two years, but only 29% of security budgets are allocated to protect firmware? Outdated hardware is increasingly becoming a high-profile security vulnerability.
As if that wasn't enough cause to finally invest in strategically planned, ongoing Evergreen hardware refresh management, a 2019 Currys PC World study revealed that UK employees are wasting a whopping 46 minutes a day (or almost 4 hours a week) and losing productivity due to poor performance caused by their outdated hardware.
Aug 17, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Last week we explored why so many enterprises are stuck on a particular Windows 10 version, 1809 to be exact. This situation is causing millions of enterprise users to run on an unsupported operating system which not only opens them up to possible cybersecurity vulnerabilities but also impacts their performance and productivity.
However, with the somewhat surprising announcement of Windows 11, many possible upgrade strategies have to be reconsidered — leaving many organizations asking which version they should upgrade to if they are currently stuck on Windows 10 version 1809, and whether or not they should consider Windows 11 at this point.
Aug 10, 2021 8:45:00 AM / by Barry Angell
In a recent vendor briefing with Gartner about how to best manage the Windows Servicing process, the Gartner analysts mentioned that they are currently getting a lot of questions from enterprises are stuck on Windows 10 1809. This reflects our experience as well. In the past five or six months, we have increasingly gotten inquiries from large companies who had initially migrated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and had planned to use the support windows to sort out their Evergreen IT management, but they never got around to it because COVID struck.
That is why today I want to take a closer look at why these organizations are getting stuck and show you the steps you can take to get unstuck in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
In a recent vendor briefing with Gartner, they mentioned that many large enterprises are getting stuck on Windows 10 1809 because they have not been able to streamline and automate the processes required for efficient Workplace Automation, such as app packaging, app testing, deployment scheduling, reporting, readiness checks, and many others.
Those processes are still largely manually driven, completed in isolation (teams operating within silos), and often without proper velocity planning. This is highly inefficient and unsustainable given the massive volume and increasing pace of change that needs to be managed! Consequently, not keeping up causes loss of productivity, potential security vulnerabilities and possible business disruption, a bad end-user technology experience, and lower employee satisfaction.
Workplace Automation sets out to solve all this by keeping your IT estate tightly managed and constantly up-to-date. But what exactly is Workplace Automation? Below, I tried to define it in layman terms using 100 words or less (I managed in 54 words).
May 27, 2021 7:37:57 AM / by Barry Angell
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a super hot topic with our customers right now as it promises to enable Work-From-Anywhere strategies securely and productively while drastically reducing the licensing and infrastructure costs required versus previous cloud desktop offerings. It also simplifies IT management and keeps your applications and users more secure as there are fewer opportunities for vulnerabilities.
But what many organizations don't understand until they are committed is that moving onto this new Microsoft virtualization offering has big implications on your application management strategy. Without technology like WVD, organizations would be stuck creating several gold images and testing applications against multiple OS environments, resulting in a constant struggle to keep track of constant updates, version control, etc. for on-premise applications.
May 11, 2021 8:58:00 AM / by Barry Angell
To many, Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is still a mystery. Although it has been around since 2019 and demand for it increased drastically over the last year when employees suddenly found themselves working from home full time, many organizations still don't fully understand it or don't have it on their radar as something they possibly need to implement.
And if you do research it, it is all too easy to get lost in the technical detail. If you are working in the Modern Workplace, Business-as-Usual, or on an IT Transformation team and you find yourself thinking that WVD is something your boss should explore further, then this post is for you. We define what Windows Virtual Desktop is (in less than 100 words using non-technical language) and map out three things any Head of Workplace needs to know now.
May 6, 2021 8:15:00 AM / by Barry Angell
In early June of last year, on their public career page, Microsoft posted a job opening for a program manager for their Microsoft Cloud PC team. In the post, Microsoft gave few details and simply described Cloud PC as a "modern, elastic, cloud-based Windows experience [that] will allow organizations to stay current in a more simplistic and scalable manner".
Today, I want to explain how the Cloud PC anticipation fits into Microsoft's already-existing virtualization strategy, highlight exactly what we know so far about Cloud PC, and — given the limited amount of information — take a stab at the impact that I think Cloud PC will have on your constant upgrade problem (or, as we call it, your need for Evergreen IT).
5 Non-Technical Skills Your Business-as-Usual IT Team Must Have To Avoid Becoming Obsolete In This New As-A-Service World
May 4, 2021 7:41:00 AM / by Barry Angell
(Originally published on Oct. 3rd, 2017, updated on May 5th, 2021)
If you ask a bunch of different CIOs what is the biggest barrier to achieving his/her goals, you will likely hear the same answer: the current IT skill gap!
However, this isn't as simple as the IT skill gap that the industry faced in the past 2 decades. For twenty years, we encouraged young men and women in universities around the globe to learn about Object-Oriented Programming, Network Technologies, Web Services, and Service-Oriented Architecture, and within a few years, there were plenty of programmers, network specialists, and other IT professionals available to satisfy the demands.