Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with our partner Flexera entitled "Time is up for Windows 7: How to position your organization for Windows 10 and beyond". If you missed it or you had to drop out during it, don't worry — you can access the on-demand version below.
Time Is Up For Windows 7: How To Position Your Organization For Windows 10 & Beyond [On-Demand Webinar]
Mar 21, 2019 8:04:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Feb 25, 2019 2:19:00 PM / by Barry Angell
2018 has been be a big year for enterprise IT teams — but for those who still haven't made the move to Windows 10 and adopted a repeatable and scalable Windows-as-a-Service Management framework, 2019 will be even bigger. Most large organizations have completed or already are in the midst the long and challenging journey to migrate tens of thousands of assets onto Windows 10 — having waited more than three and a half years years after the initial launch date for the new OS to work out its kinks.
But with Windows 7 extended support ends in less than a year, enterprises have to kick their efforts into high gear which means the race to start (and finish) these complex IT transformation projects as effectively and efficiently as possible is on.
However, it is a common misconception that complex projects like these start off with day 1. Well, they do not. They cannot start without necessary groundwork, such as creating a business case, assembling the initial team or getting seed funding — just to name a few to-dos. We call this "Planning for the Plan." It might sound a bit like organizational overkill, but after having readied more than six million assets for successful migration, we know that putting all the levers in the right places before starting your project will ultimately help you accelerate your Windows 10 migration by over 65%!
Dec 17, 2018 1:29:35 PM / by Barry Angell
November has been a big month for Windows 10. No, I am not referring to the stop-and-go release of the October 2018 Update but rather to the two major milestones Windows 10 is expected to reach almost 40 months after its initial release:
- It will finally surpass Windows 7 in terms of overall adoption and
- More than half of Microsoft's enterprise customer base is now running on Windows 10.
While Microsoft executives are celebrating these long awaited successes, there is a flip side. This means that still one out of two large organizations has to upgrade to the new operating system before Windows 7 goes officially end-of-life on January 14th, 2020. Many analysts see this date as the deadline for enterprises to finish their initial Windows 10 transformation — giving them just over a year to complete it. For those that do not complete, an expensive Microsoft custom support agreement looms, further driving the need to adopt at speed.
Pillsbury Law Gets Praise For Smooth Windows 10 Migration & Hardware Refresh From Its VIP Lawyers & Staff
Mar 29, 2018 2:12:24 PM / by Barry Angell
With Windows 7 approaching end of support in January 2020, most enterprises are accelerating plans to migrate to Windows 10 in 2018 to take advantage of the new or improved cyber-security capabilities, and avoid an expensive custom support agreement with Microsoft. However, at this time, fewer organizations than expected have taken the plunge because they dread the Windows-as-a-Service servicing model that requires continuous upgrades and a more agile, Evergreen IT management approach.
Ahead of the game is Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, an international law firm recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Most Innovative Law Firms three years running. Today, I want to share a little sneak peek at our latest customer case study and tell you the story of how Dashworks transformed this dreaded Windows 10 migration experience into an IT Transformation initiative that the 700+ lawyers and their staff could not only get behind, but actively participate in!
Jan 15, 2018 7:02:00 AM / by Barry Angell
UPDATE: For the most up-to-date timeline information, please refer to our Windows 10 Servicing Timeline article.
It's been more than two-and-a-half years since Microsoft released Windows 10, its Windows-as-a-Service OS. Thanks to a free upgrade option for consumers and tremendous security improvements, adoption generally has been faster than any other Microsoft operating system.
However, enterprise adoption has been slower than hoped for — partially due to the constant changes and confusion around the update release and end-of-life dates, branching/servicing name changes/deletions, as well as a change in major (feature) update frequency to better align with the Office 365 release cycle and so forth.
While the support roadmap still might not be set in stone, IT professionals must know one thing: The speed with which enterprises will need to update has picked up significantly. Whoever doesn't get with the program, will risk running thousands of users on unsupported and potentially unsecured versions of Windows 10.
Nov 20, 2017 7:03:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Last week, we spoke about how to negotiate a successful Windows 10 or Office 365 migration deal with a service integrator. But what happens once the contracts are signed? Should you sit back and let them take the reigns completely or is there something you can do to ensure the success of this project?
Some enterprises assume that because they just hired an expert organization to take this project off their hands, they can simply drop the ball and let the integrator pick it up and run with it. But while your outsourcer brings a tremendous value to the table, it is completely unrealistic to expect that they will do the best job possible without associated input from your side.
Nov 14, 2017 7:30:00 AM / by Barry Angell
On January 14th, 2020, the extended support for Windows 7 ends, which means that enterprises have about 26 months to fully roll out Windows 10. Similarly, Microsoft expects that at least two-thirds of its Office business customers will move to Office 365 by fiscal year 2019. Since a migration project of that size will take, on average, more than 124 man weeks to complete, it is about high time to get serious about upgrading!
According to our own research, only 44% of organizations are set on managing this IT Transformation internally; 28% are about to issue a Request-for-Proposal, 14% have not decided yet, and 14% have already engaged with a service integrator to outsource this massive project.
Sep 18, 2017 7:37:00 AM / by Barry Angell
A few days ago, the credit rating company Equifax had to admit that inhackers had exploited a bug on the company's website to gain access to the personal data of more than 143 million customers. While this is devastating to those customers and the company itself, such cyber attacks are by no means uncommon. Only recently, ransomware such as WannaCry and WannaCry 2 held thousands of devices at ransom — made possible through a vulnerability in an older Windows version and therefore ultimately avoidable by upgrading to the latest version.
Hackers trying to exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft products is not uncommon since Windows and Office 365 are some of the most commonly used platforms. Consequently, Microsoft is under enormous pressure to deliver better, tighter, and smarter security solutions that span the entire Windows stack. In the past two years, Windows 10 has seen many incredible security updates and improvements — making security the number one driver for upgrading to the latest version of the operating system.
Jul 12, 2017 8:17:00 AM / by Barry Angell
According to the latest Gartner Report, 85% of enterprises are planning to migrate to Windows 10 by the end of 2017. I think this number won't pan out to be that high because realistically, IT Transformation project of this size and complexity take anywhere from 44 to 124 man-weeks to complete and large organizations aren't as far along in their readiness tasks as they think they are,
But regardless of whether 70% of businesses complete their upgrade, or 85% of them are able to tackle the majority of the rollout this year, many organizations are becoming serious about starting as soon as possible! One of the biggest hurdles that project managers face when trying to get out of the gates fast, is that they struggle with understanding what they are getting themselves into. And rightfully so. For example,
- How are you going to put together a project budget if you have to base it on a vague idea or a guesstimate?
- Do you know exactly how many of your PCs are compatible, can be refurbished, or need to be replaced?
- How many, and which resources you need if you don't know how many applications you will need to test, rewrite, or retire?
Most project managers don't have any means to get this kind of information at the start of the project. This creates a classic catch-22 situation: To kick off the project, you need budget and resources, but to get budget and resources, you need to know what you are dealing with. That's why we have partnered with HP, HPE, DXC and BDNA to build a low cost, fast value technology service to provide our clients with a full, simple to understand Windows 10 Assessment. Today, we want to share some of the real-world findings from these assessments, to help inform your decisions and hopefully ease the planning process.
Jul 10, 2017 8:56:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Did you know that most organizations run on devices that are between two to four years old — making them a prime candidate for a complete (or partial) hardware refresh initiative on the back of their Windows 10 rollout?
In fact, 31% of all enterprises asked as part of a recent 1E study are planning to rely on swapping out old hardware to migrate to Windows 10. Another 36% of companies plan to combine in-place upgrades and hardware refreshes, while the remaining 33% will do an in-place upgrade. In the large enterprise space, many are looking at a combination of hardware refresh and wipe and load to achieve their rollout plans.
Many big companies are combining their Windows 10 migration (migrating from Windows 7 or earlier to the new operating system) with a hardware refresh (buying new laptops or PCs that come with your image or are imaged on-site). But is it easier to migrate to Microsoft's latest operating system through your Business as Usual (BAU) hardware refresh plans than to manage a big bang rollout? Many IT project managers are asking themselves the same question.
This method is certainly a valid one, but what are the underlying implications? Will it really be easier because you won't need a project? What are the consequences of this approach? Today, we will explore the answers to these questions in more detail as we go through the most common upgrade scenarios and point out some important "gotchas" that go with managing migration as BAU.