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Windows 10: Should your business upgrade to the new operating system?

Posted: 8th September 2015

Following the launch of Windows 10 on the 29th July 2015, the decision on whether to make the move to new Operating System (OS) has been high on the agenda for many businesses throughout the UK. With 25% of UK corporations admitting to still using Windows XP, a service that Microsoft ended its support for in the Spring of last year, many IT managers throughout the country have a tough decision on what to do next.

In the following feature, Onyx take a look at some of the changes made for the new Operating System (OS) and some of the key points you should consider if you plan on migrating your systems to the new platform.

Why should I upgrade? And what are the benefits?

Microsoft’s Windows strategy is to evolve it as-a-service with Microsoft delivering new features and functionality to ensure that users are more secure and up to date than ever before. The new operating system has a number of advancements in security and identity protection that are easy to manage and don’t compromise user experience.

Microsoft’s new Device Guard has been developed with the aim of blocking zero-day attacks by preventing applications that try to access a Windows 10 machine and its network. Unless an application is signed by specific software vendors, the business in question or the official Windows app store, then it will be blocked from having any access to the employee’s machine.

Following the well-publicised criticism of the previous OS, Windows have moved to create a more user-friendly interface to enhance employee productivity and performance.  Making a welcome return is the traditional windows start menu, albeit it in an enhanced form. In the wake of strong criticism from businesses for its omission from Windows 8, the new customised tiles function allows staff to manage their programs, workload and ongoing tasks in a for more controlled and efficient manner.

The new system now allows device’s to connect to the cloud orientated Azure Active Directory without the need to remember multiple ID’s and passwords. With enhanced device management including VPN and data protection improvements, staff now have a greater ability to access their data from anywhere on their mobile and tablet devices, allowing for greater productivity and availability for customers.

One area that enterprises do need to be aware of is the cost of upgrading. One of the main topics of conversation has been the fact that windows 10 upgrades will be free to all existing Windows 8 users, however, this only applies to consumers so businesses will require a Windows Software Assurance license.  (For more details on pricing please see http://sabcalculator.microsoft.com/ )

How do I go about upgrading my systems?

So, you and your team have finally decided that migrating to the Windows 10 OS is the next step in your IT strategy, but what are the key procedures you need to go through to complete the process? And do you have the appropriate resources in-house to complete the operation? Here at Onyx, our experts have developed a stringent 8-step plan they undertake when migrating UK enterprises onto the new system:

  1. Understand the desktop estate: Identify what the current desktop estate and applications staff are currently using.
  2. Identify Desktops that need to be replaced/Upgraded: Users with older windows models are likely to be using desktops, hardware & software that is no longer compatible with Windows 10. This step is an opportunity to consolidate hardware vendors and models.
  3. Rationalise Applications: Consolidate the application estate so that the new desktop builds will receive the “standard” version of software.
  4. Testing: Undertake a testing programme whereby Onyx ensure that each application used by the business successfully installs, functions and uninstalls – A User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  5. Remediate: Fix any apps which don’t work on Windows 10 build. Deploy any fixes needed out to the existing estate.
  6. Define Upgrade Plan and Process: Define and test the Windows XP/7/8/8.1 core upgrades to Windows 10 process.
  7. Migrate: Perform upgrades to Windows 10 and deploy new desktops.
  8. Remediate: Any issues not identified during the original UAT.

For many businesses it is simply not a straightforward answer whether or not upgrading their systems to windows 10 is the correct solution for them. If you would like to know more about the benefits of the new system and how Onyx Group’s team of IT experts can help you every step of the way then simply contact us today on 0800 970 92 92 or email us at info@marketing.net

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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