The day has arrived … If you have reserved your free* copy of Windows 10, then expect to update your device to the latest shiny version in the next few days, weeks, etc (those download servers are going to be very busy, bless them).
But are Enterprises ready to migrate to Windows 10? Normally waiting for the first service pack (or two), enterprises will usually wait and delay (months, even years) before adopting a new platform. But remember that the current favourite, Windows 7, will go out of support in 2020. That’s only five years away. And while that may seem a long way away, migration to new platforms instills fear in even the most respected and talented consultants and engineers out there. So start early, follow age-old best practices and plan well to increase your chances of success.
At a high-level, I feel there are seven considerations:
- Backup & Protect – Backup your data, applications, their licences and for goodness sake, test those backups!
- Application Landscape (Roadmap) – Download Windows 10 versions of your apps or at least get a roadmap from vendors if they currently don’t exist.
- P.O.C / Test Environment – There’s no excuse for not setting up a test environment and run it in parallel with production. Fire up some VMs and get familiar with Windows 10 and test how your applications behave.
- Communication of Plan – It’s one thing to develop plans, but they’re next to useless unless they’re communicated to the correct stakeholders (executive sponsor, clients, vendors, internal impact teams). Bonus of this? You never know when you need support, so continually communicating your plan will increase your chances of getting the help and resources you need and when you need them. Hand in hand with this should be a risk register, detailing the risks, their impact, consequences and mitigation plans. You will find this will be indispensible in getting these stakeholders onside.
- Deployment – Stick to best practices explained by Microsoft, consult the community (some of the best talent out there who have lived and breathed through several deployments) to offer extra insight and leverage vendor support who can act as your extended resource for patches etc.
- Execute Test Strategy – Develop a test plan that mirrors production environments. Use that as a foundation and then tweak it to maximise the new feature sets in Windows 10. It’s a living document, so pay close attention to detail until each and every check box is ticked.
- Follow-Up – Don’t sit on your laurels! Follow-up with your employees, clients and vendors and check if the user experience, performance and reliability is all you hoped for.
Click here for more details on how planning for these seven steps will help you on your journey to Windows 10.
Asad Malik, @asadmaliksimba