The software delivery model is fundamentally changing. We’re not seeing big-splash releases anymore. Instead, we’re seeing a continuous deployment stream of updates, upgrades and patches.
With the death of Windows XP it doesn’t really matter if you’re moving to Windows 7 or 8 — just as long as you’re moving forward. Which OS you choose depends on which version best fits your needs. Factors that should be top of mind include which OS will be less of a shock to your users, and which version your app vendors will be able to support.
If you want to move to Windows 8, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll require a hardware refresh. You’ll need touch screens, for example, to take advantage of its full functionality.
You might also consider a hybrid approach, where the marketing department is using Windows 8, but other departments like HR and finance use Windows 7.
Don’t forget to check your blind spots
A common mistake is missing the obvious. Don’t assume that because a printer worked for you in (32 bit) XP that it’s going to work for you in Windows 7 or 8 (64 bit). Oftentimes, web apps get missed in the process, so make sure the apps you depend on are compatible with Internet Explorer 10, which ships with both Windows 7 and 8.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it — it’s a long, slow slog. You can’t just focus on the desktop OS and apps. You have to focus on almost everything they touch, and that includes unsexy stuff like print drivers.
But you could also look at this as an opportunity to make operational changes and start building out key infrastructure.
SCCM for an optimal transition
Our professional services team will help you through this process. From testing to asset management, our experts will also help your team deploy Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for an optimal transition.
Why, on top of everything else, would you want to deploy SCCM? Consider this: How painful was it to go through the discovery process? How many surprises did you get? And would it make sense to put something in place to measure and automate this in the future?
SCCM provides inventory management capabilities for the Microsoft stack — this can [not only] augment your current migration, but also help you manage and automate the discovery process down the road. This, however, doesn’t eliminate the need for licensing health checks.If you’re a smaller organization, you may not need all the bells and whistles of SCCM. But there are other alternatives that can help you deploy an image out to desktops on multiple varieties of hardware, such as the Windows Automated Installation Kit.
As XP reaches its end of life, many organizations are focused solely on getting off of XP. But it’s important to look ahead, to consider creating a more manageable platform for the future.
This isn’t just another migration project — moving away from Windows XP is about designing a modern, managed environment that gives you better insight, more control and the ability to rapidly make changes in the future.