4 Ways to Ensure that Your Windows 10 Migration Goes Bad
Author(s): Weston Morris, Posted on June 13th, 2017
Your goal is to migrate to Microsoft Windows 10. You know the benefits (and they are myriad and wide-reaching!) and you are just itching to hit “Go.” But before you do, remember that a Windows 10 migration is not a slam dunk. There are a lot of ways for a migration to go bad. Here are the top four:
1. Don’t perform a detailed assessment of what you currently have.
An assessment of your foundational assets is absolutely critical for a successful Windows 10 migration. Foregoing this step will guarantee a failure. Your assessment should include a review of your:
- Hardware. Windows 10 may be a software migration, but your hardware must be taken into account! What devices are people using? Desktops, laptops, and mobiles all need to be compatible with Windows 10.
- Applications. What applications do your end users need to be productive on a daily basis? And, don’t forget that this may include the dreaded “shadow IT”! Your assessment must identify ALL critical applications, and then validate whether or not they are compatible with Windows 10. Some applications may require remediation or mitigation – otherwise, you risk breaking the business.
- Data. You need to know what data your end users are accessing, why they need it, and what they are doing with it. Also, where are they currently storing data? Does some data reside on end-user hard drives (even if that is counter to company policy)? If you are doing a wipe-and-replace, you need to locate all critical data, back it up, and return it to its original location after installing Windows 10. The worst-case scenario is that data is lost because it wasn’t recognized as important to the business.
- Infrastructure. Finally, be certain to assess your infrastructure to determine whether you can take advantage of zero-touch or light-touch migration capabilities, and to identify how much data you can upload at a time. If you plan for a zero-touch migration and then discover that your infrastructure doesn’t align with that model, your migration will be delayed. Similarly, if you assume that you can schedule 50 upgrades per day but your infrastructure can only accommodate 20, your migration timeline will quickly get backed up and your end users will be frustrated because they are not being migrated when they anticipated.
2. Don’t address the gaps identified by your assessment.
This is – or should be – self-evident, but it bears being brought out: your assessment will make clear where there are problems or gaps. To have a successful Windows 10 migration, be sure to address each and every one of them! Ignoring the insights gained by your assessment will ensure that your Windows 10 migration goes bad.
3. Don’t model migrations by persona.
While in some cases a Windows 10 migration can be handled with a “one size fits all” approach, most businesses benefit from taking personas into consideration. For example:
- Employees of a certain level and below who work onsite may be asked to self-install Windows 10, giving them greater scheduling flexibility and helping to drive down costs to the organization.
- Employees who work at home or who are frequently on the road might have the installation performed for them because they may not have the high-speed connection necessary to self-install Windows 10 without risking getting “stuck” mid-process.
- Executives and other high-profile users might have the installation performed for them to allow them to focus on their strategic responsibilities.
The last thing you want is to have your executive team or high performers stymied, frustrated, and angry because a Windows 10 migration is interfering with critical activities.
4. Don’t communicate with your employees.
Another way to ensure that your Windows 10 migration goes bad is to ignore the needs of your end users. Communication is vital! It has frequently been said – and it is true – that you cannot overcommunicate. Invest time in a communications strategy that will prepare your end users for the change, set user expectations appropriately, educate them on what will be different, lead them through self-installation activities, and train them on new tools to which they might have access with Windows 10 that can improve their productivity. Be sure to offer self-help and self-service tools before, during, and after the Windows 10 migration.
Windows 10 offers fantastic opportunities and support for your business, but getting there can be a challenge. If you don’t assess your assets, address your risks, model your personas, and communicate with your employees, it’s a sure thing that your Windows 10 migration will go bad – with all the lost productivity, delayed timing, and increased costs that entails. The good news, of course, is that by avoiding these pitfalls, you can look forward to a successful Windows 10 migration, with all the benefits it brings!