A few years ago, I founded a company called ChangeBase that developed a software product that helped assess and remediate compatibility challenges when migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7.
ChangeBase was originally founded and developed to handle application packaging issues but when our team discovered the potential impact of moving applications from Windows XP to a more secure (by design) operating system – we knew that we could help.
Migrating to from XP to Windows 7 was a huge migration effort for many companies. Compatibility was a prime concern due to the large number of changes made to the internal structures and security model of Windows 7. There were other problems too, including.
- Discovering and then rationalising the corporate application portfolio
- Assessing and remediation potential application compatibility issues
- Assessing potential security changes required for the new operating system
- Enforcing corporate naming standards and quality
Now, a few years later we are seeing the move to Windows 10. The consumer take-up of Windows 10 has been very rapid and we expect to see most corporates move to the Windows 10 desktop platform in the next two to three years. This time the migration effort will be very different from the Windows 7 effort. Some of these major differences between the move to Windows 7 and this migration effort to Windows 10 include:
- No big bang migrations – we expect a more incremental, attrition based upgrades
- We will see more in-place upgrades, rather than clean-slate new OS installs
- Application compatibility is not the huge problem it was for Windows 7, but it is still an important problem for Windows 10
- There is still a large “technical debt” that needs to resolved in application security
- We will see less of a role for the big IT out-sourcing, with more automation replacing people and skills
Looking forward to the next years, I expect that we will to develop technologies and processes that will handle the following Windows 10 migration challenges including;
- Application compatibility
- Desktop and server security (UAC)
- Virtualisation Suitability (AppV and AppX)
- Quality and Standards compliance
- Patch Management (Deployment and Impact Assessment)
- Browser compatibility (Edge and evergreen IE deployments
I think that we also have to recognise that with constant cost pressure on IT, a lot of the people power and some skill-sets in these areas have been lost for many organisations. The move to Windows 10 will require addressing all of the above challenges with less people, less skills and more time constraints. This is a perfect opportunity for application automation software.
I plan to continue posting on the topic of Windows 10 with a focus on some of the issues raised in this posting. Watch this space!