Technology Reseller v72

30 01732 759725 Windows 11 Simon Townsend highlights the role of Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management in easing the migration from Windows 10 to 11 security patches, you’ll potentially leave your organisation open to catastrophic vulnerabilities. You only need to remember what happened to the NHS in May 2017 when patient care was disrupted at around 80 Trusts and 595 GP surgeries due to the WannaCry malware attack. This exploited computers running legacy Windows XP, as well as those using unpatched Windows 7 software. The latest OS transition is complicated by the fact that Microsoft has really homed in on security and upped the ante on the hardware needed, putting in place stringent requirements for Windows 11 to run. Not only are there minimum specifications in terms of RAM, disk space and CPU (you’ll need endpoints with a 64bit processor), but devices require secure boot support and have to run a chip called TPM2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) – a secure crypto processor designed to carry out cryptographic operations. Analysts Canalys estimate that 240 million PCs globally could become e-waste as they lack the right hardware to run Windows 11, pointing out that if these PCs were all folded laptops, stacked one on top of another, the pile would be 4,080km high. A familiar problem We’ve been here before. Windows was introduced nearly 40 years ago, in 1985, and has since undergone 10 or so significant updates, each one creating substantial work for IT departments. Any migration – and it doesn’t matter what it is (Windows 10 to 11, VDI to DaaS or Windows to Mac) – is always costly, time consuming and complex. There’s planning, testing applications (so-called ‘smoke tests’), migrating everything, getting user feedback, followed by QA checking to fix issues and training. This all needs to be done without causing downtime that could impact employee productivity and business as usual activities. It’s at least a year’s work for larger organisations. The good news is the world has moved on considerably over the years and there are now comprehensive, feature-rich tools to help simplify the three main phases of any major OS migration – assessment, migration and optimisation – saving time, money and frustration. q Assessment Before any Windows 11 installation can start, IT departments need to carefully assess the devices and software they’ve got, given that most organisations have heterogenous computing environments: n How many devices are deployed and from which vendor(s)? n What hardware are they running? n Do they have the all-important TPM2.0 chip? n Do they have enough disc space? n What’s the battery status and health? n Do they have the right level of processor and RAM? n What applications are people actually using day-to-day versus what’s been deployed? n Are there enough licences for these applications? n Are users having performance issues? Historically, this was primarily a laborious manual process. Today, you can automate necessary analysis, using powerful desktop monitoring tools and – within minutes – collect detailed information about the devices, applications and performance of your estate. This accelerates the assessment phase such that informed decisions can be made quickly about what needs to happen regarding the migration. Simply put, this helps customers understand what devices will run Windows 11, what devices could be repurposed and what devices need to be changed and bought net new. In addition, you get insight into the software employees use day-to-day and therefore what applications need to be tested to make sure they continue to work. There’s also a strong argument that in any migration it’s good practice to review and consolidate applications in use. If a company has been paying an annual application licence fee for 1,000 people, but the analysis shows only 750 use the software, it’s an opportunity to scale down to save money. When Channel 4 launched on November 2, 1982, the first programme it screened was Countdown, hosted by Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman. Fortytwo years and over 8,000 episodes later, it’s still one of the most popular daytime game shows in Britain (holding a Guinness World Record for its longevity). Contestants race to do word-based and mathematical tasks before the Countdown clock ticks down to a climactic end (a tune written by the late Alan Hawkshaw, famous for also composing the music for Grange Hill and Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts). The clock is ticking in a similar fashion for organisations running Windows 10. In a little over a year’s time, on October 14, 2025, Microsoft will terminate Windows 10 support, meaning that security updates will no longer be provided to users. Yes, you can pay for Extended Support Updates (this is not designed to be a long-term solution) but it’s pricey at almost £50 per user in the first year, doubling in year 2 and again in year 3 to nearly £200 per desktop. Doing nothing is not an option. If you’re not up-to-date with the latest The final countdown Simon Townsend