Business Info - issue 151

With a three-year, three-month window leading up to the end of life for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, migrating toWindows 11 might be low down on an organisation’s list of priorities. However, Andrew Carr, CEO of enterprise IT specialist Camwood, argues that there are big benefits in preparing for the transition now – a transition that Camwood with its expertise in application services can help organisations prepare for and de-risk. He argues that while the move fromWindows 10 toWindows 11 should be easier than the migration fromWindows 7 toWindows 10 it still requires significant planning and preparation from both a hardware and an application perspective. “There are two elements to consider, the application side and the device side, because, withWindows 11, devices need to be TPM-compliant. The Trusted Platform Module hardware security processor isn’t necessitated for Windows 10 and if you are on a rolling three- or four-year hardware refresh programme, you’ll need to understand which devices will be compatible withWindows 11. It’s possible that the layout needed to replace a significant portion of your Licence to cull estate might outweigh the value that you think you’ll get fromWindows 11 in the short-term,” explains Carr. “We have aWindows 11 Readiness Assessment, which includes an application compatibility piece and a device compatibility piece followed by an automated test against your target Windows 11 operating system. Our message is don’t wait until 12 months out only to go ‘Oh, we haven’t budgeted to replace 35% or 40% of devices, as well as the cost of migration and potentially the cost of enhanced support’. Start planning now because you will get some cost benefit and some user experience benefit from gaining control of your application estate now.” Application bloat Carr says that with previous Windows operating system releases organisations have done a good job of streamlining, rationalising and harvesting licences (i.e. identifying unused or under-used licences). However, he estimates that sinceWindows 10 was deployed organisations’ applications estates have bloated by an average of 30% to 50%, not least because of SaaS and the ease with which employees can deploy additional applications, for example bringing a SaaS-based CRM model into marketing or some financial reporting add-ons that IT doesn’t necessarily know about. He adds that gaining control of application sprawl and implementing a consistent controlled and governed management approach in readiness for migration toWindows 11 will hugely de-risk the migration process and give businesses an opportunity to tidy up the application estate, eliminate vulnerabilities and save money for example by rationalising licences. “My experience of working in the channel for 25 years is that it’s really important to get your application estate in order now because you’ll get some benefit with the inflationary pressures and cost pressures we have now if you’ve not previously retired applications that have gone end of life while introducing new ones. “Getting control over that piece is really important because typically what happens when organisations look to migrate, say, fromWindows 10 to Windows 11 is that applications become a bit of an afterthought. Organisations do all the infrastructure work and the migration work and then the application testing begins.What we’re trying to say is de-risk that migration project and treat the applications as a business asset rather than an IT function. “Once you get control of the application estate you can find the business owners of an application, you can test whether it’s required, you can test multiple versions that are out there. And once you’ve completed a rationalisation you can do application compatibility testing against your target Windows 11 operating system build and de-risk what is typically the highest risk component of a large migration project. “If I was the fleet manager within a large business and I didn’t know which vehicle was where, who was driving it, whether it had an MOT, what state it was in, I’d most likely be in trouble at work. Applications aren’t treated in the same way as other assets but we think they should be because what they drive is both the user experience, which is increasingly important with a hybrid working model, and the customer experience.” He adds: “Our experience is that while the introduction of new applications or new features to existing applications is important, we don’t always see the retirement of previous versions.We’re taking the opportunity to retire older versions, which may have licence and support savings for customers, and create a standard method of delivering applications to the user, taking the benefit of Microsoft’s new MSIX packaging format, which Businesses should start preparing for end of support for Windows 10 now and welcome it as an opportunity to regain control over bloated application estates, reports James Goulding magazine 20 SOFTWARE Andrew Carr