The Two Biggest Mistakes You Can Make with Your Windows 10 Upgrade
As we move closer to the end-of-life date for Windows 7, Microsoft support for this popular operating system will be going… going… gone before we know it. January 14, 2020 might seem like it’s a long way off, but hopefully you’re already convinced that you need to upgrade.
Here at Accent, we’re feeling a sense of urgency to get the word out that the transition process to Windows 10 needs to begin ASAP, and here are the two biggest mistakes that we don’t want you to make.
Mistake #1: Failure to Adequately Plan Your Windows 7 to 10 Transition
The success of any IT project is due to thorough planning -- that’s meticulous, thorough, comprehensive, and documented to the last detail planning.
To make this happen, you have to collaborate with a whole team of IT experts who can predict and test how the new operating system is going to affect your network.
For a Windows 10 upgrade, the following factors need to be part of your plan:
Are there any software incompatibilities?
In order to avoid downtime when you flip the switch on your transition, you need to make sure that all of your software will run on Windows 10. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to identify alternatives.
Does your hardware have the specs to run Windows 10?
If your workstations don’t have adequate power and speed for Windows 10, you'll have to upgrade your hardware. Even if your PCs squeak by on specs, you still might have to upgrade your computers because the operating system (OS) won’t run optimally, leaving you with frustrated employees and customers.
How will connected equipment be affected?
Audit everything that’s connected to your PCs and evaluate how they’ll respond to the new OS. This includes your printers, scanners, bar code readers, and any other equipment on your network. You might need to update the software, or you might have to replace the equipment, but it’s best to find that out before you flip the switch.
Mistake #2: Waiting to Start the Planning Process
Organizations that delay their Windows 10 project are going to encounter problems with labor shortages and backlogs on hardware and hardware components.
Managed IT services companies, like Accent, have their support schedules booked out months in advance. The same is true if you need to upgrade your servers from Server 2008 to 2016. Your best chance to get on any company’s schedule is to get the process rolling right now.
The impact of missing the January 14, 2020 date is that you’ll suddenly be an even more attractive target for cyber criminals than you were on January 13th. Security vulnerabilities will continue to be found in Windows 7, but since Microsoft will no longer be releasing patches, these vulnerabilities will be huge gaping security holes. Additionally, if you have regulatory compliance security standards to maintain, you’ll automatically be out-of-compliance as the moment your software is deemed unsupported.
You’re Convinced. Now What?
Assuming you’re convinced that you need to get your Windows 10 transition scheduled as soon as you’re done reading this article, what else do you need to know?
Here are four areas to include in your planning discussion:
Costs - If you haven’t been on a proactive schedule to update your computers, you could be looking at a considerable investment. Additionally, any incompatibilities that your team uncovers will need to be addressed and that could mean purchasing new software, hardware or both. You'll also have IT support costs to plan and implement the transition.
Transition - Think about the experience that you want and make sure you’re comfortable with the level of detail that your team includes your transition plan. You’ll get the best experience if your team has anticipated every possible scenario that might occur.
Scheduling - It’s best to do the Windows 7 to 10 upgrade onsite. It’s even better if that happens on a weekend when your business operations won’t be disrupted, but that’s most likely not going to be possible if you wait. Again, get your project on the schedule now.
Training - Let your people know ahead of time what’s happening, then provide them with some training to get used to the new interface. For some people, moving to Windows 10 will be no big deal. Others will need time and training to get up to speed.
Get Ready for Windows 7 End-of-Life
Do you want to learn more about Windows 7 end-of-support or need some documentation to share with colleagues to get everyone on the same page? Download a copy of our guide - Get Ready for Windows 7 End-of-Life: How to Avoid Disruption and Data Breach by Planning Ahead.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.