By Anne Baker, Vice President of Marketing, Adaptiva
Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. Almost three years later, nearly every enterprise has started the migration process, yet relatively few have finished it. With an average time to evaluate and deploy Windows 10 clocking in at well over a year (Gartner’s 2017 estimate was 21 months), it begs the question of what’s the hold up? Let’s take a look.
The Clock Is Ticking
Not long ago, Microsoft updated its timetable for extended support for its popular Windows 7 version as well as version 8.1. Based on these timelines alone, enterprises realize they HAVE to move forward with Windows 10. Coupling the product life cycle with the substantial security benefits Windows 10 offers, it would be reasonable to assume that companies would be highly motivated to move the process along. Wrong.
Deploying, configuring, and managing a new OS securely across every endpoint within the enterprise is a massive undertaking. You’re talking about overseeing a process across multiple departments, locations, systems, and devices. This takes IT team members away from their routine job functions, which are essential to the health of their respective companies — and not many companies get excited about potential productivity losses or the prospect of adding team members without a clear return on the investment. With teams stretched thin, the migration process is surprisingly lengthy, requiring far more time than most companies anticipated when they started the migration process.
Costs Are Climbing
Companies are also realizing that there are unanticipated costs associated with the move to Windows 10. In an effort to speed up deployment, enterprises are investing more money not only in adding dedicated IT staff but also in solutions that promise to ease the transition. CIOs and IT managers have become inundated with proposals from vendors selling solutions that promise to meet their needs, when in reality, many businesses remain unsure what their specific Windows 10 needs actually are. As a result, they’re paying premiums for unnecessary services that increase complexity and time spent managing solutions once they are deployed.
But … It’s Worth It
According to Webroot’s recent evaluation, Windows 10 is almost twice as secure as Windows 7. In business deployments, 63% of confirmed malware was found on Windows 7 machines, while only 15% of all files were confirmed as malware on machines running Windows 10. The uptick in Windows Defender, and recent improvements made to it, may be a factor as over half of Windows 10 devices now run Windows Defender.
This is significant news for enterprises that grumble about the time and costs associated with Windows 10 deployment. If Windows 10 really is twice as secure as Windows 7 (or even close to that), the protection it offers will ultimately save companies more in terms of time and money than the extra they expend today to make the OS change. Cyberattacks are only going to increase in frequency and sophistication, and with each one comes the potential to lose millions of dollars and/or millions of customers. Malware is no joke. Think of the devastation WannaCry caused or look at the fallout from Equifax, Home Depot, or Target. A seemingly meaningless vulnerability can spell disaster.
Embracing a Windows 10 Future
The financial and resource strain of Windows 10 migration is appearing already, but sadly it doesn’t end with deployment. Once every machine and device in the enterprise is running Windows 10, and they’re configured just the right way, each one has to be maintained — 24x7, every machine and device. One security patch missing exposes a company to risk.
When the stakes are this high, companies are increasingly turning to automated endpoint management solutions to instantly and persistently update systems at scale. By implementing automated endpoint management, IT teams can be freed up to deal with countless other pressing issues, and systems remain constantly secure.
It’s a new world, one that the enterprise is perhaps a little slow to embrace. This is not uncommon. What’s different this time is that automated technologies are springing up to reduce both complexity and costs. The reality is every windows-based enterprise is going to have to adopt Windows 10 at some point. The choice therefore becomes whether to tread on slowly and steadily, go down kicking and screaming until there is no other option but to evolve, or to seize the opportunity and automate deployment, configuration, and management. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the clear answer.
As first published in Virtual-Strategy Magazine.
As vice president of marketing at Adaptiva, Anne Baker brings to the company a unique combination of over 15 years of high-tech marketing experience with a technical engineering background. Anne holds a mechanical engineering degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Seattle University. Her work has earned her recognition as one of the “100 Top Women in Seattle Technology” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and one of the “Top 50 Women in Mobile Content” by Mobile Entertainment Magazine. Anne has led the launch strategies for emerging start-up companies as well as created global campaigns for leading technology companies, such as Microsoft and SAP. For more information, please visit www.adaptiva.com, and follow the company at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.