Did you hear about Windows 10 yet?
Wednesday was the big launch day for Windows 10 in 190 countries around the world.
Touted as the best operating system ever it is jam-packed with new features and functions, a new browser called Edge, because it apparently has an edge over other browsers, and a much improved Cortana,which can do funkier things than Siri.
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Congratulations Microsoft, I really hope this is as good as it is touted to be.
I am not going to delve into the features and functions or an argument about what is better as that can quickly move from fact to emotion.
Instead, I want to provide some structured thinking on what this means to you as a business decision maker.
Just because Microsoft has released a new product does not mean you need to run out and upgrade your devices. Not yet.
I am a fan of staying up to date but first we need to do some business planning and assessment.
What you do not want to do, unless you run a micro-business and can spend a few days messing around with your IT stuff, is start randomly upgrading some of your devices.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to start a planning process:
Which devices do we have that will be eligible for the free upgrade and which devices will we need to purchase a licence for?
Which devices should we send to the ethical recyclers because they will cost more to upgrade than their post upgrade value?
On the devices we upgrade are our apps and applications compatible?
What functionality might we lose through upgrading and is it part of an essential tool?
Can we upgrade our PCs but not our phones or vice versa?
If we upgrade the operating system, what else will we need to budget to upgrade; hardware, software and services?
What will the disruption to business as usual be, is there a cost to it?
What training if any will the staff require to adapt to the changes implemented?
What peripheral devices will and won’t be compatible such as printers, scanners, barcode readers, eftpos machines and so on?
Remember, the larger your organisation the more project planning resources will be required to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Of course, there are the usual assessment tools for compatibility testing and they should be used to predict and improve the outcomes as much as possible.
There is no doubt that this operating system is designed with security in mind and that it promises to keep your data safer than ever before.
However, it is strongly advised that you understand the implications of the auto update features and how and when Windows 10 will choose to draw down files and run updates.
This may have bandwidth and cost ramifications if not managed properly by your system administrators.
There is little question that many of us still using the Microsoft platform for our business systems are going to migrate to Windows 10 at some stage.
With Windows 10 Microsoft may even win back some of its lost followers.
The question is how efficiently will you move your businesses across?
If you want to get Windows 10 on a personal device or home PC then log in and grab it, play with it and enjoy some of its very funky newness.
For business, please take a strategic approach to upgrading to minimise the impact and cost to your business.
Stop and think, seek advice, run tests, make a plan. With a bit of planning and good luck it could be your best upgrade experience ever.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for Business IT that makes sense. How can we help?