Microsoft ends its support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Some businesses have been reluctant to perform the upgrade because of bugs and other issues, but also because upgrading can lead to downtime and cause change to decade-old business practices.
While reluctance to change is not uncommon, continuing to use Windows 7 represents a security risk. What’s more, there are a lot of benefits to upgrading to Windows 10. No matter your reason for resisting the upgrade, there are doubtless better reasons for biting the bullet and making the switch.
That said, the process of migrating an entire office to a new OS can be complex. If you haven’t yet begun to upgrade to Windows 10, or if you’re in the middle of the process and need support, follow this guide for tips on how to conduct the process quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, you should consider outsourcing the upgrade to a managed IT service to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
What Happens When Support Ends
Microsoft wants all users to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. As such, they will be ceasing all support for Windows 7, the previous iteration of their main operating system, in January 2020. When that happens, there will be no more security updates or patches. Systems will be vulnerable to attacks, and system errors will not be fixed. Your data, and the data of your customers, will be at risk—and so will your business.
Reasons To Upgrade
It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Windows 10 brings back the Start button, introduces Cortana and has advanced security features, including protection against many of the latest and most sophisticated malware and ransomware threats.
What’s more, if you’re one of the many people that dread Windows updates, you will be pleased to hear that the new operating system will detect exactly which updates are necessary for a specific system and only install these. Work can also be synced between personal and work computers, and you will be able to enjoy virtual desktop environments, which will make it easier to use a single system for multiple purposes.
How to Make the Upgrade Easy
As much as Microsoft would have us believe that the update process will be simple and trouble-free, this isn’t always the case, and especially not for business and enterprises who have to migrate entire offices to a new OS.
Here are some tips to help you ensure the Windows 10 upgrade is performed properly and quickly:
Before you begin any upgrades, it is vital that all data is properly backed up. If anything goes wrong during the upgrade, this backup will enable you to restore your data to a usable state. This is more than a standard document backup. A managed service provider can ensure that all data has been properly stored and backed up when you upgrade to Windows 10.
Hardware And Software Problems
Even if you’re ready for a software upgrade, your hardware might not be. All hardware will require the latest device drivers, and some items of hardware simply won’t be compatible with the new upgrades. Software and apps may also struggle, especially considering Windows 10 aims to unify mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. An IT service can check for software upgrades and find solutions for those that are not prepared for the upgrade.
Ensuring items such as RAM or Hard Drives are replaced with more compatible components for Windows 10 such as Solid State Drives or 8GB of RAM (min), will ensure a smoother upgrade path.
Upgrade To Windows 10
Downtime costs businesses money, especially when it is unplanned. By using a managed IT service, you can reduce downtime.
One of the major ways IT providers ensure a smooth upgrade is by testing the upgrade on a few devices and migrating devices in phases. That way potential challenges can be detected and solved before your entire office migrates. This also ensures that employees can continue to maintain productivity, even during the upgrade.
The simplest solution is to replace aged assets with new computers that have Windows 10 already installed.