Migration to Windows 10 Is Accelerating Throughout Enterprise America

Anne Baker is Vice President of Marketing for Adaptiva.

The 2017 Windows 10 Enterprise Impact Survey—an annual survey of more than 400 IT industry professionals across North America by Adaptiva—discovered that enterprises are migrating to Windows 10 faster than they estimated last year.

The 2017 survey also found that while companies are taking more time for planning and preparation, the actual system deployments are moving quicker than expected.

Migration to Windows 10 Is Picking Up

With only a few exceptions, almost every respondent said their company is moving to Windows 10 in the near future. More than 10 percent of the 2017 survey respondents stated that their enterprises had, in fact, completed the migration to Windows 10; whereas in 2016, only 12 percent of companies had migrated even 5 percent of their systems. Only a subset of those—7.2 percent of total respondents—expected to have more than half their systems migrated by this time.

There is also an expectation among respondents that migration to Windows 10 will be speedy once their planning cycles conclude. Twenty-three percent expect to complete their migration to Windows 10 in three months, while 40 percent estimate they’ll be done within six months. Another 23 percent expect to complete the effort within six months to a year, while over a third are looking to finish in more than a year.

On top of that, most respondents are embracing an aggressive migration schedule, with more than half planning to move 30 percent or more of their systems to Windows 10 in the coming year, and another 42 percent plan to migrate more than half their systems.

Security the Major Motivator of Migration

Security appears to be the main driving force behind the hike in migrations among the surveyed enterprises. IT experts have found consensus that Windows 10 is the most secure client OS released by Microsoft, with 79 percent citing it as the main appeal to migration. For comparison, the runner-up, Windows 10 universal applications, garnered 23 percent.

This consensus is far from unfounded. Windows 10 offers major improvements to the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection software and improves the security of Office 365 by tracking down viruses transmitted by email. In addition, most companies utilize a wipe-and-load installation system for Windows 10 migration, which is considered good digital security hygiene practice.

Automating the Migration Progress: An Exercise in Optimism?

Improvements in automation software appear to be the source of the increased rush to migrate by major corporations and industries. More than half of respondents claim it will only take two to four hours to migrate a single system to Windows 10 through automation, and just under one-third think it will take an hour or less.

However, this belief in automation might not be entirely warranted. Companies are still struggling to conduct migrations without touching the systems in some way, whether physically or remotely. Just under half the respondents reported that of systems migrated, less than one-tenth were completely zero-touch—requiring no manual efforts at all. About one-third reported that more than half their systems were true zero-touch deployments.

Despite the obstacles to true automated migration, most respondents appear to be optimistic. Only 35 percent of the respondents feel that Windows 10 deployment requires significant manual effort. Just under half of respondents believe that advanced automation will create such efficiency for their organization to require five or fewer staff members to complete the move to Windows 10.

Migration Takes Time and Requires Careful Planning

Despite both the speed and enthusiasm for Windows 10 migration that has exploded over the past year, the planning and preparing for the migration are taking longer than expected. More than half of companies estimate 4 to 12 months before they are ready to begin migrating in earnest. Fourteen percent expect it to take even longer. About one-third of companies are either already done planning or expect to be done within the next few months.

The reason for this “measure twice, migrate once” approach is clear: Time is still a huge obstacle to the process. Windows 10 migration is a large, complex project, and careful planning up front could prevent significant delays and costs. While automation will make delivering Windows 10 easier, verifying migrated system data post-migration proves a far more daunting task, worrying half of the respondents. Furthermore, the Window 10 migration presents corporations with an opportunity to configure their systems to their liking—something that can’t be done rashly without great consequence.

The speed at which Windows 10 is adopted shows that Windows 10 is the future for enterprises of every size. By next year, 52 percent of companies are projected to be halfway through their migrations. And much like this year, that percentage might end up being much higher. Only time will tell.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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