Insights

Security, Simplicity and Speed
– Making the move to Windows 10 before the deadline

Security

As the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 10 is lauded as the best operating system that many organisations have experienced. While the move from Windows XP to Windows 7 is a painful memory for many IT departments, the consensus is that Windows 10 migration has been far more positive (despite the requirements for long lead in times and necessary remediation of some applications).

While there are many features and functions that will benefit Irish organisations, much of the focus has been on security. Windows 10 is built with security in mind, as opposed to being a bolt on. This is especially pertinent in the wake of WannaCry which affected over 10,000 organisations and 200,000 individuals globally. In fact, WannaCry was so effective, not only because it automatically spread itself but it penetrated organisations that had not installed the latest Microsoft security update at the time (April 2017). According to a study by security firm Kaspersky Labs, almost all WannaCry victims were running unsecured versions of Windows 7 and that the impact on Windows XP was insignificant.

“Security is such a high risk, particularly at the moment when we’re seeing new attacks every single day. That would be our biggest concern for customers who don’t make that move”

– Shirley Finnerty, Microsoft 365 business group lead.

Failure to implement a security update will not be negated under Windows 10, but these updates will be easier and easier for IT departments to implement, especially with the help of SSCM.

Updates can be delivered automatically or via the IT department in a more streamlined process. With Windows 10, it’s no longer possible to forget to run a Windows Update. This means your organisation are less likely to miss a critical operating system patch that fixes a critical security issue.

By forcing all Windows 10 users to stay up to date, everyone’s online safety is improved, as it reduces the risk of a device being compromised in an attack and being used to spread this across your network.

Simplicity

Security and simplicity are words not often used in conjunction with one another. Windows 10 shows how simple security can be. While the solution might be complex, the action is more straightforward and faster than the traditional password. In fact, studies have proven that passwords are often the weak link in an organisation’s security infrastructure. With ‘Windows Hello’, users can avoid the need for complicated passwords and IT departments no longer have to spend time re-setting passwords for staff who struggle to remember usernames and complex passwords. Windows Hello logs a user into a computer three times faster than a password and is completely secure, with multi-layer security options built in, improving security and user experience.

Speed

Performance is increased on Windows 10, without sacrificing on efficiency. As your machine is more efficient, batteries last that little bit longer and your staff can work faster and more effectively.

Windows 10 is not only the most reliable, but the most secure operating system that Microsoft has brought to market. It’s simply up to users and organisations to ensure they are implementing updates as they are released. By streamlining the overall start up experience by cutting down on unnecessary start up processes, it not only speeds up the system but provides the user with a better, more efficient experience.

According to Gartner, average migration projects for large enterprise organisations with more than 500 seats have been taking 21 months in the US.

Challenges and Obstacles

While every migration has its own challenges and obstacles, a move to Windows 10 represents the last migration of its kind, due to the continuous required updates, as opposed to a series of product releases.

While it is true that Windows 10 should not present as many compatibility issues as previous versions of the operating system migration is certainly not as simple or as straightforward a proposition as some claim. Migration is a highly complex process regardless of the nature and scale of the organisation involved. It requires a deep understanding of the businesses processes and applications in use.

Businesses should therefore not assume that this gives them ample time to be ready for the end 2020 deadline. Ireland has been quite slow to migrate to Windows 10 and there will likely be extreme resource constraints for projects starting in the latter part of 2019 and in 2020. The fact is that the IT industry simply doesn’t have the capacity to meet a surge in demand from late migration projects.

 

Incomplete and Exposed

Organisations starting their migration journey after mid-2019 will probably face the prospect of not having the project complete by 2020 leaving them open to the risk of running with an unsupported operating system and the security vulnerabilities that entails unless they avail of the extended security support being offered by Microsoft.

Irish businesses will have to pay for extended support for Windows 7 and previously this cost organisations €200 per device. This cost would leave companies paying dearly for their delay. Instead of providing for the one-off cost of migration in the IT budget over two years they will potentially have to double that provision just to maintain support for their existing operating system.

The Solution

While the migration process is complex, it is important to divide it into stages to ensure that each component is planned, tested and deployed successfully. That process hasn’t changed since the launch of Windows 95. Auxilion has more than two decades of experience of working with clients on successful migration projects involving tens of thousands of devices. We understand the process and technology involved in each individual case.

This March, our experienced team are running a free Windows 10 Discovery workshop in the new Microsoft offices. If your organisation has questions about migrations, please complete the form and a member of our team will confirm your place for free.

To learn more about Auxilion’s Modern Workplace service, contact us today, a member of our Digital Services team is on hand to answer your questions.