The Windows OS hasn’t been doing so well of late. Windows 8 and 8.1 were both prone to errors and now it seems that Microsoft will be releasing a newer version of its famous OS. Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, which is scheduled for release in April 2015.
That’s if you believe the rumours of course, but if it’s true the OS will arrive just 18 months after the launch of Windows 8.1. Many businesses are still struggling with the news that Microsoft intends to drop support for XP in April and those organisations are scrambling to transition to Windows 7. Some businesses will have only just migrated its systems to Windows 8/8.1.
With the possibility that Windows 9 will be released next year, it seems that the current trend for migration and upgrades for users of the Microsoft OS will continue. This is bad news for IT departments as OS migrations are one of the most costly, stressful, time-intensive and manpower heavy projects possible. It appears that software has a shorter lifespan these days, but what does that mean for businesses?
For IT departments the introduction of a new patch, bug fix, or OS improvement makes their jobs just that little bit harder. An IT professional must utilise a complex series of Application Readiness best practice steps before the software can function properly. The deployment of the app and who will use it must be understood and clearly defined by IT.
IT must rationalise the application estate and migrate only those apps that are actually being used. This helps IT departments avoid wasted effort. The application then has to be tested so that compatibility is ensured within the environment, and the application must also conform to the company’s standards. If IT finds any problems with the application it must be fixed and then repackaged before it’s delivered to the deployment system or to the enterprise app store.
However, migrating a network is a very complex task and IT departments themselves are also becoming increasingly diverse. Many businesses now run applications through cloud services and virtual and mobile environments, as well as on traditional, tethered desktop PCs. Any Application Readiness practices must enable new OS applications and patches to work on employees’ desktop and devices. New applications must also run on web-based apps and in virtual containers. Every time a new environment is introduced the complexity of ensuring Application Readiness grows exponentially.
Around 30% of an organisation’s applications need to be upgraded and migrated every single year. IT departments must be in a state of constant readiness and they must identify, rationalise, test and assess compatibility and fix close to a third of their organisation’s software estate on a yearly basis. This is why many IT departments are behind the curve, as the old tools and processes no longer suffice. An entire business can suffer because of IT’s backlog. Due to this, applications are not reaching the business when they’re actually needed, but instead when they can be implemented.
Lack of readiness
A 2013 Application Usage Management Study backs up the lack of readiness for new applications on organisational readiness for mass software migrations. The study, conducted by IDC and Flexera Software, shows that continual software migrations are the new normal. The study also reveals that CIOs aren’t equipped to handle it. The study reveals that OS migration and virtualisation projects are in full swing and new OS releases and technologies are constantly being considered for adoption.
Software migrations grow
Massive software migrations are experiencing growth and the continual nature means the correct application of new software becomes increasingly important. The study found however that although many IT departments understand what they must do, they have yet to actually do it. The correct implemented automation is not seen and their Application Readiness processes are ill considered. Businesses are not currently getting the applications needed, when they are needed.
Businesses that adopt Application Readiness best practices and utilise technology that automates the processes can hope for faster, more efficient and effective migration planning, testing, remediation and repackaging. This is the only way to ensure that the application estate is future proof.
Applications must be ready, up-to-date and available to users when they need them. If a business does not completely rethink its Application Readiness process to ensure anytime, anywhere capabilities then software transitions of any kind will become increasingly difficult. This in turn will significantly impact enterprises’ business performance and ultimately that business’s bottom line.
Make it as easy as possible
With Windows 9 just around the corner and businesses already experiencing difficulties migrating from Window XP, it seems increasingly important to ensure that migration is as easy as possible. The life span of an OS is getting shorter with each new update and version. A business that fails to apply Application Readiness processes correctly will be left behind, with an IT department unable to keep up to date.
If a business can guarantee better readiness practices, then the future is less intimidating. Rather than waiting nearly a decade to update an aging system like XP, perhaps it’s better to embrace new technologies as they are released and to be prepared for the future rather than lagging behind it.
In the modern IT environment, this is something that doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Cloud technology has made IT infrastructure much more accessible for smaller business, many of which can now compete on a level playing field with the big boys. With this in mind, maintaining an agile and scalable business is now easier, and cheaper, than ever.
Do you need help updating your software? Perhaps you need some advice on the best way to take your business forward using technology? Whatever your needs, we can answer your questions and help get you up-to-date, just give us a call on +44 8450 740 530 and we'll be more than happy to help!