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The Problem With Windows 10 Migrations, And How IT Can Avoid Them

By December 15, 2020March 8th, 2024Blog

Almost universally, IT departments and users face issues with full scale Operating System migrations. The process of upgrading user devices to a new Windows version is never straightforward, and as well as being labour intensive, is fraught with technical problems and lost user productivity.

Potential data and configuration loss

One of the biggest concerns for IT departments and end users in a full-scale OS migration is the potential for lost configuration, cached credentials and other environmental settings “taken for granted”. The loss of data is also a significant risk, with some users continuing to save data to local drives instead of corporate network or cloud locations.

These are difficult problems for IT departments to address without the right tools or expertise. Whilst it is possible to map user profile folders to network locations, and configure a default save option on documents and applications to the desired locations, it is still difficult to completely prevent data from being written to a local device.

Print settings can also be lost in a migration, forcing users to re-map printers and incur more lost time and frustration whilst the issue is rectified. Configuring printers and automating their allocation using tools such as Active Directory can solve this problem.

In the driving seat

Most device drivers that handle Windows 7 or beyond are typically compatible with Windows 10, however issues can occur if a user has a relatively obscure piece of hardware or device. Discovery of the estate is therefore essential and requires forward planning to ascertain if any users have specialised hardware or older devices.

Start small

Defining a subset of users such as a particular group of junior users or a department that is not going to be as impacted can be an effective way for IT departments to test the robustness of their planned migration, detect any pain points and resolve them before the main event. This approach prevents stressful roll out periods where users across the company experience the same problems, avoids downtime for users and enhances IT department’s reputation within the organisation.

End user commination is also key, keeping them informed of the plan, processes and any expected disruption to their working day.

Applications, Applications, Applications

Application management is perhaps one of the trickiest parts of a large scale Operating System migration. Not only must precautions be taken to ensure each application is compatible with the new Operating System, but the process needs to be automated to avoid undue pressure and unsustainable workloads on IT during the migration.

Whilst there are a range of tools available for compatibility testing and deployment automation, there are still many pitfalls and considerations to take into account during the process. The more complex an environment, the more applications being used and configuration customisation the more difficult the migration will be.

How ORIIUM can help

ORIIUM’s expert application team have helped countless customers migrate thousands of applications to Windows 10, virtualised environments, hyper-converged and public cloud.

Customers such as Prudential, UCL and London School of Economics have all benefited from working with ORIIUM whether through cost control, consolidation or rapid application delivery. With over 10 years of experience our team assesses each application for its compatibility in the new OS or environment, and can seamlessly port the application using tools such as Microsoft App-V. By leveraging their expertise and toolsets, 100% application compatibility is guaranteed, along with a smooth transition for your users.

Find out more

Read more about our approach to application services and further detail about our customers’ use cases HERE.