Most Australian IT organisations are gagging to get on Windows 10 with only five per cent adamant they will not be upgrading to the new OS, a new Tech Research Asia study has revealed. If your business is boarding the early Windows 10 hype train, here are some facts that employees and managers need to be aware of.
The research firm, on behalf of Microsoft, surveyed 301 business decision makers across the SMB and big enterprise segments. Approximately 90 per cent of respondents said they will be moving to Windows 10, with 75 per cent planning to do so in the next 12 months. Just under five per cent are still unsure with another five per cent putting their foot down and refusing to upgrade.
What is a bit surprising about the results is just how willing the larger end of town are to jump onboard Windows 10 given that enterprises are traditionally risk averse and slow to adopt new technologies. In fact, results were relatively consistent across business of all sizes and different industries.
It seems like Windows 10 is kicking off a spending spree for organisations as well. The survey showed that out of the businesses planning to upgrade within 12 months, 46 per cent will be buying more PCs. Windows 10's cross platform capabilities is also spurring companies to buy more smartphones and tablets as well as driving uptake in cloud services, mobile device management solutions and other complementary offerings, the research revealed.
Enthusiasm for Windows 10 in the consumer market definitely plays a part in organisations opening their arms to Windows 10, according to systems integrator, Thomas Dureya Consulting.
"IT departments are being driven by their IT users, so Microsoft was clever in making the Windows 10 upgrade free to home users because what that's doing is driving adoption into the enterprise," the firm's national general manager, Michael Chanter, said at a Windows 10 media event. "People are using it at home and are enjoying the experience and they want to see a consistency in the office of what they're doing [at home]."
Chanter claimed to have experienced first-hand the wave of interest in the new OS from hundreds of his customers.
Fools rush in?
So what are the concerns of that 10 per cent of businesses that are either unsure about Windows 10 or are refusing to consider it? Cost associated with upgrading, such as hardware refresh, and compatibility with existing work applications were the two main concerns.
Application compatibility doesn’t seem to be scaring most organisations off as many of the respondents viewed Windows 10 as a mature operating system given it has already gone through multiple iterations and have been tested in advance through the Windows insider program.
"It isn’t a system that has just been developed and just been released," Makita Australia assistant IT manger, Shaun Adams, said at the media event. His company is going through the upgrade process. Adams noted that, unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 involved an active development program that involved user feedback for nine months so a lot of the compatibility concerns that may impact enterprises have likely been addressed.
"It's not as scary going through the upgrade… It is mature at birth, so it's a bit of a Benjamin Button operating system," he said.
While there is an overwhelming enthusiasm for Windows 10 from the business sector, companies should take a step back and make sure they are well-prepared for the rollout process to avoid complications for IT departments and end users.
Analyst firm Gartner recommends organisations that want to shift to Windows 10 to consider the following:
- Investigate the new security capabilities in Windows 10, and determine how they may impact current enterprise security processes and tools.
- Investigate Azure Active Directory and plan to implement it as part of a Windows 10 client rollout. This will ensure users get access to all of the OS' functionality.
- Understand the features exclusive to Windows 10 Enterprise (such as enhanced security, finer grain admin controls and long-term servicing) and factor these into decisions about software assurance.
- Build a project timeline to complete Windows 10 migrations before the end of 2019. Begin testing and piloting with the OS early in 2016 or sooner.
For testing purposes, Microsoft is actually giving out a free 90 day trial of Windows 10 Enterprise so large organisations can go crazy with the OS for three months without paying a cent.
With so many Australian organisations committee to a Windows 10 deployment, there is a good chance you’ll be using the operating system on your work PC in the near future. You might as well learn how to use it if you don’t already have it at home.
Windows 10 isn’t without its foibles and you can find ways to fix a few of its annoying quirks here. We also have advice on how to tweak the OS to reduce RAM and CPU usage, customising the Windows 10 start menu and how to activate ‘God Mode’.