After enjoying over five years as Microsoft’s flagship client operating system, the venerable Windows 10 has officially entered its end of support (EoS) phase, signalling the software giant’s shift towards a cloud-powered successor: Windows 11.
It’s a hassle for many businesses – not least because Windows 10 promised to be the last MS operating system. But interestingly, the motivator for the arrival of this new OS is security. Windows 11 demands hardware (a PC) with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) which enables more advanced security features such as the biometrics of Windows Hello! and BitLocker data encryption/protection. TPM 2.0 has been shipping on most modern devices for a year or two. However, the many older (but still more than usable) devices that businesses may have deployed with the intention of sweating for a few more years are now left in a problematic state.
Bumps in the road
As Windows 10 transitions into extended support until October 2025 after its original general availability in 2015, enterprise customers and PC owners still on the OS face decisions on upgrading hardware, assessing application compatibility, exploring security implications and weighing the overall case driving upgrades to Windows 11 versus tolerating declining support.
For enterprise customers governed by stringent compliance, cybersecurity and uptime requirements, these transition checkpoints serve as triggers that drive mandatory infrastructure refreshes, as dipping below vendor supported status invites unnecessary risk. But while many CIOs expedite desktop upgrades seeing support deadlines loom, many small businesses remain hesitant balancing functionality trade-offs versus tight IT budgets.
The bottom line is that if businesses aren’t in shape by the time EoS rolls around, they’ll start feeling experience degradation and, more worryingly, face the threat of cyber criminals looking to exploit security vulnerabilities that will no longer be patched.
It’s go time!
So, what’s the plan? Before you even attempt a migration, you absolutely must run a number of audits. Device estates should be assessed to define how much of the environment is challenged by Windows 11. Where there are devices that won’t be compatible, there is a refresh action which needs to take place.
Similarly, key applications in operation should also be reviewed to ascertain whether or not they’re tethered to Windows 10 in any way. If this is a concern, there may be additional needs to upgrade or re-write apps to the new OS standard.
And as we know, putting off tasks and leaving things to the last-minute always leads to problems – particularly when it comes to IT. We’ve already ascertained that businesses with a more laissez faire attitude to migration will find themselves at increased risk of cyberattacks. And while it may feel we are out of the woods with issues of device/hardware supply experienced during COVID, the bun fight that could unfold nearer the support deadline as a result of businesses putting off their migration until the last minute could lead to new supply shortages. Just trust us when we say that getting ahead of the issue in good time makes absolute sense.
Migrate on Autopilot
Thankfully, the actual task of migrating is being made easier by new tools such as MS Autopilot, which help to configure devices remotely and ensure they work seamlessly out of the box.
Moreover, for businesses that haven’t moved to new cloud services such as Azure Active Directory, this necessity could also prompt an opportunity to make the switch and get other parts of their device estate working more efficiently. (But again, taking advantage of these new gain creators means planning earlier and getting ahead of the challenge.)
IT Corporation is an expert Microsoft partner and can help businesses to make the transition to Windows 11 – taking the headache out of the planning, heavy lifting needed to migrate and acquiring any new hardware required. Get in touch with the team today to stay ahead of the hassle and away from problems further down the line.