Windows 10 migrationsInternal IT teams may be looking for a little extra help now that many of them are starting to realize Windows 10 migrations aren’t nearly as simple as once thought. A survey of 400 enterprise IT professionals conducted by Adaptiva, a provider of endpoint and security management software, finds that only 40 percent are halfway through the transition. A year ago, more than half (52 percent) of respondents to a previous Adaptiva survey said they expected to be halfway through migrating to Windows 10 by now.

Almost two-thirds (61 percent) say they expect to complete their organization’s move to Windows 10 within the next 12 months. Another 21 percent expect migration to take the remainder of the year. But, more than a third of the IT professionals surveyed report it will likely take their companies more than a year to move all their remaining systems to the new OS, and only 45 percent said they plan to migrate 50 percent or more of their desktops within the next year. Only 9 percent have already migrated all their endpoints. Almost a third (32 percent) have migrated 10 percent or less of their endpoints to Windows 10.

Windows 10 migrations challenges

More than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they feel teams working on Windows 10 migration are stretched too thin. A full 70 percent say they are struggling to keep up with the demands of Windows 10 deployment with their current staffing level and deployment technology.

The single biggest reason most customers are upgrading to Windows 10 is because support is being terminated for previous editions of Windows (87 percent). But, security is also cited as compelling factor (75 percent). BitLocker, Windows Defender, Identity Protection, and Access Control are identified as the top security features for Windows 10. With each passing day, security issues become a bigger concern.

The biggest challenges associated with deploying Windows 10 that respondents cited are the amount of time required (62 percent), application compatibility (50 percent), and cost (41 percent). Organizations are faced with investing in more people, purchasing a solution to automate the process, or slowing deployments.

The issue many organizations have when it comes to investing in tools to automate the process is that operating systems upgrade are not a regular event. In the absence of acquiring those tools themselves, the next best option is to rely on a managed services provider that aggregates the cost of investing in those tools across multiple customers. One reason end customers are also wary of investing in these tools themselves is because once Windows 10 gets installed most future updates will be automated.

MSP opportunities

Windows 10 migrations still represent a significant opportunity for MSPs. The challenge is basic sales and marketing. Most internal IT organizations are not going to decide on their own that they need outside help. Pressure to accelerate Windows 10 migration needs to come from end users. Clearly, Microsoft could be of greater help to MSPs in terms of both ratcheting up the pressure and identifying customers that are struggling with the upgrade process. After all, nobody has a more vested interest in accelerating the Windows 10 migration process than the company providing support for all the previous editions of Windows.

In the meantime, MSPs would be well advised to do a little reconnaissance of their own. It only takes a few minutes during an onsite visit to make an educated guess about how many instances of older versions of Windows are still running within an organization. Truth be told, more than a few business and IT leaders are starting to feel embarrassed about it. The opportunity for the MSP is not to embarrass them further, but rather gently point them down a much faster path to modernization that provides some much-needed relief.

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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