Overcome Windows migration challenges while aligning your company for long-term IT success
How-to Guide: Migrate off Windows XP in 90 Days or Less
Get the SmartDeploy guide to a faster Windows Migration.
It's Time to Leave Windows XP
After 11 years and three major OS releases, Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows XP as of April 8, 2014. Companies who choose to remain on Windows XP may encounter many issues including:
- Increased security risks as scheduled Windows updates will no longer be available. This will pose significant business threats including security breaches, loss in productivity, and costly IT expenses.
- Application compatibility will become an issue as more software and hardware manufacturers stop supporting Windows XP. Businesses may endure costly IT consulting expenses attempting to hire a partner to support current software on an unsupported OS. Businesses may be forced to find an alternative for a critical line of business application if they choose to remain operating Windows XP.
IT organizations must confront the challenge of a Windows 7 or Windows 8 migration
or risk running an unsupported operating system. There are three fundamental challenges associated with migration off Windows XP:
- IT level of effort
- Application compatibility
- User experience—especially for remote users.
Old Windows Migration Methods
Traditional migration methods that were viable with Windows XP are no longer effiecient for IT departments. Time consuming
Analysts estimate up to four hours per endpoint to complete a Windows migration manually, in addition to any preparation time needed by the user and by IT. This equates to two to three migrations per day per IT technician, or 200 person days to migrate a fleet of 500 PCs. Correspondingly, this also equates to 200 person days of user downtime. Additionally, traditional Windows imaging tools that may have been used for Windows migration in the past introduce other challenges, like hardware dependencies, network impact, and notorious unreliability.
Supporting multiple operating systems
The IT effort for a Windows 7 or Windows 8 migration is complicated by the desktop applications and web applications built for Windows XP that can delay migration efforts or require expensive workarounds. Because of these dependencies, the process of OS migration has shifted from a monolithic project with a decisive beginning and end to an ongoing, piecemeal program.
This shift to piecemeal Windows migration means that IT has to manage multiple operating systems concurrently. You have to keep images of Windows XP up to date to provision systems for workers who still require Windows XP, but you are constructing a new system to update users to Windows 7 or Windows 8. This multi-OS management scenario is the new normal for IT.
In addition to the downtime element of user experience, there is the user experience that results from the Windows migration itself. Too often users receive their migrated PCs only to spend hours re-customizing everything that they had before.
I was fearing the daunting task of upgrading all our network PCs from Windows XP to 7. [SmartDeploy] saved a great deal of time and I actually ended up finishing the upgrade project months ahead of schedule.
Heather Schrader, Help Desk Administrator
SmartDeploy Simplifies Windows Migration Projects and Beyond
Without efficient Windows imaging software, managing this complex landscape can exponentially increase the level of effort to maintain endpoint management systems and can be a barrier to successful Windows migration. SmartDeploy can overcome the challenges and save time and the headaches normally associated with other Windows migration tools while setting IT up for long-term success.
SmartDeploy simplifies Windows migration through:
- Single image management for each operating system you manage.
- Logical layering of hardware and software information. Allowing IT to roll out any image to any device with superior reliability.
- Easy automation of deployment, including a simple scripted migration of user data and personalization, through a well-documented API.
Using SmartDeploy as your Windows imaging software, IT can standardize the imaging approach for Windows migration and for ongoing endpoint management, including new device provisioning, hardware migration, and break-fix. This holistic approach to imaging provides several benefits during and beyond the OS migration process. The effort applied to OS migration does not have to be duplicated to mobilize device provisioning, hardware migration, or break-fix processes. SmartDeploy gives you the tools to apply a single image to multiple endpoint management scenarios, ensuring a simple and reliable Windows migration while saving time and reducing complexity.
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