We complete this week’s riff on Gartner’s Windows 7 migration POV with an examination of what to expect, what to watch out for and what are some of the best practices to consider in your own migration plan. If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them.
First off, Gartner offers some advice to address applications compatibility problems, which is important: Based on early experience, one in four applications should have some kind of problem. The best solution is to fix it by changing the code or upgrading to a new version, which could also involve replacing or rewriting applications written in house. You can also try to put in a makeshift fix by changing the way Windows 7 treats the application. There are other ways to use remote capabilities and virtualization to create temporary fixes, but Gartner suggests these should be used sparingly.
So, what are the pitfalls to watch out for? Here’s Gartner’s take:
And, finally, what are Gartner’s recommendations for best migration practices:
So there you have Gartner’s take on Windows 7 migration. What’s yours?
So, you’ve decided to heed Gartner’s advice and you’ve either begun your Windows 7 migration or you’re ready – now! – to take the first steps. What are your options and how do you get started? Basically, there are three options: (1) A forklift upgrade where you replace the operating environment on every machine; (2) an attrition migration where you bring in the new operating system as you replace existing machines; (3) a combination of the two, where you do the forklift upgrade for key applications and departments and you handle the rest of the environment through attrition.
The forklift upgrade is both more costly and more disruptive, unless yours is one of the very few companies that can to this type of upgrade with the flick of a switch. The hybrid approach is the more likely solution for most companies and, in fact, Gartner says about half of its customers are doing a hybrid migration while another third are doing an attrition migration.
The process, as outlined by Gartner is as follows:
Phase One: Information Gathering. This should take about three months and it involves taking a full inventory of your applications, hardware, peripherals, etc. You need to have the ability to scope the problem and then you can figure out what you need to fix. The average company is saying that one in four applications is having some kind of problem when it is migrated to Windows 7.
Phase Two: Engineering Testing. This would involve setting up a lab to test the applications, remediate them and get them working. It is an iterative process and you should allow six to nine months for this phase, Gartner suggests.
Phase Three: Pilot Testing. You should allow at least three months for this phase and you should make sure during that time you are covering all potential key business events, such as end-of-month closings and end-of-quarter closings. You should also make sure you do a test with true users and then do a full beta where you do an actual install and support it the exact way you would do in production, with your regular help desk and regular technicians.
If you add up the three phases, you can see that the process could take anywhere from 12 to 15 months (or more) to do it right. With ISVs and hardware companies planning to begin phasing out XP in 2012, you can see where Gartner is stressing urgency. So, if you’re getting started, what are the potential pitfalls to avoid and what are some of the best practices to embrace? Tune in next time as we complete our initial exploration of Windows 7 migration issues.]]>
Has your IT organization begun migrating to Windows 7 yet? If not, then you need to begin moving quickly or you could be headed for trouble, according to the experts at Gartner. I sat in on a one-hour Gartner webcast last week entitled The Big Migration: Windows 7 and Office 2010. The Webcast was hosted by Gartner Research vice president Stephen Kleynhans, who said companies moving from XP to Windows 7 need to begin migrating with a sense of urgency. “You have to get involved,” he said. “You can’t keep putting it off.”
Gartner’s research has shown that more than 80 percent of Windows IT shops skipped Vista altogether, which means most organizations will be migrating directly from XP to Windows 7. The participants on the Webcast turned out to be pretty representative of the overall population: Of those on the webcast, 67 percent never did anything with Vista and 23 percent tested Vista and skipped it. Kleynhans said that’s pretty consistent across the industry: Less than 10 percent of Windows shops did anything significant with Vista.
The reason for the sense of urgency – perhaps even a sense of panic, based on some of the language used on the webcast – is twofold: (1) The clock is ticking on XP support and (2) the window to migrate to Windows 7 could take as long as 18 months, depending upon your circumstances. “Don’t wait,” said Kleynhans. “Get started now on the first steps.
Here’s the crux of the issue: XP support ends in April 2014, so that’s the absolute final deadline to have made the migration. After that you won’t even be getting any security fixes for XP. However, other support for XP will likely drop and/or diminish sooner. Gartner says it is already getting reports from ISVs and hardware makers that new products introduced in 2012 will not support XP. Given the complexity and the amount of time required to make the migration, Gartner says those deadlines will be here sooner than you think. The reality, however, is that many organizations have barely begun making the transition. On the webcast, only 23 percent of participants began deploying Windows 7 in production through 2010: 30 percent said they were starting in the first half of this year and 47 percent said they were starting in the second half of this year or later. Those figures were pretty consistent with Gartner’s research numbers.
The good news if you haven’t started yet is: (1) those early adopters that have begun the migration to Windows 7 are very happy and (2) it’s not even close to too late to get started. So, how do you begin making the migration and what are the pitfalls to avoid? Tune in for our next blog post on the subject.]]>
In this market, there are so many variables: Which service provider aligns or re-aligns with which vendor? What features will customers actually be demanding four years from now? Where will the most interesting applications reside and what will be the impetus – marketing, technology, apps – that will create the groundswell of support for any of the various platforms, let alone the ones that will drive Windows 7 into a second place market share? Is Nokia enough alone to drive Windows 7 adoption so aggressively? If you have answers to any of these questions, please share them. In the meantime, I ask this question: Four years from now, if Windows 7 is in first place in market share or second or third or fourth, will anybody besides the researchers at IDC really care what was said in the first quarter of 2011? As you ponder these and other existential questions, take a look at the IDC numbers below: