Moving to Windows 10 is critical at this point, because technical assistance and software updates for Windows 7 are no longer available for free. Support costs for Windows 7 are also doubling for those who do not move to Windows 10 – making the urgency to move even more critical. With remote workforces now in place, the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is inevitable to provide employees the most secure system access with the unified communications tools they need to stay connected. Even those who have completed their Windows 10 migrations continue to face the need to continually upgrade the operating system (OS). With new versions of Windows coming out every 6 months, organizations could argue they are in a constant state of migration. Here today we will discuss the temporary pivot taken when enterprises were forced into remote work earlier this year, uncover security gaps found, and dive into the strategies that can get you to Windows 10 with unified communications in mind.
Pivoting to Remote Work and Windows 10 migration impact
Earlier this year many of us believed that our shift to remote work would be temporary. So, technical decisions that normally take months of planning, testing and phased deployment were made quickly and left many enterprises taking on a large-scale technology shift in a very short period of time – in many cases overnight, or over a weekend. IT teams were left working hard to scale their backend virtualization platforms, and ramp up their unified communications tools for enterprise collaboration support, without much more thought than getting the tech online to keep the business up and running. Many employees were now using personal devices for their remote work, and Windows 10 migrations were delayed. This resulted in large security gaps and scaling challenges no one could have predicted. The worst part is that it has left enterprise data vulnerable.
Security Breaches and Planning for the Long-term
Consider this; according to ZDNet, approximately 20% of security breaches were caused by remote workers since the start of the pandemic, and 45% of those surveyed admitted that no additional steps were being taken to secure their enterprise environments. It’s no wonder that ransomware and security breaches are happening aggressively. Enterprises didn’t get to truly plan the pivot to remote work.
Remote workforces can be expected to be in place for the foreseeable future so let’s take the challenge of deploying secure devices to our employees, rollout the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and securing that corporate data seriously.
Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in the Cloud – getting started
How do we fix the gaps we are seeing? Well, getting started can be as simple as ensuring your employees have a secured Windows 10 desktop to do their work and leveraging the cloud to do so. With the cloud it is possible to deploy a Windows 10 enterprise secured virtual desktop with your corporate unified communications toolset and other enterprise applications without the per-device management burden and security exposures of running Windows natively on endpoints. Plus, the Windows 10 cloud options for implementations are abundant. There are solid and high-quality solutions by way of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Any of these will support your workforce in a secure and scalable way.
Not convinced? Let’s dive into the advantages of Windows 10 desktops in the cloud:
- Simple to Manage and Control – regardless of the endpoint (thin client, tablet, home computer, etc.), the Windows 10 cloud desktop can be controlled and secured by your IT administrators. Simple and secure.
- Scalable – regardless of location and where the team members are working, standing hundreds or even thousands of Windows 10 desktops in the cloud can be done in a small fraction of the time it takes to do the same with physical Windows 10 endpoints once the initial configurations required by your enterprise are in place.
- Manageability – Windows 10 brings in regular updates which are significantly easier and safer to rollout on cloud than to traditional endpoints, especially when those endpoints number in the hundreds or many thousands.
- Onboarding and Mergers & Acquisitions – Adding new users, moving people between organizations, or accommodating merger and acquisition transactions can be a huge logistical challenge for IT organizations. Placing Windows 10 desktops in the cloud vastly simplifies all of these scenarios by allowing endpoint administrators to easily configure, stand up, and manage endpoints and end-users across the enterprise from a single console.
- Security – Windows needs patching. Regularly. Patching also requires testing to ensure that the latest patch hasn’t broken any applications. Cloud delivered desktops, especially when combined with image management, can help significantly reduce the time spent on patching and interruptions to end-users.
Our remote workforces will be just that for some time, so consider all these advantages as you plan your upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in the cloud.
Windows 10 migrations into the Cloud Wrap Up!
Enterprises had to pivot quickly and unexpectedly earlier this year, and now we must be willing to realign our plans again to ensure the security gaps that exist are quickly closed. Our enterprise data is invaluable, and we shouldn’t just give it away. Move from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in the cloud now to ensure highly functional business continuity regardless of where your employees will be doing their work. A cloud-based solution for your Windows 10 migration will support the applications and unified communications toolsets your people need, regardless of where they may be located – at home, anywhere else, or whenever they may return to the office. And it will make life easier for your IT endpoint administrators with much less time spent on mundane physical endpoint management tasks, as well as your CFO from the resulting OPEX savings and potentially huge endpoint CAPEX savings as existing user devices gain a new lease on life.
Sponsored by IGEL
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of our employees did not understand the ability to work from home. This has become the biggest game-changer for our organization since adopting IGEL, Citrix and Microsoft. The flexibility afforded by the cloud workspace solution has enabled us to keep operating– and in some cases has saved jobs. “Chris McMasters, CIO, City of Corona”
Learn more here about how the City of Corona uses IGEL for its remote work success.