Building a Roadmap for Windows 7 End of Extended Support

Building a Roadmap:

Windows 7 End of Extended Support

Building a Roadmap for Windows 7 End of Extended Support

On January 14th, 2020 the Extended Support for Windows 7 will end after more than a decade of being the center of digital operations for many organizations. To prepare for this change, organizations must create a detailed plan for the far-reaching impact that Windows 7 end of extended support will have on their technological environment.

When envisioning the implementation of a new operating system, IT teams must take special care to ensure that all of their technological investments are aligned. This requires building a comprehensive roadmap. With this roadmap, organizations can ensure full software licensing compliance, optimal technical performance, and overall enable greater commercial success. 

Since the operating system is central to an organization’s entire digital environment, creating the best roadmap possible is critical. For such a comprehensive roadmap, IT teams must make a few key considerations regarding their current and future technology environment.

Document Your Current Assets

The first step in creating a roadmap for Windows 7 EoS is ensuring that every part of your hardware and software environment is accounted for. By taking inventory of all software and device assets, your organization can estimate how much time, labor, and money will be required for this migration.

Documenting assets is also important to ensure the compatibility of software and devices with the operating system that will succeed your Windows 7 deployment. There are basically three options how to move forward: upgrade to Windows 10, use Windows Virtual Desktop or opt for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates.  Especially with an upgrade to Windows 10, compatibility issues can arise. For example, certain legacy programs may run at sub-optimal quality, meaning that your organization may want to consider upgrading or replacing old software. For some organizations, they may find some of their machines do not support Windows 10, requiring an investment towards new hardware.

Documentation is also vital to ensure that your assets on machines running Windows 7 can be backed up safely. Without a proper backup process, your organization could be at risk of significant data loss. 

Outline Your Roadmap

When creating any roadmap for a significant overhaul such as Windows 7 EoS, it is important to pinpoint specific actions to take and deadlines to meet. Take a look back at the incompatible assets you’ve now identified, then suggest a few potential options for each product that must be updated. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each potential option, which will help members of your organization make a well-informed decision about the future of your technological environment.

Next, be sure that your IT team considers a few key questions to choose the ideal path for your upgrade from Windows 7. Consider the following:

  • Will we need to purchase extended support in order to fulfill this roadmap while ensuring our security? If so, what expenses will be required to support these devices?
  • Will a simple upgrade be sufficient, or will a clean install be required for optimal performance?
  • Are there basic implementation concerns to consider, such as training business users on this new operating system?

Once these considerations have been made, your organization should have a fleshed-out roadmap to ensure an optimal transition to your new operating system.

Demonstrate and Communicate the Initiative

After the creation of a comprehensive roadmap, IT teams must not underestimate the importance of communicating the process with their entire organization. A dashboard can be very beneficial to show your team where changes will be necessary, but it should also show other members of the organization how they can help with this transition.

Outside of the dashboard, IT teams should make a concerted effort to explain the differences of the new operating system to their entire team. Be sure to communicate the benefits of this new operating system, including greater productivity and security. In addition to this, be sure to explain any potential cosmetic changes that business users can implement to make their transition feel more seamless. Once your entire organization is on the same page about Windows 7 end of extended support, a successful transition will be almost certain. 

Further Guidance with Your End of Extended Support Roadmap

Even the mere process of creating a roadmap itself can be daunting for many organizations. If your organization is feeling the pressure of Windows 7 end of extended support, then don’t fret! Take a look at SoftwareONE’s comprehensive roadmap and landscape advisory services to ensure your technological investments will be properly aligned. Or, if you’d like to speak to an expert, contact us today.

Once you have built your roadmap, it will be easy to decide for the best way to move forward. There are several options for customers that are still using Windows 7 today:

  • Upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise / Windows 10 E3 or E5 / Microsoft 365
  • Continue to use Windows 7 with paid Extended Security Updates until 2023 
  • Use the new Windows Virtual Desktop with Windows 7

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