With the release of Windows 7 due later this year, organisations are already beginning to feel uneasy about how the upgrade will affect their IT systems, according to AppSense ANZ general manager Sean Walsh. AppSense is a provider of user environment management products.
“CIOs are all too aware that rolling out a new operating system will inevitably result in some backlash from users. It has been several years since most companies had to implement a new operating system for the majority of their desktop infrastructure, but few CIOs will have forgotten that migrating to a new platform can open a Pandora’s box of issues if the migration is not managed correctly,” says Walsh.
He claims the fear of overcomplicating processes and the threat of user backlash contributed to the decision for many organisations to avoid upgrading to Windows Vista.
“Now that Windows 7 is on the horizon, it seems an operating system upgrade is finally due.”
Alongside its many benefits, Walsh says Windows 7 presents its own risks and challenges.
“It is difficult to predict how users will react when faced with a new interface which changes application compatibility, driver stability and performance.
“There are a number of tools already available to deal with the management and deployment of the new operating system and assist with compatibility issues, but these tools almost entirely ignore the critical issue of user data and settings- something which has traditionally been lumped together and dealt with poorly.”
He says organisations underestimate the amount of downtime required for a user to configure all their applications and settings from scratch on the new operating system.
“It is not unreasonable for a user to spend a full day or more upgrading and configuring a new operating system they are unfamiliar with.”
This is where an environment manager offering can help, according to Walsh.
“This gives you the ability to move around between platforms and migrate all the meaningful data seamlessly to the users themselves- settings, data and customisations.
“Personalisation technology effectively virtualises these user settings on a per application basis and delivers them on demand as a separate layer on the top of the operating system and applications.”
He adds that for organisations to experience a simple and rapid desktop upgrade they need to learn about the benefits and tools which are featured on Windows 7.
“Remember that a successful upgrade will depend on how quickly users are back up and running, so CIOs need to make sure they are prepared to make this process easy.”
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