Despite its poor uptake, small and mid-sized businesses will eventually need to migrate to Windows 8. Below are some considerations that SMBs should look into prior to making the jump.
The first question faced by businesses would be whether to upgrade existing laptops and desktops, or to acquire new machines. This may not be the straightforward answer that most would expect, given that Windows 8 was designed to run just as well – or even better – than Windows 7 on existing hardware.
Performing an upgrade allows businesses to access the capabilities in Windows 8 with a substantially smaller budget. On the other hand, new machines will come with Intel’s third-gen (or fourth-gen) Core processors, which offer more powerful processing and built-in graphics capabilities not found in older hardware. Indeed, Intel’s ultra-low-voltage processors used in the majority of Ultrabooks sold today offer excellent battery life.
On that front, you can read this post on why SMBs should consider deploying Windows 8 Ultrabooks to better understand their capabilities.
An important process that is commonly missed out by smaller businesses, compatibility tests are crucial to ensure that legacy applications will continue to work after an operating system upgrade. While this is usually not an issue, I have personally witnessed important applications that suffered from inexplicable lags and other problems after an upgrade.
Given the many things that can go wrong, compatibility tests should entail more than checking that the app can be launched after an upgrade. Specifically, the software should be checked to ensure that it continues functioning within acceptable parameters. Moreover, it is also a good idea to verify the general robustness of an application by having it used over a period of time.
Planning the big move
Finally, businesses should draft up a proper plan with a realistic timeframe for migrating to any new operating system. Key tasks include initial planning, testing, acquiring of licenses for an upgrade or purchase of new hardware, and the actual implementation.
While mid-sized businesses and enterprises are less likely to encounter any problems when it comes to the actual implementation, smaller businesses may struggle for lack of manpower or the relevant experience. Fortunately, vendors and managed service providers do offer help for migrating to a new operating system, and SMBs may do well to tap into their services. Whether rolling the upgrade internally or relying on a vendor, the key is to approach a migration in a methodical fashion.