The release of Windows 10 reinforces the fact that IT systems are rapidly being migrated. It wasn't that long ago that IT teams were concerned with simply going from one version to the next every two to three years.
Organisations had some time to plan, to test and then to execute. Migration was also just a one-way move – it was never thought that you may have to move backwards as well as forwards.
This is no longer the case. The IT world is in a continuous cycle of OS releases and updates that is creating an increasingly hybrid workspace environment – not least because so many organisations still use old OSes such as Windows XP.
Only last year, Windows 8.1 followed Windows 8, in the wake of criticism of the latter version, for example. These more or less continuous updates present several problems and challenges to businesses, particularly in terms of workspace management.
Rapid OS rollouts put IT departments under pressure to keep systems and applications up to date without disrupting the workplace.
The continual change in software is only compounded by the large number of devices and device types now used across an average organisation. It is more difficult than ever for IT departments to manage the workspace environment, deliver a good user experience and remain in control of application access.
Businesses are going to require management and control of the rapidly developing work environment and IT estate. They'll require advice and management of technology and process. It's a real opportunity to add value for customers and drive up revenue.
Will firms move straight to Windows 10 or an earlier, now-dated version? Their responses will present resellers with a variety of opportunities. The general consensus from the channel has been that Windows 10 is a marked improvement on 8 and 8.1, which many felt were too different to previous versions.
Microsoft has been gathering user feedback with a view to improving the final release. Windows 8 and 8.1 saw a relatively low level of uptake, so resellers can feel confident that more organisations will be persuaded to upgrade to 10, particularly if they are using an OS as old as XP.
I have heard a lot of people over the past three years tell me that Windows 7 would be the last migration they ever did.
But businesses have to accept that the world of IT will be locked in a state of near-constant migration.
Simon Townsend is chief technologist at AppSense
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