Plan for Windows 7 migration now

Four stage plan outlined to ease the pressure

FrontRange Solutions, the developer of client lifecycle and IT infrastructure management software, today warns organisations not to underestimate the preparation required to migrate to Windows 7. Although many firms are not expecting to implement the new operating system before 2010/11, FrontRange Solutions still urges these businesses to start the planning process as soon as possible to avoid potential unnecessary delays and costs.

“It’s tempting to think that because the business is not upgrading to Windows 7 for at least a year, it’s not something to worry about today, says Nick Perkings, sales director FrontRange Solutions, South Africa. “However, with analysts such as Gartner stating that most organisations will need at least 12-18 months to prepare, businesses need to start planning their roll out now; otherwise they will face costly delays.”

A major concern is the legacy infrastructure, which can cause critical compatibility issues due to its age and resulting complexity and results in the need for automatic methods to migrate and manage an operating system. At a time of reduced IT headcount, and increased pressure to reduce costs, many businesses can be unprepared for this bottleneck and unsure of how to proceed.

“Businesses can understandably feel overwhelmed when planning what is likely to be the single largest IT project of recent years,” says Perkins. “However, tools are readily available that can quickly, easily and reliably automate the entire process, reducing the operating costs of the infrastructure as well as the burden on the IT department dramatically.”

FrontRange Solutions recommends organisations prepare for Windows 7 roll-out in four key stages:

1. Planning – building a team of stakeholders, with executive sponsorship, who will own the process of scoping and managing the roll-out project.

2. Discovery – vital to completing any roll-out on-time and on-budget is the ability to see exactly what IT assets (both hardware and software) are already on the corporate network.   Audit information provided by tools such as FrontRange Discovery, can then be used to determine new hardware requirements and potential compatibility issues.

3. Deployment – rolling out any new software across the entire network is a major undertaking, let alone upgrading to a new Operating System.  FrontRange Solutions recommends using automated deployment tools such as the FrontRange Client Management Suite to accelerate the process of packaging, testing and deploying the OS to target machines across the enterprise.

4. Management – as with any new software, post-deployment management is critical to overall success, as it is likely that patches and hotfixes will need to be deployed swiftly across the network.  It is also important to ensure that PCs remain compliant with established policies (such as software configuration).

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Plan for Windows 7 migration now