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H OW TO P ULL THE W INDOWS M IGRATION T RIGGER : F IVE

HOW TO PULL THE WINDOWS MIGRATION TRIGGER:

FIVE QUESTIONS EVERY CIO MUST ASK

An Olenick & Associates White Paper March 2013

INDOWS M IGRATION T RIGGER : F IVE QUESTIONS E VERY CIO M UST A SK

Contents

Contents Executive Summary 1 Isn’t the Desktop dead? 2 Should I Target Windows 7 or Windows

Executive Summary

1

Isn’t the Desktop dead?

2

Should I Target Windows 7 or Windows 8?

3

How can I scope the problem?

5

Application Criticality

5

Number of Target Computers

5

Configuration Diversity

7

How can I Manage Migration Risk?

8

Application Risk

Mitigation

8

Configuration Risk Mitigation

9

User Community Risk Mitigation

9

How Can I Manage for Success?

10

Critical Success Factors

10

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

11

Conclusion

12

About Olenick & Associates

12

Notes

13

Copyright © 2013 Olenick & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Additional copies of this white paper can be downloaded from

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How to Pull the Windows Migration Trigger: Five Questions Every CIO Must Ask

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Despite Microsoft’s well-publicized end of support for the Windows XP desktop operating system and

Despite Microsoft’s well-publicized end of support for the Windows XP desktop operating system and the attractiveness of replacements Windows 7 and 8, thousands of IT managers are just now starting to embrace all this as inevitable. If you’re one of them, you’re not alone. As of January 2013, about 43% of all Windows personal computers are running XP; 6% are still running Vista or earlier Windows versions. 1

For an organization with many thousands of XP PCs, migration to a new Windows OS will be a significant undertaking. This white paper discusses some key questions that CIOs and enterprise technology managers must consider as they decide how to meet this challenge and create a migration strategy.

Isn’t the desktop dead? Does the cloud and mobile revolution obviate the need for desktop computers? Why migrate if there are better alternatives?

Should I target Windows 7 or Windows 8? Although the technical differences are well understood, what are the operational and economic consequences of this choice?

How can I scope the problem? What are the key drivers of time, cost, and results? What do I need to know to lay out an effective roadmap?

How can I manage migration risk? What can go wrong? How can I mitigate these risks?

How can I manage for success? What management actions and tools will assure the success of my migration project?

Of course, any final answer to these questions depends on your situation a simple cookbook approach would certainly be wrong. Instead, we present lessons Olenick & Associates have learned from migration projects for our enterprise IT clients as a framework for planning. *

* You may also be interested in our companion white paper Windows Migration Tips, Tricks, and Gotchas.

ISN ’ T THE DESKTOP DEAD? Let’s consider some reasons why you might want to

ISNT THE DESKTOP DEAD?

Let’s consider some reasons why you might want to skip migration to a new Windows desktop OS altogether.

Cloud-hosted SAAS offerings like Windows 365 are viable and proven alternatives.

Cloud-based applications don’t really need a personal computer – any device that runs a browser will do, including tablets and smartphones.

For some applications, virtualized hosted desktops and thin clients can replace physical desktops for significant cost reductions.

Many workers now prefer to use their own tablet or smartphone. In some cases, this means you can eliminate the annual per PC spend of around $4,000 for licenses, support, and power. 2

Mobile devices are cheaper and in many ways, faster and better. Native apps can be developed to perform the same functions desktop apps provide.

If you can run some or all of your business from a tablet or smartphone, these points are worth consideration. However, for many organizations, dumping the desktop just isn’t feasible.

“ For many organizations, dumping the desktop just isn’t feasible . ”

For many organizations, dumping the desktop just isn’t feasible.

“ For many organizations, dumping the desktop just isn’t feasible . ”

Many apps/users rely on a keyboard, mouse, and a large screen. Tapping on a handheld is not ergonomic for writing in quantity, graphic composition, side-by-side reading, and user multi-tasking.

Handhelds or browsers can’t provide the bandwidth, storage, or number crunching needed for resource-intensive apps.

Mobile wireless networks that mobile devices favor are more expensive, slower, and less reliable than the typical wired network for desktops.

Laptop PCs are still the platform of choice for many road warriors. High-performance and ruggedized laptops provide nearly all of the advantages of desktop hardware as well as the unwired benefits of handhelds and tablets.

The cloud/mobile stack has new and different security hazards.

Your current and potential workforce has skills in Windows apps on a Windows OS.

You've built your business processes around apps that use a Windows OS. Disruption would entail unnecessary costs and risks.

The cost of migrating legacy apps to a cloud/mobile stack can be prohibitive.

SHOULD I TARGET WINDOWS 7 OR WINDOWS 8? There are many analyses of the relative

SHOULD I TARGET WINDOWS 7 OR WINDOWS 8?

There are many analyses of the relative advantages of Windows 7 and Windows 8 the nearby sidebar lists a few.

We like both platforms. Migration scope, cost, and risk are about the same, so operational effects for your organization should drive the decision.

Microsoft has made great improvements in desktop reliability. Having been in the field for several years, Windows 7 is now highly stable. Although Windows 8 users may encounter some new bugs, we expect Windows 8 to be as, if not more, reliable than Windows 7.

Windows 8 provides built-in cloud and mobile integration. We expect significant enhancements in this direction for Windows 8, both from Microsoft and third parties. As Windows 8 becomes the platform of choice, Windows 7 will trail this leading edge.

If you start with Windows 8 now, it may be another ten years before you’ll have to go through another migration. Although we can’t say exactly when the future tipping point for migrating from Windows 7 will occur, it will probably be several years sooner.

Although the Windows 8 Metro user interface will initially take getting used to, we see Windows 8 as a better technology that best positions you for the future. However:

We don’t recommend going to Windows 7 as a short-term path to Windows 8. If your goal is Windows 8, then go directly — don’t waste time and money with Windows 7.

If you are currently using Windows 7, stay there unless there are features in Windows 8 (like advanced security) you must have.

The choice depends on your planning horizon. Exhibit 1 Windows 7 versus Windows 8 compares some key operational effects. In the longer term, Windows 8 is clearly a better choice. If your horizon is the next few years, Windows 7 is arguably better.

horizon is the next few years, Windows 7 is arguably better. Enterprise Upgrades: Five Reasons to

Enterprise Upgrades: Five Reasons to Focus on Windows 7 not Windows 8. This article weighs the pros and cons of Windows 7 and 8, and finds that Windows 7 is a better choice for the Enterprise.

DOD Awards First Joint Licensing Agreement. After an extensive internal study, the US Department of Defense committed to upgrading 700,000 of its Windows computers to Windows 8, as they see it will be substantially less expensive and more secure than Windows 7.

Windows 8: Not for Old-at-Heart PCs. The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg finds that Windows 8 may require new hardware too.

Microsoft Q&A: With Windows 8, the Choice Is Yours. An interview with Microsoft VP Antoine Leblond about why Windows 8 is right for the enterprise.

“ In the longer term, Windows 8 is clearly a better choice. If your horizon

In the longer term, Windows 8 is clearly a better choice. If your horizon is the next few years, Windows 7 is arguably better.

Operational Factor

Windows 7

Windows 8

User learning curve

Low

Moderate

 

Legacy app compatibility

Low

Lower

 

Typical hardware

64 bit, 4G RAM

64 bit, 4G RAM

 

Projected End-of-Life

2016

2020

Security

Good

Better

Cloud integration

Good

Better

Mobile integration

Low

Good

Third Party App compatibility

Best now

Best later

Stability

Best now

Best later

Development Support

Visual Studio,

Visual Studio,

 

Dot Net

Dot Net

Microsoft client apps: Office, SharePoint, etc.

Best now

Best later

Microsoft Server apps: Exchange, SQL Server, etc.

Best now

Best later

Exhibit 1 Windows 7 versus Windows 8

HOW CAN I SCOPE THE PROBLEM? Although there are hundreds of specific factors to consider,

HOW CAN I SCOPE THE PROBLEM?

Although there are hundreds of specific factors to consider, we’ve found that a few dominate the scope of a Windows migration project: application criticality, number of target computers, and configuration diversity.

Application Criticality

Some desktop applications or the user- facing components of a multi-tier system perform tasks that are the heartbeat of your organization Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a prime example. They may have been provided by a third party or internally developed. Others are engrained

in daily workflow: document editing, email, and collaboration tools. Others may have been picked up along the way, are personal favorites, or simply obsolete.

The first step of migration is to inventory and then bucket apps accordingly to their operational criticality.

The first step of migration is to inventory and then bucket apps accordingly to their operational criticality. Exhibit 2 Application Criticality provides a scheme to classify your applications.

Critical. You depend on these apps every day any disruption to them would have an immediate adverse effect on operations, costs, or revenues.

Essential. The usage profile is roughly the same as critical, but effects of an outage are not as immediate or severe.

Special Purpose. Usage is limited to certain roles or times.

User Specific. Usage is limited to certain persons; disruption impact is narrow.

Deprecated. These apps should not be migrated they may be obsolete, unsecure, or unsupported.

You’ll almost certainly want to migrate all of your critical and essential applications and set priorities for special-purpose and user-specific apps.

Number of Target Computers

While this may seem obvious, don’t forget to count separately computers that can or will be removed from service during the migration. It is usually easiest to have your vendor configure new computers with the desired OS. However, you'll still have to transfer data and applications from the retired computer.

Although some older computers might meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 7, the typical current configuration for either OS is a PC with at least 4GB RAM and a 64-bit processor.

You may want to review your equipment budget and expensing policy to determine what economic

You may want to review your equipment budget and expensing policy to determine what economic effect speeding up or deferring retirement of target computers would have. Ideally, you can set your rollout schedule accordingly. However, if you’re just starting this process, Microsoft’s termination of regular XP support in April 2014 may limit your options.

Level

App Profile

 

Outage Impact

   

Essential operations halted

1

Integral component of essential workflow

Company-wide productivity is compromised

Critical

Enterprise resource planning client (ERP)

Email, Document

Material adverse cost or sales effect

Public, wide-spread damage to organization’s reputation

Management

   
 

Payment processing

Essential operations degraded

Customer dissatisfaction

2

Catalog definition

Compliance violation

Essential

Order processing

Significant employee productivity degradation

Damage to organization’s reputation

 

Specialized or infrequent usage

Some operations degraded

3

Special

Year-end reporting

Audit compliance

Indirect customer dissatisfaction

Purpose

Moderate employee productivity loss

4

User selected/installed

User operations degraded

User

Analytics

Impact typically limited to primary user

Specific

Graphics

 

Unauthorized/unsupported

 

5

Continued use poses a hazard, creates waste or excess cost

Deprecated

Legacy apps to be replaced

Security risk

 

Exhibit 2 Application Criticality

Configuration Diversity The physical configuration of your PC fleet is just as important as its

Configuration Diversity

The physical configuration of your PC fleet is just as important as its application profile. A partially automated census of all computers in your fleet is the best way to determine this. Automated or not, you’ll need this to create an effective migration plan. Exhibit 3 Configuration Scope Drivers lists factors that determine project scope and may call for special attention.

Instead of continuing to use a general purpose PC for a single app, it may make sense to host this app in a cloud and replace the PC with a thin client.

You may also find it useful to evaluate other improvement opportunities. Are any items based on obsolete assumptions? Is this structure adequate for future changes?

For many reasons, you may have PCs that are dedicated to running only a single app. For example, hundreds of PCs in a warehouse are only used to check stock status. Instead of continuing to use a general purpose PC for a single app, it may make sense to host the app in a cloud and replace the PC with a thin client.

 

Configuration Item

Roles

How many role-specific configurations are there? Management, technical specialist, clerical, field sales, etc.? How many Active Directory profiles are there?

Offices/ Locales

How many physical sites are there? Where are they located? How many localization profiles are needed?

Images

What versions of Windows OS are there: DOS, NT, Windows 9x, 2000, XP, XP SP1, Vista, etc. How many of each?

Platforms

What kind of computers are there? Desktop, laptop, or workstation? CPU type? Memory? HD size?

Video Device Types

What kinds of display devices are used? Resolution?

Printer and Multi-Function Device Types

What types of printers What kind of multi-function devices (e.g., fax/print/scan combo)?

Exhibit 3 Configuration Scope Drivers

HOW CAN I MANAGE MIGRATION RISK? We see two primary business risks. “ An IT

HOW CAN I MANAGE MIGRATION RISK?

We see two primary business risks.

An IT managertold Computerworld that Microsoft had quoted his company $1 million for the first year of custom support to cover 5,000 Windows XP machines, $2 million for the second year, and $5 million for the third.3

Underestimating either the difficulty or impact of a migration project.

Delaying migration. After April 8, 2014 there will be a substantial increase in Microsoft support costs. 4 The sooner you start, the lower these costs will be.

Like any large IT project, many things

can go wrong in a Windows migration. Problems related to applications, configuration, and users are common in our client’s migration projects. You can avoid delays and unexpected costs with focused quality assurance, proactive management, and effective monitoring during the migration project.

Application Risk Mitigation

Application risk includes all of the problems that can occur when you transfer an existing application to a new platform. Compatibility testing is the first step for mitigation, followed with testing each installation package on the target platform(s).

A typical PC has scores of applications that must be re-installed on top of the new OS. Application packaging is the bundling of installation files into an industry standard format such as MSI or App-V. This minimizes compatibility problems and per-PC conversion cost. Although package design, implementation, testing, and development life cycle coordination can be challenging, all are essential for risk mitigation.

Risk

Mitigation

App not compatible with new OS

Evaluate and test application compatibility

In-house applications don’t work

Perform compatibility and packaging testing prior to deployment

Validate virtualized stack for non-compatible apps

Application packages corrupted

Packaging team verifies packages before deployment

Rollout distribution covers all critical applications

Application security incorrect

Packaging and testing team verifies security before deployment

Rollout distribution covers all critical security verifications

Applications install but don’t launch

Packaging team tests that the application will launch and is usable with an active non-admin user ID.

Exhibit 4 Application Risks and Mitigation

Configuration Risk Mitigation Configuration risk refers to potential incompatibility of your existing IT infrastructure

Configuration Risk Mitigation

Configuration risk refers to potential incompatibility of your existing IT infrastructure with your new OS and its configuration. Mitigation requires stabilizing applications on reference PCs followed with systematic testing of peripherals and configurations, prior to rollout.

Risk

Mitigation

File systems don’t work

Image testing verifies that file systems are accessible and operational post installation

Rollout covers all file system instances

Printers don’t work

Test images to verify that printer systems are accessible and operational post installation

Test all printer system instances

 

Provide 24x7 network support, special staffing per installation location as necessary

WAN/LAN latency or outage

Test with images to determine network load during image installation (can be quite large, up to 15GB) as well as the network impact at each location

Set up transfer stations and conduct conversions on isolated network

PC failure during transfer

Rollout team maintains access to an inventory of spares with the normal desktop refresh / troubleshooting team

Domain access privileges missing

Image testing verifies domain access configuration

Exhibit 5 Configuration Risks and Mitigation

User Community Risk Mitigation

User risk includes problems that can occur when users are not adequately prepared for the new OS and other changes. Even if they are, timely support to resolve issues and help desk capacity to answer questions will facilitate broad acceptance of the new systems.

Risk

Mitigation

 

Provide user training and job aids for new features of Windows and Office

Users are not able to work on new Windows / Office version

Establish a robust help desk with added staff to meet spike in Windows and Office questions

Pre-rollout usability testing to understand problem areas and structure resulting job aids appropriately

User PC unavailable at scheduled time

Site coordinators and supervisors ensure that user PCs are present for the scheduled upgrade time

Allow time contingency for scheduling user PCs

 

Rollout team has remote access to perform upgrades.

Exhibit 6 User Community Risks and Mitigation

HOW CAN I MANAGE FOR SUCCESS? Critical Success Factors Reflecting on our migration projects, we

HOW CAN I MANAGE FOR SUCCESS?

Critical Success Factors

Reflecting on our migration projects, we see common management actions that lead to success. In our experience, these actions are necessary for a successful migration.

Critical Success Factor

Best Practice

 

Identify impacts and dependencies on other projects or initiatives

Integration with other processes/initiatives

Incorporate key elements from other work streams (e.g. Active Directory, Exchange) in the migration plan

 

Establish change management function

Change management and communication

Communicate benefits of the upgraded desktop

Train migration team to communicate value to users

 

Project Manager with migration experience

Project management

Set PMO expectations at outset of engagement

 

Adequate and experienced team

Project schedule and staffing

Adjust staffing based on metrics and KPIs

 

Develop multiple deployment solutions to accommodate business and technical constraints

Agile deployment

Conduct testing at technology commit point

Tracking and reporting

Implement detailed tracking of schedule, deployments, issues, lesson learned

Report deployment status using a centralized dashboard

 

Establish a Windows compatibility validation process and application readiness checklist

Application readiness

Integrate application readiness reporting with Windows upgrade reporting

Manage performance expectations

Baseline desktop performance for troubleshooting and support

 

Provide end user training on new OS and App versions

Establish help desk to handle user questions

Training and support

Increase help desk staffing temporarily

Exhibit 7 Critical Success Factors

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators Defining and tracking basic migration metrics is an effective way

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

Defining and tracking basic migration metrics is an effective way to mitigate risks and keep the project on track to successful completion. When you check migration progress at regular intervals, reliable estimates of time to completion and fact-based reallocation of resources are possible.

While progress metrics help to stay on track, Key Performance Indicators evaluate efficiency and results.

Number of application packages complete

Number of PC upgrades completed to date (total, per site)

Number of PC upgrades remaining (total, per site)

Number of PCs ready for upgrade (total, per site)

Number of PC upgrades scheduled this week (total, per site)

While progress metrics help to stay on track, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) evaluate efficiency and results.

PC conversion rate (actual vs. planned)

Total duration and direct hours to upgrade a PC

Ratio of high versus low touch upgrades 5

For example, Exhibit 8 Managing Risks with Metrics shows weekly progress of packaging of applications for installation on a new OS.

Application Packaging Progress 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Total Apps Apps to be
Application Packaging Progress
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Total Apps
Apps to be packaged
App Packages Tested
Non-packageble Apps
App Packages Done
Apps Released for Installation

Exhibit 8 Managing Risks with Metrics

CONCLUSION The clock is ticking towards much higher XP support costs. A very good business

CONCLUSION

The clock is ticking towards much higher XP support costs. A very good business case can be made for migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8 the sooner the better. Either platform offers improved productivity and efficiency. You may be able to migrate some apps into a cloud and cut or avoid substantial costs. More energy-efficient PCs can reduce power costs and help your organization to be “greener.”

A Windows migration project will probably touch every IT user in your organization, so it has

high visibility and impact. This will entail many kinds of risks, with special considerations for applications, configuration, and your user community.

Achieving a successful migration requires getting many things right, including coordination, compatibility testing, packaging, benchmarking, and support. Defining and monitoring progress metrics and key performance indicators are critical.

While there are a host of technical issues, they can be resolved. Focused testing and quality

assurance at each step in the process mitigates these risks. The other key lesson we’ve learned

is that Windows migration is not just a technical challenge it requires a focused management

approach to get priorities, timing, and resources right.

ABOUT OLENICK & ASSOCIATES

We published this white paper to help CIOs and IT executives understand the rationale, scope, and risks of a Windows desktop migration project.

In our experience, many managers underestimate this challenge. To find out more about how

our Assured Windows Migration solution can support your migration, please contact Bill Mertes at 1 (312) 804-5793 or via email at wmertes@olenick.com.

To learn more about our Assured Windows Migration solution, please visit us at

NOTES

NOTES 1 Desktop OS by Version, February 2013 . Net Market Share. http://www.netmarketshare.com/ 2 Gartner Says

1 Desktop OS by Version, February 2013. Net Market Share. http://www.netmarketshare.com/

2 Gartner Says Effective Management Can Cut Total Cost of Ownership for Desktop PCs by 42 Per cent. Gartner Group. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/636308. This 2008 Gartner report states that average annual total cost per PC runs from $3,413 to $5,867. The full report is available at

3 Microsoft gooses Windows XP's custom support prices as deadline nears. ComputerWorld, 2/21/2013.

4 Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support Ends April 8, 2014. Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/en- us/windows/endofsupport.aspx.

5 A low-touch upgrade is possible when an existing PC can be converted to the target configuration remotely and automatically. A high-touch upgrade requires hands-on work to achieve the same result. For details, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/pilot-and-deploy-windows-7.aspx.