Symantec Corporation has released the findings of its 2010 Windows 7 Migration Survey, which interviewed more than 1,300 IT managers from small to large organisations across the globe (including 120 from Australia) about their Windows 7 migrations including manpower requirements, processes and outcomes, as well as general migration best practices.
Not surprisiging, the survey revealed that those organisations that invest the time in planning achieve better Windows 7 migration outcomes.
The survey found that the amount of preparation time invested by IT teams played a key role in how much the migration impacted their organisations.
The lower tier of organisations – whose IT managers spent an average of nine hours in preparation for the upgrade – said that their users were offline for six hours during the migration and that only 25 percent of users were extremely satisfied. On the other hand, the top tier refers to organisations whose IT managers spent 20 hours on average in preparation – resulting in users being offline for only two hours and 60 percent of the users being extremely satisfied.
For survey respondents, the migration typically involved nearly half of the IT staff (42 per cent in Australia) and respondents said that their IT teams spent an average of 10 hours in preparation for the upgrade – including planning, training and performing pilot tests. More than 80 percent (87 percent in Australia) of companies said that planning was helpful in facilitating the migration. Training at 80 percent (84 percent in Australia) and performing a pilot test at 80 percent (75 percent in Australia) were also helpful in facilitating the transition to Windows 7.
“Migrating to Windows 7 doesn’t need to be difficult or disruptive,” said Steve Martin, director, Small and Mid-Sized Businesses and Distribution, Symantec, Pacific region. “Symantec works with a number of organisations, both large and small, to help with their OS migrations and one of the key elements for a successful transition is to ensure thorough planning by the IT team.”
“For businesses still contemplating a Windows 7 upgrade, this survey provides advice for local companies on how to do it effectively. The survey findings clearly demonstrate that those organisations who take the time to plan appropriately, train staff and perform pilot tests are more likely to be rewarded with smoother transitions, time and cost savings as well as improved satisfaction levels,” he added.
In addition to planning, surveyed IT managers said that it was important to capture important information such as user files and documents, links to network drives and e-mail prior to migrating. Sufficient hardware upgrades and ensuring proper inventory before beginning the migration process was also important to ensuring the success of the migration process.
Approximately 80 percent (78 percent globally and 82 percent in Australia) of organisations surveyed cited that the actual migration process was smooth, and 63 percent (70 percent in Australia) said it was easier than their last migration.
While organisations ran into delays such as application incompatibility and budget constraints, most of the organisations surveyed also achieved their key motivations for making the transition. Out of the 62 percent (63 percent in Australia) of organisations who set return on investment (ROI) goals, 90 percent (84 percent in Australia) achieved them.
Respondents from around the world collectively decided that a PC with the following specifications represented an optimal machine to run Windows 7 in their enterprises:
• CPU running at 2.5 to 3GHz
• 4GB RAM
• 500GB to 1TB of disk storage
• 1GB or more of video RAM.
The survey revealed that organisations typically wait six to 12 months before migrating and only 8 percent (9 percent in Australia) migrate immediately. Performance, reliability and improving the end-user experience were the key motivators for migrations.
The Australian survey respondents used CPU speed (58 percent) as the primary metric when planning PC purchases to support Windows 7. Other countries valued CPUIDs or the Windows Experience Index as metrics to assess PC purchases before Windows 7 migration projects.
Also, the Australian survey respondents were more likely to plan their Windows 7 migrations, and plan them in order to save money (56 percent), than any other nation. But Australian survey respondents were less interested in piloting Windows 7 with 75 percent of Australian survey respondents seeing a pilot as a step to easing migration, compared to 91 percent in North America.
Seventy-four percent of migrations were from Windows XP to Windows 7, with just 17 percent from Windows Vista. This pattern may be repeated as respondents expect to use Windows 7 for three to five years.
Symantec offers migration and deployment solutions that integrate, streamline and automate migration processes to reduce any additional expenses, delays and end-user disruptions. The Symantec 7 steps to Windows 7 whitepaper provides detailed information about Symantec’s solutions and recommendations for a smooth migration to Windows 7.