James Wedeking is director of solutions for the Infrastructure Technology Practice at Randstad Technologies, an integration and staffing services firm that provides consulting and project services. He discusses migration and deployment considerations for businesses and IT departments following recent announcements about the release of Windows 10, which should take place in mid-2015.
Baseline: What are your thoughts about Windows and the state of computing within the Windows OS environment?
Wedeking: Microsoft is recognizing that users have both a business and a consumer life, but also that the line between the two is continuing to blur. People need to be more productive. So, even when you’re on personal time, you’re checking your work email.
As a result, Microsoft is expanding its footprint in the mobile space. It now has a single OS that supports the three different types of platforms: desktop, tablet and phone. So far, Microsoft hasn’t done so well in the mobile space, and the company recognizes that it is increasingly the key to success. You have to have a single platform and one application group that supports multiple devices.
Baseline: What is driving this approach and why is it important?
Wedeking: We see Apple and Google taking the same approach with their operating systems and computing ecosystems. A single development group supporting multiple platforms allows an organization to be leaner and push out changes and innovations faster. Having that common interface within a unified platform makes it a lot easier for everything to work together.
In addition, you have all your data connected. Ultimately, this comes down to stickiness. For Microsoft, it about having the Windows OS in place for all the magic of Active Directory and mobile connectedness to occur.
Baseline: Do you expect rapid enterprise adoption of Windows 10?
Wedeking: I don’t expect to see a rapid adoption rate. It is more likely to occur as part of regular refresh cycles. I don’t know if there’s an overriding reason to accelerate adoption. Most of my customers are taking a bit of a wait-and-see attitude. But if you’re an organization that’s on the cutting edge and needs better integration—especially with Windows phones and improved mobile controls—then it may make sense.
Baseline: What other thoughts do you have for IT executives moving forward?
Wedeking: Every new version of an operating system, including Windows, introduces changes in the interface and features. There’s a tendency for IT executives to take the attitude that it’s new, forget it for now, and look at it later or wait for the next version. In reality, it’s important to look at the business implications of what the OS offers. That should be the primary focus, and the interface issues should be secondary.
Baseline: Any final thoughts?
Wedeking: It’s important to focus on the business issues related to the next release of Windows. It’s also important to understand the practical and security implications of using OneDrive and other cloud-based capabilities.
With multiple tools and mediums available to access data, it’s critical to understand security, compliance and device management in context with the changes the new OS introduces.