3 Years In, How Has Windows 10 Changed Enterprise IT?
September 19, 2018

Patricia Diaz-Hymes
Lakeside Software

Share this

This summer marked three years since Microsoft announced Windows 10, its first "Windows as a service" Operating System (OS) that, despite its maturity, is still at the center of many heated conversations in the End User Computing (EUC) community.


Windows 10 brought with it a new Software-as-a-Service-like approach to updates, moving Microsoft and the millions of environments that depend on it, more frequent, bundled updates. Whether you believe the shift was for better or worse, one thing is certain, this "as a service" model is a natural progression for today's operating systems, evidenced by OSX, Android and iOS, which have predated Microsoft's approach by years. That is why Windows 10 is changing not only how frequently updates are pushed out, but inherently how technology is purchased, how people consume it, and perhaps most importantly, how IT is run.

Let's take a look at how Windows 10 has impacted these three key areas over the past three years:

Both Gartner and IDC have seen a Growth in Hardware Sales

As with any refresh cycle, migrations to Windows 10 have impacted hardware sales. In fact, according to Peter Bright in a recent Ars Technica post, when it comes to Microsoft sales, "the general pattern over the last few quarters is that business sales have been robust even as consumer demand continues to soften."

While this increase may not come as a surprise to most of us in hindsight, refresh cycles can take IT teams by surprise when it comes to the necessary hardware update requirements. When Windows 10 was first introduced, many IT departments did not understand the graphical implications of the new OS, even for non-graphics-heavy users. In fact, in a Lakeside Software analysis of Windows 7 vs Windows 10, it was determined that, "Graphics usage increases 32% from Windows 7 (8.58%) to Windows 10 (11.30%)." And that is not due to any fault of IT's own – this under provisioning or miscalculation of compute resources is due in part to the lack of visibility IT teams have into the hardware (and other) requirements of business-driven refresh cycles.

Windows as a Service (WaaS) has Altered the Employee Experience

With its new servicing structure, Windows 10 has introduced Evergreen IT to the OS. A term first coined by PwC in 2009, Evergreen IT speaks to the benefits IT infrastructure can enjoy from adopting key attributes of cloud computing. In true evergreen fashion, Windows 10 is ever updating, with feature updates twice per year, rather than every 3-5 years previously, and bundled quality updates every month.

Just as the shift to evergreen operating systems has very real implications for IT, employees living and working in this new OS also experience a change and shift in the way they work. While more frequent feature and quality updates mean better patching and more optimized desktops, it may also mean compromised endpoint performance to which users often find workarounds, such as uninstalling updates. In light of this, Microsoft has given users the ability to schedule reboots and has even dabbled in using machine learning to improve user experience, particularly when it comes to reboots.

IT Operations Have and Will Continue to Adapt

Traditionally, IT has taken a reactive stance to supporting users and business-critical resources. Take for instance, the performance implications of the Meltdown and Spectre patches which, after being pushed out, showed noticeable CPU impact on endpoints. Most IT teams had no choice but to be reactive about improving end-user experience in this case.

And I am not suggesting that this reactive stance is due to any fault of IT's own. I argue that it is due to a lack of visibility into how updates and patches may shift the IT landscape. With Windows 10/Evergreen pushing out updates that may or may not impact endpoint performance, it is more critical than ever to understand what the impact of future updates may have on the environment so that, given the update, IT can act accordingly and minimize the impact on end users. This takes a shift in how IT operates — from gathering historical data to making sense of it — in order to predict and proactively act on that data

The Rising Importance of Workspace Analytics

With Microsoft's announcement on ending support for Windows 7 in January of 2020, it is clear that Windows 10 is showing strong growth despite the mix of anticipation and concerns around its servicing structure. And while it is true that Windows 7 is still the most popular version of Windows, projections indicate that the throne will soon be passed on to Windows 10.

Whether you are a part of the group that has migrated over or not, many of the hardships IT teams encounter with managing and working in a Windows 10 environment, including the three areas outlined above, can be lessened my gathering and making sense of endpoint data. This practice is called Workspace Analytics and it is an up-and-coming technology that can help answer the following:

- How ready is my environment for Windows 10 and what hardware/other changes are needed to make the migration successful?

- What is the end-user experience in my environment before, during and after an update? Why and how can I improve end-user experience?

- How can I be proactive about updates that may impact my end-users and how I run my environment?

Are you seeing other areas that are being affected by the migration? As we continue to see the growth of Windows 10 in enterprise IT, monitor the trends in how it is impacting your technology, users and how you run your environment so that you can keep evolving in lockstep with your IT stack.

Patricia Diaz-Hymes is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Lakeside Software
Share this

The Latest

May 21, 2019

Findings of the Digital Employee Experience survey from VMware show correlation between enabling employees with a positive digital experience (i.e., device choice/flexibility, seamless access to apps, remote work capabilities) and an organization's competitive position, revenue growth and employee sentiment ...

May 20, 2019

In today's competitive landscape, businesses must have the ability and process in place to face new challenges and find ways to successfully tackle them in a proactive manner. For years, this has been placed on the shoulders of DevOps teams within IT departments. But, as automation takes over manual intervention to increase speed and efficiency, these teams are facing what we know as IT digitization. How has this changed the way companies function over the years, and what do we have to look forward to in the coming years? ...

May 16, 2019

Although the vast majority of IT organizations have implemented a broad variety of systems and tools to modernize, simplify and streamline data center operations, many are still burdened by inefficiencies, security risks and performance gaps in their IT infrastructure as well as the excessive time it takes to manage legacy infrastructure, according to the State of IT Transformation, a report from Datrium ...

May 15, 2019

When it comes to network visibility, there are a lot of discussions about packet broker technology and the various features these solutions provide to network architects and IT managers. Packet brokers allow organizations to aggregate the data required for a variety of monitoring solutions including network performance monitoring and diagnostic (NPMD) platforms and unified threat management (UTM) appliances. But, when it comes to ensuring these solutions provide the insights required by NetOps and security teams, IT can spend an exorbitant amount of time dealing with issues around adds, moves and changes. This can have a dramatic impact on budgets and tool availability. Why does this happen? ...

May 14, 2019

Data may be pouring into enterprises but IT professionals still find most of it stuck in siloed departments and weeks away from being able to drive any valued action. Coupled with the ongoing concerns over security responsiveness, IT teams have to push aside other important performance-oriented data in order to ensure security data, at least, gets prominent attention. A new survey by Ivanti shows the disconnect between enterprise departments struggling to improve operations like automation while being challenged with a siloed structure and a data onslaught ...

May 13, 2019

A subtle, deliberate shift has occurred within the software industry which, at present, only the most innovative organizations have seized upon for competitive advantage. Although primarily driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), this transformation strikes at the core of the most pervasive IT resources including cloud computing and predictive analytics ...

May 09, 2019

When asked who is mandated with developing and delivering their organization's digital competencies, 51% of respondents say their IT departments have a leadership role. The critical question is whether IT departments are prepared to take on a leadership role in which collaborating with other functions and disseminating knowledge and digital performance data are requirements ...

May 08, 2019

The Economist Intelligence Unit just released a new study commissioned by Riverbed that explores nine digital competencies that help organizations improve their digital performance and, ultimately, achieve their objectives. Here's a brief summary of 7 key research findings you'll find covered in detail in the report ...

May 07, 2019

Today, the overall customer scenario has digitally transformed and practically there is no limitation to the ways in which the target customers can be reached. These opportunities are throwing multiple challenges for brands and enterprises, and one of the prominent ones is to ensure Omni Channel experience for customers ...

May 06, 2019

Most businesses (92 percent of respondents) see the potential value of data and 36 percent are already monetizing their data, according to the Global Data Protection Index from Dell EMC. While this acknowledgement is positive, however, most respondents are struggling to properly protect their data ...