With technology’s unrelenting advance, the evolution of the digital workplace has unarguably entered the fast lane. Microsoft – which provides critical digital workplace solutions through their Windows OS – is no exception. Indeed, end users indispensably depend on Microsoft’s range of workplace services to achieve everyday tasks – from simple log-ins to advanced programming – putting them at the front lines of any new updates and modifications. Such changes happen whether we like them or not and, for better or worse, organizations must adapt or they’ll experience an escalating chain of complexity, security and frustration. This has never been truer with the Windows transition to Windows as a Service (WaaS). So, what changed?

Challenges from Change

Historically, the migration journey with Windows OS was fairly straightforward: organizations would pilot the new OS for some time, deploy when ready and then live with that version for multiple years before migrating to a newest release, even potentially skipping some versions in between (we’re looking at you Windows Vista). But this has changed with Microsoft’s new WaaS approach with Windows 10 (W10). With WaaS, feature updates are much more frequent, with much shorter support duration, forcing organizations to adapt their deployment strategies to be much faster and more consistent in order to keep up. Failure to do so can lead to a bottleneck effect from the unorganized accumulation of different updates on different devices for different users. Essentially, this creates four related organizational challenges:

  • Microsoft Industry Acceleration:
    Organizations need to adapt to W10’s feature upgrades every six months, deploying them before the end of the short support durations of 18-30 months.
  • Change Control Shift:
    W10’s cumulative update has an “all-or-nothing” approach. Updates come in all-inclusive packages, containing feature updates, bug fixes and security updates, without the ability to choose which features to update, as previously done, forcing organizations to accomplish the same monthly patching than in the past but with larger amounts of change and higher risks to impact end-user experience.
  • User Experience:
    Organizations should adopt these changes without impacting user experience but by increasing it.
  • Project to Process: 
    WaaS’ continuous update approach needs to be managed and sustained internally, as opposed to the previous method of undertaking large, but fewer, projects – projects that potentially involved external support or additional budget.

The Nexthink Approach

Ultimately, these fundamental changes mean that organizations have no control over the new release frequencies – these are now dictated by Microsoft. They can, however, adapt to them by reducing the duration of a pilot and deployment in order to fit in all new releases consistently, without overlap. Nexthink significantly shortens these stages by providing actionable insights based on a combination of technical and sentimental feedback, to proactively detect any performance deviations and impact on infrastructure. Nexthink’s key support in organizational transition to WaaS can be boiled down to two core benefits:

  • Taking back control
    Nexthink has the ability to enable rapid and effective feature update deployments by proactively planning, detecting and acting upon application instability or performance deviation. This is thanks to advanced targeted persona piloting, accelerated testing with accurate data and the possibility to communicate in real time with end users during all stages of transition.
  • Optimizing employee productivity
    Nexthink has the capacity to accelerate adoption and enhance user agility through in-depth analysis of product adoption (migration, adoption rate and usage) and targeted communication for training and awareness of new products and features. Streamline your migration to prevent release cycle overlap.

 

While WaaS might seem intimidating at first because of its complexity, release frequency and control rigidity, Nexthink can provide the tools and insight to not only help keep control, but also to expertly exploit WaaS’ advantages, creating a simple internal process that helps organizations stay ahead of change.

To watch the full webinar, including a product demo of Nexthink’s WaaS support abilities, please click here