Windows 10: How to support users during ongoing updates


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22-May-2018 11:55:00

In my last piece, I talked about Problem Management and how it is often confused with Major Incident management. In fact, while the two are linked, they are very different beasts. However strong your Problem Management, you must be ready for business critical incidents.

Is your business deploying Windows 10? Are you ready to support it on an ongoing basis? While the initial deployment will be handled much the same as any other OS upgrade, Windows 10 isn’t a set and forget implementation.

Your business will rely heavily on an engineering function to handle the planning, customisation and standardisation of the upgrade, but the IT team needs to find a new way to manage the updates that Windows 10 will bring every 6 months or so.

Why Windows 10 requires new thinking

In 2016, it was announced that Windows 10 will be the last ever operating system. This means that there will be no more large-scale releases but instead, smaller incremental updates. We have become used to this style of OS update on our mobile devices but it does present a new set of challenges for desktop support.

Instead of having months to plan, configure new hardware and test app compatibility, updates will be pushed out and the support team will need to respond fast. For most businesses, a new OS would usually happen every 5 or six years Now, you might expect a new version every 6 months. If you don’t keep up, you will have issues.

How to structure Windows 10 resources

With each release, you can expect old features to disappear and new ones to be deployed. The challenge for the IT team as a whole to think differently. The traditional method of OS rollout might have meant drafting in specific, specialist resources for the duration of the planning and implementation and for that resource to be disbanded once it is up and running. For many businesses, this might be in the form of an external or contractor team.

Where Windows 10 differs is that you need to retain a product expert with an engineering & planning focus that understands what the impact of each update will be. Similar to the Agile DevOps methodology, you’ll need a highly skilled and nimble approach not only to deployment, but also to support.

A lot of users are coming straight from Windows 7. They will experience a new look & feel & new features designed to make using their devices easier. These changes can create confusion among new users and you should naturally expect more calls into the desk, not just on initial implementation, but with each new update from Windows. There has to be a concerted effort from you and your team to continually upskill in order to keep up with the pain points of your users.

With Windows 10, it will no longer be a one-off project each time the OS is updated. You need to allocate specialist resources on a permanent basis, whether you delegate this to existing team members or bring in a new dedicated resource. With this change in structure, you’ll be able to better support your users through the changes ahead.

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About the author

Pete Canavan

Pete Canavan is Support Services Director at Plan-Net. An accredited ITIL Service Manager, he has a proven track record in IT with special expertise in the Legal & Financial Services industries.

With two decades in the IT field, Pete has acquired extensive experience in business relationship development, service transformation, project and people management, training and client/supplier relations.

Pete's other passions, besides Plan-Net of course, are his family and football.

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