Agencies Should Begin Planning Windows 10 Adoption Now
Federal agencies migrating to Windows 10 will soon reap the benefits of a new and better system, but those dragging their feet could miss out on tighter security, enhanced support for mobile devices and a friendlier user interface.
To the agencies that are falling behind, the time to adopt Windows 10 is now. The security enhancements alone should be a motivating factor. And the sooner you start the process, the better.
Only about 20 percent of agencies have switched to Windows 10 and only nine percent said they’re in the process, according a Federal Computer Week (FCW) study sponsored by Iron Bow Technologies and Dell EMC.
The study also found that 16 percent of agencies plan to migrate within the next six months and 30 percent say migration is about 12 months out.
The most stunning figure, though, is that 25 percent of agencies surveyed said they had no plans to switch to Windows 10, despite the considerable benefits.
Security sensitive agencies like the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have been the fastest adopters of Windows 10.
Back in early 2016, Terry Halvorsen – the Pentagon’s then-chief information officer (CIO) – mandated that the DoD update four million of its devices and systems to Windows 10. Halvorsen said the upgrade will bring improved cyber security and lower costs and the agency’s information-technology footprint.
Though the agency missed its ambitious January 2017 goal for the migration, DoD’s acting-CIO John Zangardi has said updating to Windows 10 is still a top priority.
FedScoop reported back in May that Zangardi promised the migration would be complete by the end of 2017 and that it was of the utmost importance.
The TSA is following a similar plan for many of the same reasons.
“I firmly believe you shouldn’t have older technology in your office than you have at your house,” Guy Cavallo, the former executive director of IT operations for the TSA recently said in a FedTech article.
Cavallo said that phishing prevention tools and a reduced reliance on third-party security were some of the most attractive features of Windows 10. For other agencies, the driver for adoption came when the company announced it would end Windows 7 support in January 2020.
State and local agencies face problems that mirror those of their federal counterparts.
Though 51 percent of local agencies have said they already adopted Windows 10 or were in the process, those who have no plans to migrate matched the federal statistic at 25 percent.
For state agencies, only 10 percent of those surveyed say they’ve migrated to Windows 10. Meanwhile, about 15 percent said they had no plans to adopt Windows 10, according to the FCW report.
Starting early allows agencies to carefully plan their approach to upgrading and gives them the time to work with small groups before gradually expanding the program. The last thing an agency wants is to migrate laptops only to find that a mission application doesn’t work.