Modernizing Your Windows Environment

Team Performive
by Team Performive on

At this point, Microsoft environments are used by corporations everywhere. Over the past 30 years, most organizations around the world have standardized on Windows with significant investments in their Microsoft environments, including licensing, configuration, professional services and infrastructure for Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, PC lifecycle management and more. Using whatever their latest version of technology is, IT teams are supposed to somehow cut costs, harden security, and boost productivity. With the introduction of Windows 10, this has all been made easier for both IT teams and end users. While Windows 10 certainly eases the burden on IT teams, in order to optimize and get the most out of your Windows environment organizations need to:

  1. Augment existing environment with improved security and endpoint hygiene
  2. Assess and test device, application and process compatibility with Windows 10
  3. Determine optimal migration path to Windows 10 based on use case
  4. Modernize management of Windows 10 environments
  5. Secure Windows 10 environment with real-time visibility and remediation

Making sure that your Windows environment is tuned up starts by augmenting existing processes, technology, and reporting how to make your life and the lives of end users better. Keeping tabs on when new patches should be implemented or making sure that you installed an update could be all the difference. Organizations are allowing users to access corporate resources off network on a variety of device types which leaves them open and vulnerable to many different threats. If IT had real-time visibility into their Windows environment to know which devices are not up-to-date with the latest patches, running older versions of the app, etc. so they know if the corporate network is being exposed to a potential attack. The ability to deploy a patch, kill a rogue process, or perform a remote wipe are all afterthoughts until there is a serious security threat.

Windows 10 gives IT teams the ability to approach their environment in a very wholistic way that was not possible when using its predecessors. IT can now manage the entire lifecycle of PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. Microsoft has given IT technology that works well together and opens up new doors that never existed until then. However, before you can have a successful Windows 10 deployment you must first assess your existing environment and take the guesswork out of your physical and virtual deployments. Knowing which existing machines can handle Windows 10 and what use cases might be better suited for desktop virtualization is a struggle that many organizations face. Using a desktop assessment tool, you can receive intelligent recommendations on what machines and use cases are best suited for an in-place physical migration to Windows 10 and which are better suited to run a virtual desktop on premises or from the cloud.

Once your assessment is complete, you will need to determine your migration plan based on the migration type necessary. Question to ask yourself as a baseline guide for migrating to Windows 10 are:

  1. Are you planning to adopt Windows 10 over the next 3 to 4 years as your PCs are refreshed?
  2. Are you planning to do an in-place or custom image migration of all existing machines?
  3. Do you plan to virtualize endpoints that cannot support Windows 10?
  4. Are you addressing use cases within your business where virtual desktops and applications bring exceptions?
  5. Are you planning a combination of all of the above?

As devices are refreshed over the next 3-4 years, organizations transition to Windows 10 and manage any new devices with modern, unified endpoint management (UEM) framework that enables them to streamline IT, lower costs of management and deliver a peak end user experience. When it comes to UEM, it can take hours to configure and fully set up a physical PC with the end result usually having some form of performance issues and requiring IT to go back and spend hours re-imaging devices which inconveniences users. Modern smartphones are a completely different story. You walk in, buy a device, and then enter your information and automatically get access to all of your applications and services over-the-air in seconds. Windows 10 allows PC users to get the same experience. Enter in your work information and all applications, services, and corporate policies are there and ready to use. This gives IT teams more time to focus on supporting the business rather than get bogged down in seemingly unnecessary work.

Finally, in order to support multiple types of operating systems running on all kinds of devices on or off the corporate network, IT needs to ability to harden security with real-time visibility into the environment. With so many variables, a company is susceptible to an array of cyber security attacks and needs to be ready to combat them. VMware can harden the operating system by enabling password-less authentications, preventing unapproved and unsigned apps, monitoring for compromised devices, and performing automated remediation actions without the need for IT tickets. It can restrict access to a compromised OS or deliver a remote wipe out when a device has been stolen or lost. For devices running on Windows 10, security is not something to be taken lightly and with VMware you get to keep that peace of mind that you otherwise wouldn’t have.