The folks over at VMware have released some survey data that sheds some light on the more prevalent downsides of Windows XP to 7 migrations. The number of companies that have not migrated yet is not surprising, nor is that what caught my eye. What is interesting is that the level of grief experienced by staff that only used free migration tools is much higher than those who made use of specialized tools that were purchased to help them along. The blog states “…Companies that purchased new tools to help with the migration experienced over 50% fewer challenges than those using free tools from Microsoft”.  Also of note: 92% of companies surveyed experienced challenges with their migration, and 49% indicated that user downtime was one of them.

The typical problem areas in Windows migration projects will of course include UAT/training, and attempting to deploy applications that will not work properly in the new environment. The process of UAT is time consuming and diverts resources away from other, more valuable business functions. If you have an application that you can carry over to Windows 7 because either it’s compatible/supported by the vendor, or because you are able to remediate it so that it can be successfully deployed, you will reduce the amount of user acceptance testing that needs to occur on that app, and all but eliminate user training as well.

The impact of failing to adequately prepare for your migration by not using the right tools to help you include putting in extra time on evenings and weekends, and perhaps placing other projects on hold to divert resources to help.

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