Time is running out for support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008/R2. End of life for these operating systems is January 14, 2020. Has your organization begun preparing for the Windows 7 end of life? If not, it is crucial to start planning now for how your organization will handle the devices running this operating system (OS).

In 2017, the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack infected 200,000 computers globally, causing a total of $4 billion in damages. Over 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7 which was still being supported and patched at the time. Currently, about 37 percent of users worldwide run the Windows 7 OS on their computers. Imagine the havoc a cyber-attack affecting the Windows 7 OS would create with this many copies of unsupported and unsecured Windows 7 in use.

Migrating a large number of devices may seem like a tremendous amount of work for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), but paying for the extended security updates (ESU) will prove costlier than migration. If you are still not ready for the migration, you don’t have to panic. But, you do have to start planning now.We have put together a Windows 7 End of Life Preparation Checklist to help you make the right decisions for your organization.

What’s in the Checklist?
The checklist consists of all the key considerations and actions an organization should take to ensure a smooth migration, along with some guidelines.

Here’s a glimpse into the checklist:

  • Inventory your devices: The first step to plan a migration to Windows 10 is, of course, to understand what devices are running the soon to be unsupported Windows 7. Your endpoint management tools should already be collecting this IT asset inventory data.
  • Determine whether you should acquire new hardware: Companies can either update their existing devices or purchase new devices with Windows 10 pre-installed. Typical hardware refresh cycles are 3 to 5 years. So if your hardware is older than about 3 years, you probably want to refresh the hardware.
  • Check hardware and software compatibility: You should assess whether your existing hardware meets the requirements for Windows 10. Your endpoint management tools should provide you with the hardware asset information you need to perform this assessment. Also check for software compatibility issues with the latest version of Windows 10. Tools such as Microsoft Upgrade Readiness can help here.
  • Plan for phased migration: Moving to a new version of Windows is perhaps getting easier than it used to be, but can still be a daunting task. Plan a phased migration that includes a pilot phase with validation that the process is working.

These and other actions and guidelines are available in our Windows 7 End of life Preparation Checklist. Migrating to Windows 10 can be complicated. So, download the checklist and plan your migration today.