Windows 11 is a major upgrade to its operating system – not a minor tweak – and as such the decision to upgrade to it should be looked at carefully, within the context of a company’s entire digital ecosystem.
Released on October 5, 2021, Windows 11 is the first major upgrade to the popular operating system since 2015. The impetus for the upgrade appears to be an increased focus on cybersecurity features, and clearly, there are few aspects of any computer or network more critical than the security of the system and its resistance to malware and digital crimes of all types.
However, not every user will necessarily benefit from upgrading to Windows 11 right now. This is because of potential compatibility issues that can arise between the operating system and various components of a corporate or enterprise environment, including older legacy hardware and homegrown application software that may not have been updated recently. In addition, some who upgrade to Windows 11 may encounter inconsistent user experiences.
Windows 11 can be described as a more hardened operating system than the prior Windows operating systems, with less flexibility for the user to operate in the gray area in terms of hardware – because the age of hardware for users wanting to upgrade will be a factor. For computers less than about two years old, users will probably be able to upgrade. But for older units, there may be some hardware limitations in terms of the physical motherboard in terms of Windows 11’s advanced security features to be functional. This may involve a need to purchase new hardware.
Therefore, the decision to upgrade should be looked at carefully, as users who upgrade an older computer may receive readiness alerts stating the computer doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications for Windows 11. It’s also good to remember that Windows 10 should be fully supported for the next five years. The expected longevity of the current operating system can help users avoid the unknowns and compatibility issues of Windows 11 and get more life out of their current operating system.
An IT ecosystem
Many legacy software packages have dependencies, in that they will only work on a particular web browser, like Internet Explorer or a certain version of Microsoft Edge. But Internet Explorer has been eliminated entirely as an option within Windows 11, creating a lack of connectivity with some parts of an older IT ecosystem.
In addition, a surprisingly large number of users still use Windows 7, which is not a safe option in terms of cybersecurity, because that version of Windows was phased out of any updates back in January 2020. As many as 22 percent of users may still be using Windows 7 and should upgrade immediately. The question of whether to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 is one to be considered with an IT professional.
Using Windows 7 presents a critical security issue because of the profusion of viruses created since Microsoft’s support of that operating system was phased out. For Windows 7 users, their tech ecosystem has a high probability of compromise.
Evaluating an upgrade
Concertium’s IT consultation services are available to both large and small firms to evaluate your firm’s overall IT needs and determine how an operating system upgrade – or any other major IT decision – can contribute to your business goals.
These strategic decisions involve a holistic discussion of the firm’s business plans, resources, and goals. Many factors will play a part in an overall IT strategy, including how the firm wants to grow its business, add a new location, or acquire another business, among many other factors. Engaging Concertium to guide your firm in a strategic, global look at all hardware and software in your ecosystem will produce an assessment to optimize your IT needs as the business grows.
Whether you’re looking at upgrading to Windows 11, or other IT considerations, the decisions made will affect your entire IT ecosystem. Now is the time to engage your technology partner, or call Concertium, to help you choose the best plan for the future.