The migration of systems to better and higher operating systems are an issue of concern for many organizations. It is in the quest to have higher performance in the organization. This paper will focus on migration to Windows 8. The migration will improve the performance and the quality of the business processes that are provided in any company. Windows 8 is the latest operating system that was released by Microsoft in October 2012. It was developed is that it would be easier to upgrade to it from previous operating systems. The migration has been made easier. Like any other project, there is a plan in order to eliminate the risks that will be associated with the migration process. Migrating to a new technology involves many risks. There is a need to ensure that the risks are avoided at any cost. Crescent Manufacturing Company is a leader in furnishing equipment. They want to migrate their operating system to Windows 8. This paper will focus on migration of the company to Windows 8. It will also focus on the aspects that affect the migration process. With the new systems development, it will enable the company to have better ways in which they will undertake their processes ().
Background of the company
The company is located in Texas, Nebraska, and Maryland. The number of employees in the three locations include 250, 175, and 25 in Texas, Nebraska, and Maryland respectively. The migration will benefit the company in several ways. There are challenges that will be met in the entire process. The challenges should not be an issue of concern for the whole process of migration. It is important to assess the preparedness of the company and how the company will handle the risks that are associated with the migration process. The tool that would be most appropriate for the assessment would be the use of SWOT analysis (Vedder, 2012).
The company will benefit in the migration because of the features that will come with Windows 8. It has been enhanced from Windows 7. The cost is lower than Windows 7 and is efficient and reliable in the entire process. The cost is favorable for the company. Crescent Manufacturing Inc., can opt to download the installer for $39.9 or get a disk sent to them at a cost of 69.99. A program that has been downloaded will check the system to check for the programs that will work and those that will not work.
One of the issues in any upgrade is the security. Security is an issue of concern for any Microsoft Products, and any other information system in place. Microsoft has enhanced the security issues of Windows 8 and integrated it with features that will ensure that there is a better and enhanced security in the entire project. The company can use the security features that have been put in Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise edition. There is better security policies with Active Directory in the Windows 8 server. The company will be able to set the policies to work on their favor. With the use of the Active Directory and its security policies, the company will be able to achieve centralized management and enhanced security (Vedder, 2012).
There is also the benefit that will be achieved through the use of Windows To Go which will enable the company to have devices that can be used to process data and business processes. With the popularity of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, there has been the concern of the exposure of the data in an organization in rogue and insecure devices. The staff can work from their homes and with the devices that have been trusted on the network. It is one strategy that can be used in the entire process. The risk of data privacy breach will be eliminated with the use of this feature.
There is also the strength of Sandboxing where all applications will be required to operate in a sandbox. It is one feature that will enable the company to have better enhancement and management of the applications in the system. With the use of sandboxing, the strengths and capabilities of the applications will be enabled and managed efficiently.
Another strength is that there is better access to the corporate network. With the use of Windows 8, Crescent Manufacturing, Inc., staff will be able to have direct access to the network. It is because of the capability that has been brought with the use of Windows 8 security. Initially, there has been the need to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to access the corporate network from remote locations. The ease with each staff will access the network will not be an issue of concern for the network management issues at the moment. With the expansion of the company to other states, and the need to have sales staff, there is a need to have access to the network.
There is also the issue of networking. With the upgrade, Crescent Manufacturing, Inc., will manage to utilize Windows 8 Branch Cache. It is a capability that enables the company to make use of wide bandwidth. It will manage to have connections to the branches in the new locations. There is simple connectivity with the use of this feature that comes with the upgrade. With the use of Windows 8 Branch Cache, the technology will copy the content of the network and place it at the cache of the local computers. By copying, the computers in the other branches will be able to access the content from their caches. It will be the same as accessing the content locally.
There is also another significant feature of backup. With the need to backup important files on the network, there is a need to ensure that the computers can access the backup files from any location on the network. The users will be in a position to access the backup files from any location. All documents on the network ate centralized.
Another feature with the use of Windows 8 is that it enables the users to be able to manage the documents on their network. It is a feature that has been seen to increase the ease of use of operating system. Since the development of windows systems, there has been improvement of the way they are used. The ease-of-use has been developed so that users can manage and diagnose the problems in case they want to access the system.
There is also another strength where the users will be able to revert to old file systems in case there is a technical issue with the new file system. With the upgrade, the company will be able to go back to the previous operating system in case there is a problem with Windows 8. It will not affect service delivery.
Windows 8 has come with many good features that have enhanced the usability and the management of the operating system. Although there are many positive issues that have been associated with the operating system, there are issues of concern that have been raised with the use of the operating system. One of the weaknesses of the operating system is that of usability. For the first time, Microsoft Company has shifted from the traditional way where the screen was non-dual. It has taken the app approach where it emulates the way mobile apps have been developed. It has presented a steep learning curve for most users. Many users are not able to understand the way the new operating system. The new metro GUI is not ideal for traditional users. It is suitable for tablets and hand-held devices. There is heavy need to offer assistance for most users. The drastic change that the company has taken in the development of the operating system is an issue of concern that has affected most users. With this weakness, it will mean that the IT personnel in the company will have to dedicate their work to most of the support tasks. It is an issue that will affect the productivity and service delivery (Bhatia, 2012).
Another weakness is that of device efficiency and reliability. Windows 8 was developed to be used by touch devices. The posture and the design that the GUI were made was made to be used on touch screen devices. Most devices that are used in the company are not touch-screen. It poses a challenge where users will be inconvenienced with their traditional and somewhat old-versioned devices. It will affect the service delivery in the company.
There are opportunities that are associated with the operating system. One of the opportunities is that virtualization can be a good starting point which can be used further to enhance service delivery. Windows 8 can be used as a test platform for Windows Client Hyper V. It will help to understand the compatibility of the two operating systems. There is the support of virtual processors and also of the fact that users can take a snapshot of the memory.
There is the threat of open source operating systems like Linux that are becoming an option for users who find Windows 8 hard to learn. Most users will prefer shifting to a new operating system when the new system is hard to learn. It is an issue of concern for most users.
Another threat is that there is development of sophisticated threats that are used in attacking windows systems. With the popularity of Windows 8, and the trends of attacks on Windows operating systems, it is becoming hard to contain the threats and the attacks that are targeted at Windows operating systems.
Question 2: Detailed upgrade plan
2a) There are the specific number of computers that must be replaced with the new operating system in the company. Before upgrade is undertaken, there is a need to ensure that the systems have the specifications for Windows 8 to run. The processors should have a minimum speed of 1GHz. There is need to have RAM of 1GB for the 32-bit operating system and a RAM of 64-bit version. The storage space required is 16GB for 32-bit version and 20GB for the 64-bit operating system. The screen resolution is recommended to have 1024x768 pixels (Khidhir, Mustafa, & Saleh, 2012).
There is a need to ensure that the departments that do not have these specifications are upgraded to these systems in order to have a smooth running of the operating system. There is a need to undertake an upgrade of 50 laptops for salespeople in the marketing department. The laptops were purchased five years ago and are running Windows 7. There are also 20 laptops and 30 desktop computers in HRM and procurement departments respectively.
Question 2b: Phase-in vs flush-cut approach
The preferred method of undertaking the upgrade will be that of phase-in approach. It is because of the time and the space that the company will have to streamline their operations. In this approach, a small section of the organization will be upgraded. The other sections will remain so that if there are issues with the new upgrade, it will not affect the entire upgrade. The phase-in approach will enable the remaining part of the departments to prepare for the upgrade.
2c) Migration timeframe
The timeframe that will be adopted in the migration will be affected by many factors. In the project, the headquarters, which is Texas will take one month. The Nebraska will take 20 day and the Maryland upgraded will be scheduled to take ten days. There are issues that will affect the upgrade. These issues include system incompatibility and the availability of resources. Since most of the computing resources which have been identified still run the old systems, it will mean that there will be issues with the upgrade process because of incompatibility. Another issue is the lack of resources (Gupta, & Kumar, 2011).
2d) Testing critical business applications
There is a need to ensure that there is proper testing of business applications in the process of upgrade. It is important to have an approach that will be used to test critical business applications. For the upgrade, the approach that will be used will be high-availability test. The range that will be applied will be 99999. There is also a need to test the unit integration testing. It will help to enhance the testing procedures in the process.
Question 3: Method for securing the laptops of the sales staff
There is a need to secure laptops for the sale staff after the upgrade has been done. One of the ways in which this will be done will be through passcodes. The passcodes will useful in the process as it will help to secure the access mechanism for the devices. It will also be important to have policies that the sales staff will follow when handling the devices. The remote devices will be required to use the Windows To Go tools so that the users will not retain any part of the work on the laptops.
Question 4: Advantages of AppLocker
There are benefits that will come AppLocker. The AppLocker will prevent applications that not authorized to be installed in devices. One of the advantages of using this application is that it will help in the management of the applications in the whole of the organization. The security will be easy to manage because all the applications are the same.
Some of the disadvantages is the irritation that the users will get when the message blocking the access of the blocked applications is presented on the screen. It will irritate the users. The administrators have no better way of having informative messages.
Question 5: Processing of managing applications installations when they are done through the Windows store
There is a need to manage the applications that are installed from the Windows store. One of the ways in which this will be achieved is through updates. The user will be tasked with managing the progress of the updates. There is an update that has been installed in Windows 8.1 which will make updates automatically. It makes the management an easy process. The issues of the CIO has been addressed with the development. In addition to this, there is the ability of organizations to disable Windows Store so that the staff will not be able to install apps without the authority of the admin.
In conclusion, migration to Windows 8 is a viable option. There are more positives than negatives in the migration progress. There are updates that will be released to manage the upgrade and the updates that will be found in the migration process. The security issues will be managed because of the update of the security architecture of the operating system.
Bhatia, V. (2012). Windows 8: Suitability for Enterprises. Winpro Technologies.
Gupta, A., & Kumar, N. (2011). Windows 8.
Khidhir, A. M., Mustafa, B. A., & Saleh, N. T. (2012, November). Design and Implementation of a CPU Bound Process Migration in Windows 7. In Advanced Computer Science Applications and Technologies (ACSAT), 2012 International Conference on (pp. 360-365). IEEE.
Vedder, R. (2012). Windows 8: What Educators Need to Know. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 11(1), 319-325.