Digital Transformation

Leaving legacy in 2018

(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

Imagine that you run the workplace area for a global industrial company, which is a very traditional industry when it comes to IT and the workplace (low risk taking). This company is running the almost 10-year-old Windows 7 and Config Manager 2007. The ambition level is to “keep the light on”, we can’t move too fast.

Your first thought is probably not that this company is striving to be innovative in the workplace area.

Now, imagine that said company has made the move over to Windows 10 for the majority of its PCs and is keeping up to date with Configuration Manager current branch, deploying the latest update with a two week delay from release. Said company has also positioned itself to be a front runner (high risk taking) and is eager to adopt emerging technology.

How long do you think this shift took?

What if I told you that we shifted this around in two years, moving from a legacy environment to a aggressive, front running, position where everything is kept up to date. Would you believe me?

We actually did this shift, in about two years’ time. Migrating over 18 000 clients during 2018 with little technical friction, this on a global level. We still have PCs left to migrate, but the majority of the remaining machines are up for replacement during 2019.

Doing this, we saw these things happen:

  • Over 99,6% application compatibility for Windows 10
  • Start-up time reduced from an average of 130 seconds to 20 seconds
  • People WANTED to move to Windows 10

Before we closed 2018, we also piloted Windows 10 servicing with 1803 for about 700 computers. This was somewhat of a bumpy ride, hitting some hard blockers such as anti-virus and VPN clients not liking the upgrade. But this was expected, these are problematic applications. The installation it self, work really well on the client which could run the update (since we were in the middle of replacing our anti-virus and only consultants got the VPN issue not everyone in the pilot was affected).

Right before the Christmas holidays 2019, we made the 1809 upgrade available for our early rings.

So where did we close 2018?

  • Deployed over 18 000 Windows 10 clients, globally
  • Upgraded around 700 clients to 1803
  • Made the 1809 upgrade available for 100 clients
  • On top of this, we upgraded Config Manager three times

If we manged to move from legacy to front runner in 2 years, imagine where we will be in 2 years from now.

“Change has never been this fast and will never be this slow again” – Graeme Wood

What this all comes down to is building trust. Building trust in the organization and building trust in an ever-changing world.

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