Will 2016 be the year of Windows 10 in the enterprise? [Q&A]
Businesses are notoriously reluctant to make the leap to a new operating system. But by the start of 2016 Windows 10 will have been around for six months, so can we expect next year to be the start of its taking off in the enterprise?
We spoke to Deepak Kumar, Founder and CTO of configuration management specialist Adaptiva to get his views on the march of Windows 10 and more.
BN: Will we see Windows 10 adopted by enterprises in a big way next year?
DK: Yes, we will. We've already witnessed Windows 10 take off quickly, surpassing both Windows XP and OSX. Consumers are adopting Windows 10 extremely rapidly as they generally have no revenue stream at risk, IT costs to budget, compatibility testing to conduct, regulation compliance to consider, security policy to enforce, etc. Enterprises have to calculate all of those factors, and determine if the time and cost of migrating right away is worth it. Microsoft took their eye off the ball with Windows 8, but with Windows 10 they got it right. Not only have they paved a much smoother upgrade path, but they've made a great OS that delivers business-critical capabilities. Enterprises want to upgrade because of what Windows 10 can do for them in terms of integration, security, compliance, productivity and other new capabilities. I've been running Windows 10 since beta and it's rock solid.
BN: Is this going to drive demand for migration solutions to streamline deployments?
DK: Absolutely. IT directors are struggling to figure out how they’re going to deploy Windows 10 on thousands -- or hundreds of thousands -- of computers without breaking the budget or taking forever. Traditional enterprise deployment methods require global infrastructure, expensive consultants, and massive administrator effort. Even with those resources, migrations can take years as evidenced by the fact that some enterprises are still running Windows XP. That is no longer acceptable. The pace of business has accelerated dramatically. Global businesses are demanding new technologies that allow rapid, high-volume deployments that don't require a vast server infrastructure, additional WAN capacity, or massive professional services expenditures. Enterprises will seek infrastructure-free solutions that protect the WAN and automate nearly everything. This will help them cut years off their Windows 10 migration timelines, and realize enormous cost savings as well.
BN: Will this provide a boost to the overall PC market?
DK: This is something we'll see more visibly in the enterprise market specifically. Mobile devices are changing the world, there's no doubt about it. However, most of what people do in the enterprise requires a dedicated system. Have you ever tried to create a complicated spreadsheet on your phone? You can do it, but not very fast. Most people need keyboards and full-size screens to be productive. Also, the cost of laptops and PCs is unbelievably low. In some cases, you can get a highly functional computer for nearly the price of a cell phone. With the epic failure of Windows 8, many companies have held back from migrating off the aging Windows 7 on a widespread basis. With Windows 10, enterprises feel certain they have a modern OS that is a safe investment for the future. Microsoft said Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows and has moved to service branches giving businesses additional confidence. As Windows 10 grows in the enterprise, so will enterprise PC sales.
BN: We keep hearing about how big data analytics is going to revolutionize system management, is this just hype?
DK: It's not hype. Current integrations of big data analytics solutions are often unwieldy, leaving perishable business insights undiscovered in disconnected data silos. The solutions are complex and require enormous resources just to set up. This leaves a huge door open for vendors to provide big data solutions that are more cost effective and practical. Systems management vendors are particularly well positioned to do this, because they already have access to distributed data and key pieces of platform to conduct big data analysis. Where companies can't cost-justify a pure-play big data technology, this type of solution could provide a viable option for getting actionable intelligence from globally disparate big data.
BN: With higher demand for data can we expect to see bandwidth usage become more regulated in order to control costs?
DK: According to IDG, the average enterprise network will expand bandwidth at a 28 percent compound annual growth rate through 2017 due to a variety technologies including cloud computing, mobile everything, and video. IDG reports that by 2017, enterprises that do not control network use risk requiring up to 3 Mbps per user of bandwidth, more than 20 times the average needed in 2012. This sets the stage for companies to find ways to limit bandwidth use. Businesses won’t cap user data on a broad scale like cellular companies do, but they will develop policies and processes to curtail bandwidth use. At the same time, enterprises will seek to deploy more bandwidth-efficient technologies to reduce the amount of bandwidth needed.