What's the State of Windows 10 Migration?

May 31, 2017

Diane Hagglund | Founder and Principal | Dimensional Research

Nannette Vilushis | Manager, Product Marketing | Ivanti

Whether you are planning your Windows 10 migration, are currently migrating, or are completing your migration, this quick, 30-minute webinar will provide you with insights that will help you succeed. We asked 1826 IT professionals with decision-making responsibility for corporate desktops and laptops questions ranging from current Windows 10 adoption to migration approaches and issues, post-migration findings, and future plans.



Nannette: Good morning, everyone. This is Windows 10: State of the Union, a webinar from Ivanti. I'm Nannette Vilushis, Manager of Product Marketing at Ivanti, and I have with me today Diane Hagglund, the founder and principal of Dimensional Research. 
Let’s go over our agenda briefly. We'll provide an overview, talk about Windows 10 adoption, Windows 10 concerns and issues we glean from participants in our survey, the top priority for Windows 10 migration, and answer the question Is Windows 10 actually driving change? 
Windows 10 has a long and colorful history, and significant Windows releases are always an advance. Microsoft has had mixed reactions and success with their operating system releases over the years. Windows XP was solid and reliable, Windows Vista was forgettable, Windows 7 was and is reliable and liked by both IT and end users, Windows 8 without a start menu was a release that both IT and end users would like to forget, and now Windows 10. It was introduced in 2015, but it's not yet clear how successful it will be. It is clear that Microsoft is putting a tremendous effort into encouraging adoption. 
The purpose of this study was to see what the current state of adoption is in corporate IT, and that's everything from small and medium businesses to very large enterprises. To find out who is adopting Windows 10. Do we see any patterns there? How broadly is it being adopted? What's getting in the way of adopting Windows 10? What are IT organizations planning for the future with all the changes coming with Windows 10, changes over the way Windows 7 is handled and managed? And why does the study matter?

We wanted to understand where we could add value and solve problems for our customers, now and in the future. It also helps us make better, more informed roadmap decisions when we know what our customers are thinking. So, Diane, I want to welcome you to the webinar. Thanks for being here. Can you please describe the research methodology used to conduct the study?

Survey methodology

Diane: Sure. Thank you, Nannette, and hello everyone. It's an absolute delight to be here with you today sharing the results from our recent study on Windows 10 adoption. As anyone who reads research reports knows, methodology matters, so let me walk you through what it is you're looking at and where this data comes from.

This was an online survey conducted with IT professionals responsible for decisions around corporate desktops and laptops. There are a couple of things I want to point out about this study. The first is that we had over 1,800 qualified individuals complete the study. For those of you who remember Stats 101, that’s an excellent number and gives us a high level of statistical significance, not only at the top level, but even as we drill down and examine various cuts of the data like job level, etc. The second thing I want to point out is this was an international survey. We had a significant number of participants from the United States and Canada, about half. We also saw a lot of representation from Europe, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. We even had people from Luxembourg, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and other areas. So it’s a very global representation of what's going on. 
The other thing I would mention is everyone involved in the study had a role with desktop. These are not random IT people. These people are decision makers for their corporate desktops and laptops, and are the people making decisions around Windows 10. We had a variety of roles, from IT executives to managers of the teams responsible to desktops, architects, end-user computing, VDI architects, for example, people doing helpdesk for desktops, and other roles, but a very high-quality survey in terms of all the things you look for—number of completes, global representation, and roles. With that said, let's dive into the data. Nannette, do you want to introduce this first topic?

Speed of Windows 10 adoption

Nannette: Sure. Let's look at our first takeaway, which is Windows 10 adoption is limited but quickly accelerating. Let's dig into the data a little. 
Diane: This is where we started, at the very highest level, with What's going on with Windows 10 in your organization? How would you describe the status? When we look at this, we see a couple of things. The first is most people have Windows 10, at least somewhere. Only 9 percent, in this little gray box, said they don't have it anywhere. But in terms of where it's going, it’s all over the map. There's really not one color that jumps out at you on this graph. We do see, however, only about a third actually have Windows 10 in production, and only 10 percent say they're fully in production. What we can say with Windows 10 right now is we are “in process.” 
Nannette: Okay, terrific. We asked this question using another Dimensional Research study in late 2015, correct?
Diane: That's exactly right. It's always nice to be able to look back at trend data. We asked this same question to a very comparable survey audience in 2015. It was about the fall of 2015, so 18 months between the two surveys. What we see is that in 18 months, there’s a major shift in the status of Windows 10. You can see by looking at this graph how everything shifted a little to the right. Look at the gray box of “We don’t have it installed anywhere.” Eighteen months ago, that was 41 percent, now it’s down to 9 percent, a huge shift. Eighteen months ago, we had zero people say they were fully in production, and that's up to 10 percent now. So we're seeing some major shifts going on with this growth.
Nannette: I think we also learned that while Windows 10 has a bigger foothold in the business, it’s not widely installed.
Diane: That's exactly right, and that's always when you want to ask, "Oh, you have it. How much do you have it? Where is it installed the most?" We don't want to overstate what's happening with Windows 10 because, for most people, when you ask the percentage of Windows desktops currently running Windows 10, we see a real trend happening where the red that represents companies with less than 10 percent of their desktops running Windows 10 is the dominant color. We see very few people, even at the end with half of their desktops running Windows 10. This shows it's there, but it's not there very extensively.
Nannette: And then, we also saw this.
Diane: Yes. So then the question is, "Okay, so it's there. You're looking at it. The toe’s in the water. When are you going to be fully there? When do you plan to be fully migrated to Windows 10?" Here again, we see some significant movement. Look at this data and the answers. We can pick this apart, and there are a couple of things we see. First, a remarkable 86 percent, that's everyone except the red 14 percent, do plan to fully migrate to Windows 10. This is not an “if,” this is a “when” in terms of Windows 10 migration. That said, it's going to happen mostly within the next two years. We see 35 percent next year and 37 percent within two years. If you add that up, we should expect that by the first part of 2019, about two years from when we ran the study, we’ll see more than three-quarters of companies are fully migrated to Windows 10. Overall, the story of adoption is that it's there, people are in process. They're not too far down the path yet, but they do have aggressive plans to get there and be fully migrated. 
Nannette: Terrific. That takes us to our next takeaway, which is multiple concerns about Windows 10 are delaying adoption. And there are a lot of concerns. 
Concerns about Windows 10 adoption

Diane: That is definitely true and not surprising. Any desktop migration or Windows migration is a significant event for most companies. It's always important to understand what might go wrong. Windows 10 is no exception, and there are worries about the impact of making a change this big. In fact, if you look at this, you’ll see that 87 percent, and that's really the vast majority of desktop professionals, do have concerns about this migration. The actual concerns cover a wide range. We have application compatibility at the top, and then a mix of “What's going to happen with user training? What's the effort to migrate? What's the performance? What's my cost?” We also saw a large number of people take the time to write in other concerns—things like printer driver updates, “What's the compatibility with my peripherals? How do I control patching? Am I going to lose control of my security spending?” And interestingly, there are a lot of questions about how much information is going to be passed to Microsoft and what the implications are of that. 
Nannette: Did you see any patterns in this data? 
Diane: Yes. It’s always fun to drill down and see who's saying what, who has what concerns. One thing that became very clear about the concerns mentioned is that as company size increases, the level of concern also increases. Look on the very bottom of this graph at who said, "No concerns. Windows 10 looks great." For small companies with less than 500 employees, almost four in five have concerns, but one in five doesn't. They're saying, "I'm okay," compared to the larger companies where 12 percent say, "I think it's great." So smaller companies are less concerned, and this holds true across almost every factor we asked about—application compatibility, need for user training. Every one of these concerns you see increase, often a regular increase from the blue to the purple to the orange, corresponds to company size with one exception, which is the cost of licensing. Every company is pretty equally concerned about the cost of licensing.
Nannette: I know the survey also provided evidence these concerns are legitimate. They’re not just twisting in the wind. So takeaway three is Windows 10 issues are delaying migration and are one reason for the foot dragging we saw in earlier statistics.

Windows 10 concerns delay migration

Diane: Absolutely, and that's so important. I may be afraid to fly, but I'm getting on my plane anyway is not having an impact. We wanted to know how serious these concerns are, so we asked, "What's the impact?" At this point, we took the survey and went to two groups. First we asked those people who have begun their migration, "What happened when you tried? Are these concerns valid once you are actually doing it? Did these end up being real issues or not?" We found that, yes, the people who started their migration are having problems. Eighty-five percent report issues with migration. Again, there’s application compatibility that's consistently near the top, but it goes all over the place like branch issues, hardware that doesn't support it. People who have begun their migrations are running into these issues. 
Second, we asked people who have not begun migration, "Are these migration issues the reason for the delay, or is it something else?" There are many reasons not to migrate to Windows 10, such as you have other priorities, or there's no funding for it. There may be other reasons related to issues with Windows 10 migration. However, we found that's not the case. Only 20 percent say, "We haven't started our migration, but it's not because of Windows 10." Eighty percent, or four in five, of those who haven't begun migration say it is because of a specific problem. Application compatibility again, various kinds of issues related to branching images, the concerns are all over the place.
Nannette: Application compatibility definitely wins out as the most significant issue delaying Windows 10 migrations. What other issues are at the top of the list?

Top Windows 10 concerns

Diane: Definitely, if you scan through these lists, we do see application migration at the top. What follows is user experience. Let's look at this chart, and you’ll notice there are a couple of places where user-issue-related concerns are impacting the migration. Sometimes it's confusion about the interface, a training comfort issue, migrating the settings, or sometimes it's because users don't think they're going to benefit so why should they migrate. I think this is something we've seen IT do a wonderful job of in the past few decades, and that is really being partners with their business stakeholders. Dimensional Research does research across the technology stack and groups within IT, and people who do desktops have such a great understanding of what their business stakeholders want. If they're not asking for it or, even worse, if they're pushing back on making a change, it can be hard to start on something. 
Nannette: That brings us to takeaway four, which is user experience is a top priority for Windows 10 migration. If the user isn't happy, nobody is happy. 

The importance of the user experience

Diane: That's exactly true. I want to pause for a moment and take a break from looking at this study, the 2017 study. I want to look at data we collected from a study we did in 2015, the study I referenced earlier. In that study, we didn't ask only IT professionals, we also asked business stakeholders questions, as well. One of the questions we asked was "How do you feel when you're told your desktop is about to change? What's your reaction?" We gave a range of emotions from excitement because they love new technology to despair. If you look at the range of emotions business stakeholders, the people who use their desktops to do their jobs, the range of emotions they reported was very much on the negative side. Over a third said despair. Another third said concerned it's going to be a distraction. Annoyance was a very common answer, also. So we see that the idea of change can be negative for users.

That's something I must say I really connect to. I'm a person who spends my day working with technology, working with technology professionals, and I understand how technology services are delivered, but even I didn't like it the other day when I got out of bed, noticed my Android had pushed out some updates, and it had changed the icons just a little bit. That really was irritating to me, and I definitely took a couple of minutes to make sure everything was still there and they hadn't changed everything. I made it through the day with just a few questions about some new features. Even that for someone like me was irritating. We know change impacts users and impacts them in an emotional way. Windows 10 is likely the biggest change that's going to happen in desktops this year, and we know it's going to be emotional for end users.
I will say, getting back to our current survey, the 2017 survey information I'm sharing with you, we do see that IT does understand users worry about these changes, and IT is thinking about that. 
Nannette: So how is IT making Windows 10 migration less painful for users? 

How IT can reduce the pain of migration

Diane: We know that one of the most important ways IT teams can make something as significant as desktop migration less painful is to ensure the user’s personal settings are migrated. I was on the phone the other day with a business stakeholder who was talking about a migration issue. This was a VP of customer support who was on the phone with a very important client. He had a URL to a special page that contained special packaging only executives were able to offer to customers. It was really hidden, so he had put that URL in an Excel file he kept on his desktop. When he was migrated, that file disappeared. Now he's on the phone with a customer and can't find his URL.

These are the moments that impact users in a very negative way. Obviously, this was a little more extreme, but it's not that unusual. If users expect to have to spend hours resetting their default, tracking down lost files or lost pictures of their vacation, they will be unhappy. They'll be irritated when they engage with IT on any of the issues that might arise. They will talk to their bosses who will talk to their bossess who will talk to IT, and it's not a win for anyone. No one on this call, I'm sure, is surprised by any of this. IT has learned these lessons well over the years.
Another thing we found during this study is that most, about 83 percent, actually do have plans. They've thought about this, and they're going to migrate user personalization when they move to Windows 10. What they're doing specifically varies a lot. The things that are allowed in different companies or different departments within a company make a big change, but certainly IT is thinking about those things. They're thinking about what's happening with their user profile information, what's happening with things like printer assignments, file server connectors, and drive letters. These are the more technical issues users can be a little less comfortable with. Not all users certainly, but some users can be less comfortable with and will call IT, so the more you can make that seamless and similar, the better. IT knows this, and you can see they're taking steps to do this.

What I also found interesting if you look near the bottom, and this has been a big change in the past few years, is the number of companies planning to move completely personal information—photos, music. There's a big change in terms of understanding that contributes to job satisfaction and comfort for some employees. We see that's part of the plan, too. IT is taking user personalization transition very seriously and doing a lot of things.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that IT is also taking this opportunity to evaluate and tweak some of the things they're doing for Windows 10. When you ask IT about things like desktop management, desktop customization, security, compliance, and other things that impact users, they're thinking about these and do have very specific objectives for their Windows 10 migration.
Nannette: Did you see any trends in IT's approach to migration? 
Diane: You know, Nannette, I keep saying yes on this, and the answer to that question is actually no. There are no trends here. If you look at the ways people are migrating to Windows 10, the top three approaches, and no surprise here, are reimaging, hardware migration, or in-place migration. Those are at the top of the list. No single approach really pops out. Reimaging is the most common at a few percentage points higher than hardware migrations, which is only a few percentage points higher than in-place migrations. There is nothing that really jumps out. There's no right way to do your Windows 10 migration. For those of you on the call who are thinking, "Wait, that doesn't add up to 100 percent," that's a great observation. Many people are choosing a mix of methods to achieve their migration. It's really what works best for your business. There are a lot of choices that make sense.
Nannette: What other findings from the study would be of interest to our attendees today? 
Diane: I think we have a few more things, and we will wrap up with takeaway five.
Nannette: Yes. Windows 10 isn't changing everything.

The truth about login times with Windows 10

Diane: We talked a lot about Windows 10, a lot about changes, and there are a couple of things I want to highlight that haven't changed very dramatically. The first one I want to take a moment and talk about is login times. This is something Microsoft talked about as coming with Windows 10. I think there was an expectation this was something that would be very beneficial, something users would look forward to and was a way of selling this to users for their adoption. But for people who have migrated and are tracking what's happening with login times, it's really not happening. Most people are seeing a little, the 44 percent here in the blue is slightly faster, but only 16 percent are seeing the much faster login times many people had expected, far fewer than the orange who didn't see any change at all. We had an unlucky 9 percent who said login times slowed down. This was one thing people had very high hopes for  with Windows 10, and so far, we're not seeing it. 
Managing Windows 10 versus Windows 7

The last thing I will point out, which surprised me a little, we asked "What are you doing to manage Windows 10?" We asked about the traditional things, "Do you use login scripts? Do you use group policies?" It’s very interesting given this is a new operating system, a new paradigm, a new look and feel, that these are pretty consistent with everything that's happened so far.
Nannette: So the approach to managing Windows 10 is pretty much like they've been managing Windows 7? 
Diane: Looks that way to me.
Nannette: Interesting. Let's review quickly, and I do want to tell our audience, if you have any questions, please put them in Q&A or Chat. We have people standing by to monitor those questions and relay them to us. So please, ask away. 

Takeaway summary

First takeaway on this is Windows 10 adoption is limited but is quickly accelerating. As we said, the bulk of migrations are going to happen in the next year or couple of years. 
Takeaway two, multiple concerns about Windows 10 are delaying adoption. The inference there is more people would move if they had fewer concerns. People are stopping to mull it over and look critically at what's involved with Windows 10 adoptions before jumping into it. 
Takeaway three is Windows 10 issues are delaying migration. 
Takeaway four is user experience is a top priority for Windows 10 migration. IT has learned from past experience that if users aren't happy, nobody is happy, and users need to accept and embrace Windows 10 for it to be truly successful and for them to remain productive. That is a top priority. IT is also looking at ways they can leverage new capabilities in Windows 10 to make changes for end users. Removing admin rights and things like that will be seen as part and parcel of the migration but will help IT achieve their goals. 
Takeaway five is Windows isn't changing everything. The approach to managing Windows 10 is really no different than the way Windows 7 was managed.


So again, I want to invite questions from our audience. If there are any questions, Marissa, could you let us know?
Marissa: We have one question, When will Microsoft discontinue the Windows 7 Enterprise Security update? 
Nannette: We will have to check on that and get back to you. I know end of life for Windows 7 is 2020, January of 2020, and I believe that is full support, so security updates as well. But we'll double check that and get back to you. 
Marissa: We do have a few other questions, but they're pretty technical, so we can answer those offline. We'll get back to any of you who have asked those questions within the next 48 hours.
Nannette: Okay, terrific. I also want to mention we have a white paper detailing the results of the survey with more statistics, which will be available in the next week or two. For those who registered for the webinar and are attending the webinar, we'll email you a link when that white paper is available.
I think that's it. Thank you very much for your attendance today, and Diane, thank you so much for speaking on this webinar and sharing your expertise.
Diane: Thank you, Nannette. Thanks, everyone. Have a wonderful rest of your day.