How does my enterprise prepare for Windows 8?
1. Complete Those Windows 7 Upgrades
Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, so Forrester recommends that IT pros ignore the Windows 8 hype for now and finish enterprise-wide Windows 7 migrations.
2. Get a Formal BYOD Policy in Place
Whatever Windows 8 adoption demand there is, it’s coming mostly from employees, so it’s a good idea to formalize your BYOD policy and begin with a pilot program that helps you figure out which employees are the best fit for a BYOD initiative.
3. Move Your Apps to the Cloud and Embrace Open Web Standards
Most of the cost and labor of an OS migration involves taking inventory of all your apps and testing for compatibility. If application developers shift apps to the cloud quickly, it will reduce future migration efforts while providing employees with better access and more devices.
4. Expand Use of App and Desktop Virtualization
Client virtualization technologies-hosted and local -can speed up BYOD programs by allowing IT to provide a managed environment on personal devices. App virtualization also takes incompatible legacy applications out of the picture by detaching them from the hardware and OS and putting them in a virtual machine, thus giving employees more flexibility.
5. Organize a Pilot Program to Test Windows 8 Hardware
Begin with a small pilot group of workers, each of whom represents the company’s different business units. Forrester recommends that companies buy and distribute all the different Windows 8 devices such as tablets, ultrabooks and all-in-ones. Match the form factor with specific worker needs and collect feedback sooner rather than later.