There are lots of compelling reasons for migrating your enterprise to Windows 11. As with any project of this scale and impact, there are things that can go wrong. Here are six of the most common mistakes when migrating to Windows 11, as well as tips on how you can avoid them.


1. Not Putting in Place a Clear Strategy

A Windows 11 migration project should be part of a wider strategy to ensure you have the IT infrastructure your business needs for today and into the future. For example, should you modernise your application portfolio to a modern format as part of the Windows 11 migration? What will your application and hardware estate look like post-migration? What are the anticipated future requirements of the business and how can your IT infrastructure support those requirements?

Another important element of your IT strategy that should be clearly defined as part of a Windows 11 migration project is your VDI plans. In other words, are you implementing virtual desktops and, if so, why? Crucially, it’s also important to think about who will be moved to a virtual desktop and who will stay with a physical machine, taking into account the performance limitations of virtual desktops compared to physical PCs.

Answers to these questions are interconnected, further highlighting the importance of having an overarching strategy .

For example, your VDI plans will determine the hardware upgrades you will need to invest in, as well as creating the conditions for moving to a modern application format (as virtual desktops typically work better with modern application formats).


2. Not Doing a Full Assessment of the Hardware in Your IT Estate

Windows 11 will only install on a PC after it has checked the machine meets the specified Windows 11 system requirements. Therefore, it is important to complete an assessment of your IT estate to identify machines that are not compatible with Windows 11.

When going through this process, it is also important to also check the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) status of the machines in your estate. TPM 2.0 is one of the minimum system requirements for Windows 11, so PCs will need this chip. However, in some cases, PCs have the necessary TPM 2.0 chip, but it is not enabled. This common error should be checked.

It’s also beneficial to get an understanding of the performance of the machines in your IT infrastructure. Understanding performance levels will give you a benchmark to compare with once the migration is complete.

Any machines that don’t meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11 will need to be replaced as part of the migration project . Tools like Access Symphony Insights automate the audit process, providing you with Windows 11 readiness reports on all machines in your estate.


3. Not Thinking About Machine Decommissioning and Disposal

An outcome from assessing the hardware in your IT estate, in addition to your plans for VDI implementation, will be the creation of a collection of machines that are no longer required.

These end-of-life machines will have to be dealt with according to your processes, including holding the machines for a certain amount of time while the user gets used to the new machine or virtual desktop. Data and applications must then be removed, and the machine needs to be disposed of in a way that meets internal compliance as well as legislative requirements.


4. Failing to Automate Where Possible

Previously, migrating users to a new operating system was largely a manual process. Today, technologies have moved on considerably, resulting in a range of tools that automate large parts of the migration process. Those tools focus primarily on resource-intensive and highly repetitive tasks, so they free up valuable IT resources to work on areas like planning or dealing with more challenging issues.

Application packaging and testing is one part of a Windows 11 migration project that could take a large team weeks or months if done manually. However, with tools like Access Capture, the process can be worked through in days with fewer errors and enhanced IT team productivity.

5. Failing to Prepare Users for the Migration

End users are an essential component of a Windows 11 migration project. They are essential to the planning and implementation of the migration, and they will have a significant impact on the project post-implementation. More specifically, if users are not properly prepared, your IT support team will be flooded with avoidable requests and questions.

Steps that should be taken to prepare users for a Windows 11 migration include communicating with them about the plans, including plans for hardware, virtual desktops, and applications. You should consider providing training too, so users can get to grips with the differences between Windows 11 and what they are used to.

It can also be helpful to ask for feedback and ideas while you are planning the migration to make users feel more involved and invested in the process.

Much of the above can be automated or semi-automated through tools like Access Symphony. For example, you send desktop notifications to users with Access Symphony to improve communication, and it can automate user surveys with full ITSM system integration.


6. Not Paying Enough Attention to Mission-Critical Apps

In most organisations, about 10 percent of the apps in your estate are mission-critical. Testing is important for all apps, but special attention should be paid to those that are essential to the running of your business.

Planning, Automation, and Planning Again

The two crucial elements to a successful Windows 11 migration are proper planning and the use of advanced automation tools. Proper planning involves developing your strategy and then following a carefully structured implementation process. Advanced automation tools, such as Access Capture, enable faster deployment, greater insights, improved oversight, and a better user experience.

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