Windows 8 is almost here – but is it right for your business?

Windows 8 is almost here – but is it right for your business? With the majority of desktops still running Windows XP, which route should enterprises take? Stick with XP to the bitter end – now less than a couple of years away? Forget about Windows 8 for the moment and migrate to 7? Bite the bullet and move wholesale to 8, with all the new hardware required?   So it’s official: Windows 8 will become generally available on 26th October, with all-new touch versions for the Windows Phone and Windows Surface tablet in addition to the standard desktop versions. While this is exciting news for consumers who’ve been waiting for Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iOS, are enterprises are right to be circumspect?  For organisations that still rely heavily on desktops and laptops, Windows 8 may seem to offer little that isn’t already available in Windows 7. However if, like many others, your organisation is seeing an influx of tablet devices and smart phones, it has never been more important to understand your apps. You need to know which critical apps can and need to be accessed on these devices and who needs them. A hybrid environment could be the answer and we can help you to understand how operate in a mixed Windows 7/8 environment and what this means for your app portfolio.   Three things to bear in mind… There’s no right answer, of course – the decision will very much depend on the individual enterprise, its IT and business strategy, available budget and current IT landscape. But that being said, there are still some general points that every XP shop needs to be thinking about now, as the 2014 deadline for removing support looms ever closer: POINT ONE: Moving from XP to Windows 8 won’t be a straightforward ‘upgrade’.  If you’re planning to move from XP to 8, you’re looking at a wholesale migration project. That means analysing your entire app estate, working out which apps are going to work on Windows 8 and which aren’t, packaging and sequencing the ones that pass, and then redeploying the migrated apps on to the upgraded desktops. And don’t be lulled into thinking that if you’re mainly using browser-based apps, this won’t be so much of an issue. If your Windows migration includes a move from IE 6 or 7 to IE 8, 9 or 10, chances are you’ll run into compatibility issues with older browser-based apps too – so be prepared to check compatibility and have a plan for remediating or replacing older apps as necessary. (Alternatively, check out this very neat, low-cost solution to IE compatibility headaches offered by Browsium.) To be frank, though, none of this applies just to Windows 8 – you’ll have to go through this exact same process with Windows 7 and application virtualization too. And that brings us on to: POINT TWO: Your app estate is probably much more complex than you think it is. If the last platform migration you did was to XP, your users have had years to accrue a chaotic mass of applications on their desktops – in addition to whatever apps you’ve got running in a client/server or browser-based environment.  If you don’t spend time understanding what’s in the app estate and rationalising it down to an optimal group of apps that are compatible with the new platform, you’ll be in for a a headaches when the migration work starts. (For more about that, read our Application Migration Intelligence eBook – we guarantee it’ll save you weeks of pain.) POINT THREE: The early bird catches the worm. It’s never too early to start planning your next migration. Even if you want to hold off and see whether Windows 8 really can deliver what your enterprise needs, it always pays to keep your app estate as agile, lean and migration-ready as possible. That means continually monitoring for obsolete and unused applications, ditching  un-used licenses and knowing at any given point which apps are likely to migrate easily to a new platform and which are likely to require some level of remediation. We call this approach Application Portfolio Management – and it not only makes migrations infinitely easier, it can also save huge amounts of money through ongoing license rationalisation. (Find out more with our Application Agility ebook). One thing’s for certain: no business can hold out on the decade-old XP for much longer. And whether your future plans include Windows 7, Windows 8, virtualization, cloud computing or a mixture, it makes sense to start getting your app estate in shape right now.

The Death Knell Sounds for XP and IE8

Two recent blogs from major software vendors recently have further sounded the death knell for Windows XP and IE8. Both Google and Adobe have announced that their next releases of some of their products will not support Windows XP or IE8 respectively. These announcements continue to show that, whilst the official end-of-support for Windows XP may be in April 2014, for some companies, the effective end date for the applications that they rely on may well be before that. This means that the migrations from XP and IE8 are ever more urgent, adding to the stress with major migration projects that may be stalled or behind schedule.

Who’s afraid of Windows 8? Trio leads Microsoft migration pack

Windows 8 isn’t ideal for many big businesses and government users. In fact, the majority of operations running tens of thousands of PCs are only now replacing Windows XP with Windows 7 at any meaningful scale – despite Microsoft’s claims to the contrary. But a few brave businesses are planning on jumping into touch and swipe with Windows 8 in the next 12 months. Application migration and management specialist Camwood told The Reg it is currently working with three major customers who are planning a move from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Read the full article on

Three Minute Video: Come out of the app darkness

Is your company suffering from Application Chaos? If you don’t know how many apps are in your estate, how much they’re costing, whether they’re appropriately licensed and who’s actually using them, you could be storing up a lot of problems for your business. Our new video highlights the problem of application chaos and, crucially, the impact of an agile alternative ready for any application deployment strategy. Watch it now to discover how you can:
  • Understand and catalogue your entire app estate
  • Rationalise down to just the apps you need
  • Migrate to new platforms with ease – every time
  • Support your users better and ensure Business as Usual
  • Save millions (potentially) on unused or underused license

Camwood: an intelligent solution to Application Chaos

The main impact of chaos is financial: many large organisations are paying millions of pounds for software licenses that are never used, just because they have no way of telling who really needs or uses which apps. Then there are problems that happen at migration time: a chaotic applications estate is far more difficult and time-consuming to migrate to a new platform than one which is tightly governed and controlled.  Migrating a poorly-controlled estate throws up all kinds of nasty surprises, including unforeseen dependencies that cause apps to break unexpectedly, damaging productivity. With a new version of Windows just around the corner, and the onward march of consumerisation bringing all kinds of new devices and consumer apps into your organisation, it’s never been more important to get – and keep – control of your applications estate.

Camwood helps Babcock International move to a lean and flexible application estate

Camwood, the company with the leading expertise in application migration and portfolio management, has recently completed a major project with Babcock International, the UK’s leading engineering support services company, to discover, analyse and rationalise over 22,000 applications across Babcock’s estate. Babcock International has over 27,000 staff around the world. After building up an unknown number of applications in its estate, Babcock wanted to understand which were up-to-date, necessary and correctly licensed, and which were expendable. Babcock International assessed a range of suitable candidates on price, efficiency and experience. After a comprehensive decision-making process it was decided that Camwood, as the experts in the application rationalisation field, would offer the most cost-effective, best-practice approach based on experience and depth of knowledge. Camwood led the Babcock International project working closely with Peter Diciacca, Application Support Manager at Babcock. Camwood’s team of application experts updated older applications and helped Babcock remove unwanted apps and streamline the cost of renewing license fees. Peter Diciacca, Application Support Manager at Babcock International commented; “We started out with an unknown volume of applications across our estate, with an unknown level of complexity. Now we’re nearing the end of the project we have a clear understanding of what apps we have and what our managed portfolio looks like.” “Camwood has been key to us organising our thoughts and achieving the goals and successes that this project has delivered. It’s been a successful project and we’ve not only delivered the targets but exceeded them. Babcock’s app estate is now lean and flexible with no money being spent on unnecessary licenses.” “The project’s level of complexity was a real challenge that we took on with confidence and enthusiasm. Using our extensive experience gained from working with similar large-scale organisations our team helped Babcock build a complete and accurate picture of their application estate, activity which will contribute measurably to their continued stellar growth” said Adrian Foxall, CEO of Camwood. Watch the full Babcock video case study to find out more.