Marking the end of an era, Microsoft will retire its Windows 10 support on October 14, 2025. Since the operating system was released in 2015, it has been a cornerstone of business operations across industries. Now, organizations must contemplate the next steps for this critical element of their IT infrastructure.
While the end-of-life data may feel far away, organizations can benefit by proactively preparing for the transition now. Below, you’ll learn how developing a comprehensive device refresh strategy can help you successfully migrate to a different system while maintaining your infrastructure’s security, performance, and efficiency.
Software developers use the term “end of life” to refer to the point of time when they will stop maintaining a product. Specifically for Windows 10, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for any software issues or publish any time zone updates or security and bug fixes. With estimates that over 67% of website hits derive from Windows 10 users, this will affect many people and businesses worldwide.
Technically, the product will still be usable. However, your operating system will remain static without reflecting evolving industry best practices or cybersecurity threats in its functionality. Therefore, ignoring the end-of-life support and continuing to use Windows 10 unprotected will increase your system’s vulnerability to attacks and incompatibility with more modern technologies in the future. Not only will that slow down your operations and lead to increased downtime, but you may face complete system failures that grind your productivity to a halt. You’ll also reduce your competitive edge without the option to leverage the innovative features of the latest software and hardware.
To seamlessly move away from an unsupported Windows 10 operating system, you need a device refresh strategy that aligns with your overall business objectives, giving you a roadmap for optimizing your technology to reach specific key performance indicators.
Here are a few best practices that you can follow to achieve that:
Your first step should be evaluating your organization’s Windows 10 use, creating a comprehensive inventory of all relevant devices, including desktops, laptops and tablets, that looks at:
Simply upgrading to the Windows 11 operating system on existing hardware is not an option for everyone. Windows 11 has stricter system requirements, needing hardware that is Secure Boot capable, with a compatible central processing unit (CPU) and a secure cryptoprocessor called a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2 chip. If you merely upgrade your OS with an incompatible device, you may face instability and data loss. Be sure to check if your existing hardware is Windows 11 compatible before upgrading.
Current PCs are designed to support Windows 11. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your devices, with the typical hardware refresh cycle of 3 – 5 years. At the start of the pandemic, most organizations made large-volume infrastructure purchases to assist in their work-from-home transition. Given the chaos of the time, most organizations bought whatever was readily available, leading to an ecosystem of mismatched and underpowered systems that weren’t robust enough to support a 40-hour work week.
For those feeling hesitant, a recent study showed that 74% of business leaders felt that a shorter refresh cycle improves workplace flexibility, and 78% said it improves employee satisfaction and loyalty.
Transitioning to new devices can make your data vulnerable to loss or unauthorized access during the transfer process. Understanding can help you implement comprehensive measures to address these issues.
Additionally, you can keep your data confidential and available by documenting clear data handling procedures and using encryption software, strong user authentication mechanisms, strict access controls, and data anonymization if needed for your industry.
Your organization can also benefit from minimizing how much data you transfer by cleaning out unnecessary content pre-migration. Organizations must also carefully discard their old devices to make sure bad actors can’t exploit any residual data. This includes implementing effective data destruction processes to ensure confidential information becomes irretrievable and only using approved channels to recycle the equipment.
Your organization can guarantee a smoother device refresh if you sufficiently train your employees on your new systems and other technology procurements. As a result, they can quickly become proficient at navigating new interfaces and features, allowing them to cut down on the downtime that typically comes from adapting to the learning curve and helping them leverage the upgraded technology to its full potential for peak productivity.
Throughout the change, clearly communicating the new operating system’s purpose and benefits, providing readily available technical and troubleshooting support, and actively soliciting employee feedback will also help you face less resistance and maximize your return on investment.
Working with an external IT consulting specializing in technology procurement can help you better handle the Windows 10 end-of-life transition. A third-party provider offers IT solution professionals who can help you select the right-fit devices that are compatible with your infrastructure, LOB applications, and other considerations that provide you value within your budget. They may also offer support with other areas of your device refresh, like refresh planning and new systems setup. Their extensive skills will help you streamline the device refresh process so you can devote more time to carrying out your organization’s core mission and vision. You can also offload the tasks of employee training, infrastructure compatibility assessments, and migration planning.
To get started, check out these tips on what to look for when partnering with a managed IT services provider.
As Windows 10 approaches its end-of-life in October 2025, refreshing your devices to Windows 11-optimized equipment will be necessary to continue relying on a secure and efficient IT infrastructure. Otherwise, businesses will face substantial risks that threaten the safety of their data.
When you partner with PC Corp for our IT project consulting services and IT procurement services, our experts can guide you through this technological refresh. We offer the knowledge and skills necessary for proactively planning and executing a switch that maintains business continuity and robust security.
Connect with us today to discuss how we can help you start your device refresh journey today.