Enhanced security features and built-in mobile device management tools in Windows 10 will help enterprises to develop a more productive, more secure, and more mobile workforce over the next couple of years. However, IT professionals need to articulate the value and opportunity to business leaders and their management peers.
Understand the features that make Windows 10 different
Windows 10 offers new features designed to help users get the most out of their PCs and devices, many of which are now touch enabled. Most valuable for business users are the enhanced security features, such as the improved user identification processes, which will be particularly useful to help combat the rising number of cyber-attacks. Many enterprises viewed Windows 8 as an impediment to the PC upgrade and replacement cycle, but this is unlikely to be the case with Windows 10.
Organizations have invested in the Windows ecosystem for more than 20 years, and IT decision-makers still regard Windows as the OS that is best able to meet various business use cases. In particular, Windows 10 could help Microsoft nibble at the edges of the enterprise smartphone and tablet markets as new Universal Windows apps enter the workplace. Of greater importance for Microsoft are the opportunities that Windows 10 presents to its partners as they build new Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and connected devices that can be managed and secured in a consistent manner.
Many employees expect to be able to use their personal devices for business purposes, and Windows 10 can enable the enterprise to fully embrace, and better support, BYOD. Windows 10 can be managed by traditional IT systems management tools and mobile device management tools, which will make it easier for IT departments to control how employees use their personal smartphones and tablets to access critical business applications. These capabilities can be used to ensure that corporate data remains fully protected when it is shared, or automatically synched across the various devices used by the company's employees.
Today's technology allows employees to be deployed in more purposeful ways to meet the needs of the business and its customers. Windows 10 will continue to evolve as a multipurpose OS, and we will see it powering devices in an easily managed, highly secure way, especially in the area of field sales and service. Windows 10 is being marketed to the consumer that exists within every business professional, so must contend with the likes of Apple and Android in the market. But Microsoft has an ace up its sleeve: Office, the productivity product set used by almost every business. Microsoft will be hoping that the combination of Windows, Office, and Office 365 will deliver business value that is greater than the sum of these parts.
Analysis of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2015, IT0021-000099 (July 2015)
Richard Edwards, Principal Research Analyst, Enterprise Productivity & Mobility