Overcoming Top Concerns with Microsoft Office and Windows Upgrades

If your enterprise is still debating whether this is a good time to upgrade to the latest Windows or Microsoft Office version, then you are probably evaluating the pros and cons. We run into this “when is the right time” question all the time and we’ve identified the most common problems that occur during an upgrade and how can you overcome them.

  • First of all, you probably know that, sometime soon, you will need to upgrade as Microsoft announced that they are ending support for Windows XP in 2014. But the question you may be asking is – do you really need to? If it were not for the support issue, would your organization still be willing to spend budget on an enterprise-wide Microsoft Office or Windows upgrade?
  • One of the top concerns for an upgrade project is ROI-related. However, according to an IDC study, you can gain back as much as 375% on a Windows upgrade. As your users work with the latest tools, it will in turn increase productivity.
  • Crucial files have an increased risk of being damaged, this is a fact of upgrades, especially if you are upgrading from the 2003 version of Office. This is an issue while cannot necessarily be avoided, but can be alleviated by resolving compatibility issues and correctly identifying your most important files. ConverterTechnology offers tools, DiscoverIT and LinkLab that are designed to help you with these issues.
  • We say this all the time, proper planning of a Windows or Microsoft Windows upgrade can significant mitigate the risk of business disruption. This is why you should carefully estimate the time and effort needed and to allocate enough resources. The following is a link to an article we wrote on this subject:
  • Finally, there are also concerns raised about employees spending too much time or NOT getting familiar with the newest version and its capabilities. We always recommend that end user training and written or online resources be provided once the upgrade is done. Keep in mind too that each user will have their own learning curve in which to adjust to the new OS/Office package.

No matter what your top concern is, keep in mind that upgrades are an inevitable part of any business that uses these powerful tools.  According to Gartner, the migration to Office 2010 and Windows XP is inevitable, so if you are not already planning for a migration you might want to start thinking about it.  Planning will save your business from rushing through the upgrade and causing unnecessary problems.