Software

Security, cloud improvements mean 85% of enterprises will move to Windows 10 this year

Enterprise adoption of Windows 10 is speeding up in 2017, driven primarily by security improvements, according to a new Gartner survey.

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Image: Nate Ralph/CNET

Windows 10 is getting a much-needed boost in the enterprise: 85% of businesses will have started Windows 10 deployments by the end of 2017, according to a new survey from Gartner, released Tuesday. This migration is expected to be faster than previous OS adoption, Gartner noted.

Gartner surveyed more than 1,000 professionals involved in decisions for Windows 10 migration, across the US, the UK, France, China, India, and Brazil.

"Organizations recognize the need to move to Windows 10," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, in a press release. "Large businesses are either already engaged in Windows 10 upgrades or have delayed upgrading until 2018. This likely reflects the transition of legacy applications to Windows 10 or replacing those legacy applications before Windows 10 migration takes place."

SEE: Windows 10: The smart person's guide

The time spent evaluating and deploying Windows 10 dropped from 23 months in 2015 to 21 months in 2016, according to Gartner research.

Why upgrade now? Some 49% of enterprises said that security improvements were the primary driver for migrating to Windows 10. When the OS initially launched in 2015, major concerns were raised over its use of user data and potential privacy concerns.

An additional 38% said the platform's cloud integration capabilities were the leading reason for making the switch. Microsoft Azure, the company's cloud computing platform, is one of the leading cloud infrastructure options for the enterprise and continues to grow as a core revenue stream for Microsoft.

However, many organizations have found difficulties making room in their budget for Windows 10 migration, Gartner noted. "Windows 10 is not perceived as an immediate business-critical project," Atwal said in the release. "It is not surprising that one in four respondents expect issues with budgeting."

In addition to modernizing their OS and platform, the move to Windows 10 also opens up enterprises to new device options, said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner, in the press release.

"Respondents' device buying intentions have significantly increased as organizations saw third- and fourth-generation products optimized for Windows 10 with longer battery life, touchscreens and other Windows 10 features," Escherich said. "The intention to purchase convertible notebooks increased as organizations shifted from the testing and pilot phases into the buying and deployment phases."

In addition to privacy concerns, Windows 10 faced a controversial rollout, with many users experiencing bugs and other issues, as TechRepublic's Nick Heath reported. As of August 2016, just 1% of business machines had upgraded to Windows 10, according to a study from Softchoice. Instead, 91% of the machines were operating with Windows 7—an 18% increase over the same period of time in 2015.

However, the newest major Windows 10 update, dubbed the Creators Update, rolled out in April 2017 with new features for business users, including improvements to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection's ability to detect and respond to network attacks, Heath reported, fulfilling an enterprise need for stronger cybersecurity.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. Some 85% of enterprises will have started Windows 10 deployments by the end of this year, according to a new Gartner survey.

2. Nearly half of businesses said that security improvements were the primary reason for migrating to the new OS, the survey found, followed by its cloud integration capabilities.

3. Windows 10 faced a rocky initial rollout, but this news shows that enterprises are now preparing to get on board.

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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