Are Your IT Clients Using Windows 7?
Top Managed IT Service Providers Offer Insights
If you have a client who is currently running Windows 7, it’s up to you to encourage the major switch to Windows 10. And it won’t always be easy.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the options you might consider for helping your clients become motivated enough to make this big switch. But first, let’s talk about what exactly is happening to Windows 7 so that you know how to adequately explain this to your clients.
Where Is Windows 7 Going?
Back in 2009 when Windows 7 was brand-new, it served many businesses well. But now, after 10 years, Windows is ready to retire this Operating System.
As you may know by now, this means that by 2020 (next year), support for Windows 7 will be discontinued. Of course, if an individual or client chose to continue using Windows 7, it would certainly be possible. But the true crux of the problem is that their computer and/or systems would become severely vulnerable to cybersecurity problems.
This would mostly be because Microsoft won’t be updating Windows 7 at all after 2020, meaning it won’t be investing in any improvements, trying to troubleshoot major problems, or providing patches that would otherwise prevent security breaches.
As a result of this, clients who regularly use Windows 7 computers absolutely must upgrade to Windows 10 machines. It is also imperative that they begin the upgrades now. Not only will this be a major change to how operations run in a given business, but it will also mean that businesses will need to shell out a considerable amount of money to purchase and facilitate the upgrade. In other words, the sooner your clients know about this major change, the sooner they can plan for it.
Mike Bowe, President of On-Site Computers, states:
“Companies that do not have a workstation replacement policy get caught in these traps every time. An operating system or core business application is obsolete, and they are sitting on 50% hardware replacements. This budget killer is just that because hardware is not routinely replaced.”
As a company’s MSP, it’s up to you to warn clients about impending workstation replacement requirements and to seamlessly facilitate the transition and reduce any downtime required.
How to Encourage Client Upgrades to Windows 10
If you have multiple MSP clients, your first action should be to figure out who is still running Windows 7. Joe Cannata of Techsperts, LLC states that his company is actively, “emailing each individual client advising them of the specific computers they have that are still running windows 7 and are advising them of what it means when software goes end of life and taking the appropriate actions to upgrade or replace the machines in question.”
It’s also important to link the specific advisories from Microsoft to your clients so that they fully understand that you’re not simply trying to get them to pay for a useless upgrade.
Here are some other tips for helping your clients make this transition as smoothly, cost-effectively, and painlessly as possible:
Start notifying your clients early, and allow them time to budget for the changes.
Ideally, you’ve already told your clients that Microsoft will be putting Windows 7 to rest by the end of 2019. If you can plan with them in advance, Keith Marchiano, VP of ICT at Kyocera Intelligence Mid-Atlantic, says, “they [will] have been able to plan cash flow/revenues around these upgrades.” He goes on to say:
“All of our clients understand the serious security issues that will be occurring in 2020 if they are not ahead of this. By us being a true strategic partner, we allowed them to budget and plan in advance.”
Time for budgeting is important for your clients. Upgrades will take time and money, and if they don’t allot enough for either, they’ll be looking at you for the blame.
Put the focus on security.
Adam Fadhli of Discovery IT says that the biggest motivation for his clients is, “fear of not being secure.” He goes on to say that, “our more proactive customers are afraid of doing it at the last minute because they don’t want to get caught in the deluge of other customers trying to get it done at the last minute as well.”
These aren’t unfounded worries, either. Lack of security should be the biggest concern for your clients if they do not upgrade to Windows 10. Aaron Fox of Globalquest Solutions in Buffalo agrees:
“We have explained to [our clients] that as of January 1, 2020 their Windows 7 PCs will continue to work, but they will not receive any further security and feature updates from Microsoft … Most of our clients are very sensitive to the current digital security risks that exist today and value their data enough to make this recommended upgrade.”
So, have you notified your clients of the impending end to Windows 7 support and upgrades?
If not, notify them as soon as possible. You can use the tips above to motivate immediate action.