Happy New Year!

Perhaps you’re just returning to work after a well-deserved holiday break. Or maybe you’ve been working through the holidays fire-fighting or getting those infrastructure jobs done that are only possible while the rest of the company is on vacation. Either way, it’s time to get back to whatever resembles a normal work week for you and, if you haven’t already, plan out what you want to achieve in 2017.

Those plans could be more important than ever, after all, you could be planning some major projects this year such as a mass rollout of Windows 10 or preparing for a large-scale move to the cloud.

As it’s traditionally the time to be setting out resolutions, here are a few suggestions that might even help avoid that holiday-time project next year.

  1. Understand your configuration management environment.

The first step for any significant project is to understand your current environment. That sounds easy but often isn’t. Start by identifying all your locations and inventorying all the configuration manager servers at each. That includes servers acting as Distribution Points, Management Points, State Migration Points and more. 1E’s Software Intelligence tool (a free download) is a good starting point.

  1. Simplify (and speed up) your infrastructure.

With that inventory complete (or even while you’re still collecting the data), start looking for ways to reduce remote servers. With ConfigMgr by itself, that’s a tricky subject. With 1E’s Nomad, customers frequently remove the need for all their remote servers taking out costs and potential points of failure by using spare capacity on peer systems at remote sites.

And of course, greater simplicity means greater speed.

  1. Prepare your network to deploy anything, anytime, anywhere.

One of the hurdles for many software distribution projects is the load it places on the inter-office WAN. With large OS images or application installers to be distributed to thousands of systems in hundreds of sites, that’s a very real risk. Microsoft’s BITS technology has very limited management capability and can easily swamp your network. With Nomad’s unique bandwidth management known as ReverseQoS, that never happens. Users kick-off deployment of a major update and go to lunch, confident in the knowledge that the business traffic is protected.

  1. Empower end users.

Letting end users control their software requests is a win-win, resulting in a faster, more efficient software lifecycle. End users get control to request and install the applications they need, including updates to Windows 10. They feel IT are supporting their needs rather than being a bottleneck. IT can automate the entire back-end process ensuring the correct reviews and authorizations are completed allowing them to get on with more valuable work.

1E’s Shopping provides a highly flexible enterprise application store used by thousands of end users worldwide and provides the unique ability for end users to schedule their Windows 10 updates at a time that suits them.

  1. Reclaim and reduce software licenses.

Deploying Windows 10 is a great opportunity to review the applications installed across your organization. Once you know what’s installed, you can set up policies to enforce as part of the Windows 10 migration process. The trick is to be able to define intelligent policies based on actual usage, not defaults that don’t quite fit everyone’s needs. With 1E’s Windows 10 Now solution, you define intelligent policies to manage applications: for applications that aren’t used, remove the apps; for apps not used often, replace with a cheaper option; for non-standard apps or versions, install the approved equivalents.

It’s unlikely 2017 will be a quieter year for IT organizations than 2016. Indeed it’s likely to be an even bigger challenge given major projects like rolling out Windows 10 are a priority for many. Predicting the future is never easy, the best you can do is ensure you have a robust but flexible foundation that can handle any challenge.

Start preparing for the next holiday season now!

What are your priorities for 2017?

Please take this short survey (only 5 questions) to let us know and we’ll share the results on this blog in a few weeks.

 

 

 

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Mark Warren
Mark Warren is Product Marketing Manager for Windows 10 Now at 1E. Mark has over 25 years’ experience of software development and configuration management as a vendor and customer.