Making the shift to a modern desktop helps you to foster a highly secure workspace, empowered by the latest productivity, teamwork and collaboration experiences for your organization. As an IT Admin, making the shift also removes much of the pain of keeping your desktop environment secure with built in end point protection and easier access to the latest security updates, as well as improved information protection and integrated identity and access management. Deploying new PCs or getting PCs back to a business ready state gets easier and you can keep your user populations happy and secure with the most up to date experiences.
This is best achieved through Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365 with Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security in a complete intelligent solution.
Has It Been A While?
If you haven’t shifted your desktop environment for a while, you will notice that a few things have evolved since your previous desktop deployments. Here are the top areas to be aware of as you plan your migration.
- At the core of modern desktop and its connectivity to cloud productivity, security and management services, is the modern Identity and Access Management service with Azure Active Directory. This enables single sign on and secure connectivity across cloud services. It also enables new options for device and configuration management – without requiring connectivity to your local network or systems management tools.
- Next in-place upgrade is now the recommended approach in Windows 10 instead of the wipe-and-load reimaging process you might be using today. This preserves apps, data and configurations from the previous installation.
- If you haven’t switched from BIOS to UEFI, now’s the time. UEFI not only speeds up boot times, it is required to enable many of the modern security capabilities in Windows 10. There are tools available to make this switch after or during upgrades to Windows 10.
- Furthermore, Microsoft Intune can be used to manage your Windows 10 devices like other mobile devices from one place. Now you can also co-manage your Windows 10 devices with System Center Configuration Manager together with Microsoft Intune.
- Office 365 ProPlus is the preferred option for Office desktop apps and they have new installation options that are different than the MSI-based packages in the past. Don’t worry, it is still a local copy of Office and you can still use your deployment tools to provision and configure the apps.
- Update behavior can now be managed for Office 365 ProPlus at install time and now for Windows using the Windows Update for Business service by configuring policy or using MDM tools.
Windows Autopilot deployment service
Windows Autopilot brings together Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite, Office 365, and Windows 10 into a single, cohesive experience for IT as well as end users. With the latest updates, Windows Autopilot now spans each step in your device’s lifecycle from acquiring and deploying devices to ongoing resets. This is useful whether you need to transfer ownership of a device from one user to another, or break/fix a malfunctioning device. The goal is to give you a zerotouch IT experience so that you can reset your devices and bring them back to a fully business ready state with the click of a single button in Microsoft Intune.
Despite the new tool and connection options, you can continue using preferred OS deployment tools like System Center Configuration Manager and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit if you wish.
Preparing for Deployment!
The first step of your deployment is to create a high-level plan and get necessary approvals and project sponsors. Next you can assemble your teams and assign areas of responsibility across the following eight steps:
- Device & App Readiness
- Directory & Networking Readiness
- Office and Line of Business App Delivery
- User Files and Settings Migration
- Security & Compliance
- OS Deployment & Feature Updates
- User Communication & Training
- Windows and Office as a Service
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to plan your path to a modern desktop. While there may be some up front learning to take advantage of new resources and updated approaches, the value of making the shift should outweigh the initial investment.
The Microsoft deployment experts at Oakwood Systems Group would like to talk to you today and get you, and your staff, on the path to a modern desktop environment!