The Critical Challenges of Operating System Migration: A Comprehensive Look 

 January 9, 2022

Operating system migration is essential for updating computer systems, but it’s also extraordinarily disruptive to daily functions. Options like extended lifecycle support for operating systems like CentOS 8 EOL can help delay the process enough to achieve a smooth turnover. That said, operating system migration comes with a host of challenges and obstacles. Here are a few of the roadblocks to be aware of when you’re switching systems. 

Loss of productivity

Productivity tends to decrease across the board when OS migrations happen. Productivity loss lasts longer than the actual installation process as employees take time to acclimate to new systems and settle into new workflows. OS migrations can also destroy old shortcuts and cause other transitional problems.

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Some operating systems can save user profile information and copy it over, but this transfer process won’t always work out perfectly.

Productivity losses are always unfortunate, but it’s especially troubling if they interfere with major projects. Addressing this stopgap often leads companies to roll out operating system migration in stages or schedule it for narrow windows when it will be the least disruptive.

Beyond general productivity concerns, OS migrations often require having many employees focus on the migration while it lasts. This all-hands-on-deck scenario means the tapped employees are not available to handle their regular work, compounding the loss from setting up and learning new systems.

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App compatibility issues

Many companies have customized apps and code written to work within their unique environment, and OS updates can ruin these personalized integrations. Some apps are optional, but others are critical, and the company can’t function without them.

There are several ways to address this incompatibility issue, from low-code IT development to testing apps on updated machines before migrating the rest of the company. The best resolution has to be determined on a case-by-case basis, but the increasing reliance on technology makes system compatibility a critical challenge for every business.

Changing work environments

Different work environments, including hybrid models where workers spend part of their time at home, are becoming more common at companies. This remote model has led to challenges in areas like deploying access to software, so some companies are turning to solutions like desktop-as-a-service software.

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Creative deployment of access to company software is critical because workers may be hesitant to update their machines at home until they’re ready, and it can be hard to compel remote workers to install updates on home devices.

Work environment concerns grow even more complicated if workers use mobile devices alongside laptops or desktops. Such work environments may require ensuring that all apps and systems are compatible with multiple operating systems.

Data preservation concerns

Backing up data and information has never been cheaper or more accessible. However, any oversights in this process can result in lost data, which means many businesses want to save entire hard drives and store them for months or even years.

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Preserving this data means having a way to store it, knowing what’s stored, and having a way to access it in the future if needed.

Final thoughts

Operating system migrations are a rare but necessary part of company operations. That said, there are many ways to streamline the migration process, and preparing for the transition ahead of time can help avert most potential problems.

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