What is the real cost to migrate to Windows 7?

A recent study from Gartner suggested the cost to deploy Windows 7 across an organization running XP could be as much as $1930 per user. This figure may seem high but here are some items every organization should look at before migrating to a new operating system.

When we talk to most of our clients or prospective clients we break down our cost analysis into two separate categories.

  1. The real costs, which can be realized very easily. For instance, this would include cost to upgrade software to run on a new operating system or the cost to have technicians travel to a remote location and deploy new PCs in a remote office. Though these costs can be significant, these expenditures are often the only costs organizations will include in a cost analysis.
  2. In order to get a complete view of the costs it takes to migrate to new PCs or to a new operating system, organizations must also include cost that might not be as tangible. We refer to these as the “soft” costs of migrating to a new PC. These costs include loss of worker productivity because they didn’t save a file to the network before their PC was replaced or the opportunity costs for that technician to find the file for the end-user when they create a helpdesk ticket.

Where does Gartner get its $1930 per PC cost? Aside from some of the larger costs, they come from items such as a complete audit, application testing on the new operating system, and training for IT and end-users. The largest category Gartner outlines is what they call the “Individual Variable Costs.” This basically means giving the end-user their new PC and making it work to their liking. Gartner includes three hours to reinstall software per user and two and a half hours to get the new PC to the end-user and reimage it. One major note, Gartner devoted six hours per user to what they categorized as “self support/informal training/downtime.”

We advise any client to do a comprehensive cost analysis before starting a major migration.  This includes trying to quantify their real costs, and their “softer” costs (user downtime, lost opportunity costs, etc). We have developed an Excel spreadsheet that will help organizations help quantify some of these costs. If you’d like anymore advice about an upcoming migration, please fill out this form and one of our experts will contact you.

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