Mourners around the globe are gathering to pay their respects to Microsoft’s most successful operating system, Windows 7, as it was laid to rest this month.

Grief Stage #1 – Denial

As with many losses, there are certainly a large number of people and businesses who choose to remain in the first stage of grief – denial. In this particular case, denial is not a river in Egypt or a good place to be. Those businesses who don’t address this loss and begin their migration to Windows 10 soon, leave themselves vulnerable to hackers, ransomware and cyber-attacks. Any one of those things could bring down a large, global company or at the very least cause major financial losses, loss of crucial company information and deeply damage a company’s reputation both internally and externally. I am confident that if you surveyed 400 million IT professionals, none of them would respond that they want any of that to happen to their company.

Grief Stage #2 – Pain &Guilt

The loss of included Windows 7 updates and security patches is hard to swallow and the idea of updating all dispersed endpoints within your enterprise to Windows 10 is painful. With this pain, you may have feelings of guilt for not acting sooner or preparing for this loss. However, the sooner you act, the sooner you will be able to move forward to the next phase. Start your migration as soon as you can!

Grief Stage #3 – Frustration, Anger & Bargaining

In the case of losing our faithful OS of ten years, frustration, anger and bargaining is a natural stage in the grieving process. Having to migrate your entire company to a new operating system is a huge undertaking. This frustration and fear of the unknown can lead to anger and bargaining. Some IT professionals will cope by questioning and proposing alternatives to this reality that Windows 7 is dead. Is there any painless way around this? Why can’t they just stick with Windows 7? Why can’t we just avoid/delay the update? What’s the worst that can happen?

Grief Stage #4 – Depression & Loneliness

Once you realize that your executives and board don’t want to find out what the worst thing that can happen, Stage 3 quickly evolves into depression and loneliness. Hackers, ransomware and cyber-attacks are absolutely worth avoiding. But how can you accomplish this massive move to a new operating system singlehandedly? It may feel hopeless and you may feel alone in trying to solve this feat. But I would bet, if your company suffers financial or other critical losses that are directly related to not migrating sooner, your depression and loneliness will mutate into something much more intense.

Grief Stage #5 – The Upward Turn

Life becomes a bit calmer and more organized once you realize there are options to help you deal with this change. Your symptoms of depression can start to lift when you realize ‘Yes, I can solve this.’

Grief Stage #6 – Reconstruction & Working Through

This is the stage where you realize you must get on with life and find an operating system that is supported and secure. You had a good run with Windows 7, but it’s time to move on. In this reconstructing stage, understanding what solutions are out there and evaluating them will serve you well.

Grief Stage #7 – Acceptance & Hope

Once you have moved on, you are ready to deal with the reality of the situation. Windows 7 is dead and is not coming back. If you are one of the 53% of companies still on W7, you need to get your endpoints on Windows 10, as soon as possible. With a hopeful mindset, you are able to clearly evaluate your options: Do you want to take the risk and ignore these warnings by staying on Windows 7 with no support? Do you want to pay for Microsoft extended support for Windows 7? That seems like a lot of money and doesn’t help your organization transform into a modern workplace. Or, do you want to migrate to Windows 10?

Moving On to Windows 10

Whether you are in stage 1 or stage 7 of your grieving, we recommend fining your migration quickly and cost-effectively. You don’t need to invest in new hardware or infrastructure if you choose to solve it with software.

Using a Software-Defined Enterprise Content Delivery Network (SD ECDN), businesses can exponentially decrease the bandwidth load on their network, without replacing or updating their hardware infrastructure – all within a matter of days. So, wipe away your tears, stop delaying the inevitable and begin the move. With Kollective for ConfigMgr, your business can maximize the speed of software distribution, streamline your Windows 10 migration and future proof against ever-increasing system updates.

Solving it with software will get you there faster and more easily than any other option and before you know it, all the pain and anger and sadness and fear surrounding the move to a new operating system will be behind you.