An important factor in determining the cost of a migration has to do with resources: the percentage of IT staff involved, whether it is worth it to purchase an automation solution and what parts of the upgrade process will take the most time.
Survey respondents indicated that approximately half of their IT staff was needed in the migration process and 54 percent used automation to simplify the upgrade. Many of the IT professionals surveyed felt that investment in an automation solution was justified for any company with 10 or more PCs.
"We picked a smaller department and used them as guinea pigs until we got all the kinks out," said an IT manager for a midsize consulting company. "At that point, we knew where we stood and could automate the rest."
As expected, the typical migration to Windows 7 takes a good amount of time from a company's IT staff. On average, 17 percent of the upgrade process was spent in the planning stage. The actual execution took 12 percent of their time. Reinstalling applications and inventorying existing machines consumed 10 percent each, while nine percent of the process was taken by pilot tests. Other tasks that took close to that amount of time were capturing user settings, user training, writing and testing scripts, and troubleshooting.