Windows 11 Upgrade: Tips for Aligning with Asset Refresh Cycles

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Published on August 21, 2023 by

Andrew Sweeney

Almost two years on from launch, the Windows 11 global market share still hasn’t reached 24%. In contrast, Windows 10 share remains strong. One reason for the slow adoption is the stringent minimum hardware requirements, which a number of computers don’t meet.

As October 14, 2025, the end of service date for the final Windows 10 release version 22H2, creeps closer, enterprise IT teams can benefit from planning their migration now. With typical lease cycles between three to five years, and many of the assets purchased during the onset of Covid now up for renewal, IT teams are looking for ways to streamline Windows 11 upgrades with asset refresh cycles.

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Best practices for aligning asset refresh with your Windows 11 migration

A large chunk of your Windows 11 upgrade will be covered in one swoop with an asset refresh program, but there will be some users that fall outside of that. Prepare now using these tips:

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Inventory software and hardware assets:
Pull data from CMDBs and systems management tools and confirm ownership and business needs with users and managers. Incorporate vendor end-of-lease dates and identify if any machines don’t meet the systems requirements for Windows 11.

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Identify opportunities to streamline software:
Users’ needs will have changed over the last few years. Can you reduce the number of applications you support now? If so you could streamline Windows 11 upgrades further while also making it easier for users to find what they need to enhance their digital experience.

Work with HR and business teams to identify user personas and assign typical packages of applications and hardware based on their requirements. Identify application rationalization opportunities to reduce the burden of testing apps against the new release.

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Put a plan in place for application testing:
Conduct an application risk assessment by looking at data flagged in the CMDB, working with business teams, and identifying the number of users. Rank apps as critical, important, and low risk.

  • All critical applications will need to be formally lab tested.
  • Use pilot deployments to identify any issues with important apps and gain feedback. If there are no issues, mark applications as compatible with Windows 11 and roll out to larger waves.
  • Roll out Windows 11 to small groups of users of low-risk apps initially and mark them compatible with Windows 11 if there are no issues.

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Plan your Windows 11 upgrade:

  • Use the asset refresh date for the majority of users as your rollout and factor in a few months' lead time for testing apps with the release in your project plan.
  • Identify computers that should be replaced ahead of the asset refresh date or application testing. Can you defer them? Check performance and user profile data to make your decision. If you cannot defer, either replace computers with new hardware running over Windows 10 and mark them as needing an upgrade to Windows 11 later or, if the users rely on low-risk apps, replace computers with new ones running over Windows 11.
  • If there are computers with an end-of-lease date beyond October 14, 2025, that aren’t compatible with Windows 11, replace them as part of your wider asset refresh.
  • Check performance data of any computers with end-of-lease dates beyond October 14, 2025, that are compatible with Windows 11 and decide whether to replace assets early or upgrade existing computers to Windows 11.
  • Create a schedule for user asset refresh/update and discuss with business leads, ensuring you aren’t impacting business-critical work dates. Adjust as required.

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Communicate regularly to users:
Ensure users know the plan and what is required of them. Communicate again to impacted users as the deadline approaches, asking them to confirm details such as location, unique needs, and that the scheduled date works for them.

Automate to simplify your rollout:

If you don’t want to spend months manually trawling through spreadsheets, you can choose to implement a digital platform conductor (DPC). Highlighted as transformational in 6 Gartner Hype Cycles, a DPC connects to all your IT and business systems, including third-party vendor databases, and aggregates, normalizes, cleans, and analyzes the data they hold.

Then, leveraging this data, a DPC automates and orchestrates all the necessary workflows required for IT asset lifecycle management (ITALM) and Windows upgrades.

Using a DPC you can:

  • Gain greater visibility into your hardware and software environment for better cost and risk management and ongoing asset forecasting and refresh activities. Easily see end-of-lease dates, machines that don’t meet the criteria for OS upgrades, system performance information, and associated user information.
  • Easily apply risk ratings to apps to streamline app testing and identify new apps introduced over time as well as their testing requirements for future OS upgrades.
  • Benefit from automated workflows including end user and manager communications and scheduling, purchasing, shipping of new machines, and more. Based on the criteria you provide, computers are automatically placed in appropriate workflows and managed accordingly.

Book a demo with ReadyWorks to find out how you can simplify your enterprise Windows 11 upgrade by aligning it with asset refresh activities.