Upgrading To Windows 10? Avoid Headaches, Downtime And Frustrations By Following This Advice

img1For the past few months, we’ve been swamped with questions about Windows 10.

If you’re wondering whether now is the best time to upgrade your system, here’s what you need to know:

First and foremost, if your organization relies on your computers in any way to make money or save lives, consider the risks carefully.

As with any software upgrade – but especially your computer’s operating system – you’ve got to weigh the advantages of upgrading now against potential downtime if there are problems with the new code.

A good rule of thumb regarding any operating-system upgrade is to wait six months after the product release before deploying it into any system or group of systems that your business depends on.

Since January 29 marks six months since the Windows 10 official release date, it’s a good time to look at whether it’s wiser to upgrade now or wait for further fixes and improvements.

That being said, here are a few of the key questions we’ve been fielding – and pitfalls to avoid:

Q: It’s free for a “limited time” – don’t I have to act now?

A. No. You have until July 2016 to take advantage of the free upgrade. And, if your system hasn’t prompted you to upgrade yet, you’ll need to wait. If and when your system is deemed capable of adapting to the upgrade, your current Windows OS will notify you. Either way, you have until July 28, 2016. If you do plan to upgrade, we strongly advise that you get it done well before that date, in order to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

Q. It’s better and/or faster, right?

A. Maybe… It depends. Here’s what we’re seeing:

  • Windows 10 radically changes how your system operates, compared to Windows 7. While some computers make the change with no problem at all, it can cause older systems to lose key hardware drivers (like networking or printing), rendering them an “instant brick.”
  • Some systems, even those certified by their manufacturers as “Windows 10 ready,” start misbehaving after being upgraded. That means undue downtime while you reinstall or upgrade MS Office or other software – or even revert back to your older OS.
  • Some older systems actually run slower on Windows 10 than on Windows 7 or 8.1.

Q. Will my computer work with Windows 10?

A. Age is probably the biggest factor for any Windows-based device. Anything older than three years is not worth upgrading. At three years old, your machine is nearing the end of its useful life. You are better off leaving the old operating system in place and waiting for Windows 10 until you upgrade to a new computer.

Q. I’ve heard Windows 10 transmits all of your personal information to Microsoft. Is this true?

A. This is true, unless you opt out of some of the most attractive features, such as the MS Store and Cortana, the voice-controlled virtual assistant. According to Windows 10 terms of service, Microsoft can:

“access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

If you decide that giving that kind of control of your personal and business data to Microsoft is not in your best interest, you can still install Windows 10; just call us and we’ll help you adjust the settings to keep all your information from being sent to Microsoft.

Q. We use some custom software here. Will it run on Windows 10?

A. Until your custom software vendor blesses Windows 10 for that program, the answer is no. In all cases, we advise against upgrading to Windows 10 until your custom programs are 100% fully vetted, compatible and supported for it.

Deciding when to upgrade to Windows 10 isn’t as simple as Microsoft and some pundits would have you believe. But if you know the pitfalls we’ve laid out for you here in advance, you’ve at least got a fighting chance for a smooth, headache-free transition.

Want help setting a target date and plan for your business to upgrade to Windows 10? Call us at 724.235.8750 or e-mail us at info@intechit.net to schedule a free Windows 10 Readiness Assessment.

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Leaders Make

Although everyone agrees that hiring is tough, most managers struggle with an even more prevalent leadership mistake. It’s an affliction as prevalent as the common cold, and one of the least recognized in the workplace today.

Over the last 20 years at ghSMART, we have been able to empirically observe where executives excel and where they get in their own way. We have conducted five-hour interviews with more than 15,000 leaders across every major industry, producing more than 9 million data points.

So, what is the No. 1 most common mistake that holds leaders back?

The complete inability to remove underperformers.

And why do we all struggle with this? Here are the top five reasons that we see:

  1. You are an eternal optimist. You somehow believe that you will fix poor Mark in Finance or Emma in Marketing. Or, even better, perhaps they will magically fix themselves.
  2. You don’t want to rock the boat. You believe in accepting the cards that you are dealt. You have been taught to make do. As kids learn at daycare today, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”
  3. You dislike conflict. Difficult conversations are difficult. So it is easier to suffer through it even if your whole team can now get less done.
  4. You will look bad. You may have hired or promoted them into the role. You don’t want to just pass the buck.
  5. You excel at procrastinating. Why do today what can safely be put off for another day? Besides, who knows? He or she might resign, and that would make it easier for everyone.

You may suffer from just one, or more likely a combination, of these reasons.

And yet our research found that executives who excelled at removing underperformers from their teams are more than twice as likely to have had a successful career than all other senior leaders.

Yes, that’s right: twice as likely. The best leaders we meet tell us that it makes all the difference.

Panos Anastassiadis is one who does it very well. He was the CEO of Cyveilance, which grew over 1500% in five years. His secret? “I have simply been constantly averaging up who is on the team.”

Yet how do you do that and still do right by the individual in question?

You can set them clear goals and craft the role to play to their strengths. But when it clearly isn’t working, it’s time to take action. Run a fair, objective talent management process, tell them that their performance isn’t where it needs to be and give them 30, 60 or 90 days to turn their situation around.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to have that tough conversation that deep down you know you should have had six, 12 or maybe 24 months ago.

Once done, yet only then, can you hire that A player you really need.

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Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
Who Else Wants A Little Music With Their Light?

magiclight_shiny-new-gadget

The next time you replace a lightbulb, you can now pick one that will stream your favorite music and light up your life in your choice of over 16,000 colors, all with a tap on your phone.

In case you haven’t noticed, some LED bulbs now include a Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-controlled speaker. And at least one, the MagicLight® Plus, available on Amazon, also lets you pick a light color to suit your mood.

At anywhere from $15 to $129 or more, these bulbs can add music – and light – throughout your home or office in a matter of minutes, at a fraction of the cost of a wired-in sound system.

How’s the sound quality? It depends on the one you select. And it may not resonate like Carnegie Hall live…but hey, it’s a lightbulb – what did you expect?

“Peer Coaching: My Secret Weapon”

As Andre Agassi has said, no one can experience peak performance without a coach. And I truly believe this. One of my mentors, who is a business and thought leader, Verne Harnish, has written several times on the benefits of having a Peer Coach.

Now what a Peer Coach is NOT is someone you complain to over a beer. That’s a friend. A coach should ask you the tough questions, helping you to face the brutal facts and uncover the real problems that need to be solved. Then they hold you accountable to solve the problems you’ve uncovered.

In fact, if your Coach pisses you off so much you’d like to hang up the phone, they are probably doing their job!

Because I wanted to get to ‘the next level’ in my business and personal life, 12 months ago I committed to a Peer Coaching relationship with a business associate and friend who owns and IT Company in Connecticut.

We committed to authoring both Business and Personal Plans in the areas we wanted to excel in 2015. We committed to weekly phone calls to review the tasks we said we were going to complete the week before to help reach our goals, and helped each other identify areas where we were falling down.

In December we reviewed 2015 and presented our plans for 2016. I will say that we didn’t make all our goals. And we frankly didn’t keep each other as accountable as we should have. But you know what? I was blown away with the progress we BOTH made on the Business and Personal Goals.

2016-02-26-11-13-21In 2016 we are committed to holding each other accountable (better) and to helping each other reach ALL our goals.

If you find the right person, this can be very powerful. If you are interested in the structure we use, please reach out to me at Leia@intechit.net. This has been transformative for me, and I would love to share this with anyone who strives to excel.

To your continued success,

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

Here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

Which of the following is NOT a Top 10 New Years Resolution for Americans?

a) Weight loss
b) Start a new hobby/activity
c) Exercise
d) Manage stress better

Email us right now with your answer! info@intechit.net