Released in October 2012, Windows 8 is considered to be one of the most dramatic updates of the operating system ever. Despite dividing some technology fans, Windows 8 contains many features that can benefit businesses. Along with the facelift that the operating system has had, Windows 8 also has a number of ‘under the bonnet’ improvements. These changes could dramatically improve system performance, even on older computers. Upgrading to Windows 8 (rather than upgrading hardware) could be a viable option for your company that could save it a lot of money.

Before making the step to upgrade to Windows 8, you need to make sure your business is prepared. Here are some steps you should take to ensure your Windows 8 upgrade goes as smoothly as possible:

Check System Compatibility

Before investing in an upgrade, take the time to check if your system is compatible with Windows 8. Microsoft has a tool called the ‘Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant’. This will scan your computers to check that they meet the basic requirements for Windows 8. As a general rule, if your computers are running Windows 7, they should be able to run Windows 8 as it requires less RAM and CPU resources. Even older computers may be able to run Windows 8 with some of its more advanced features disabled.

Check Your Device Drivers

If you have any printer, scanners or other peripherals connected to your office computers, you may have to update their drivers in order for them to be compatible with Windows 8. Updated drivers are constantly being released for a wide range of hardware, both old and new. You can quickly check the compatibility of drivers by visiting the manufacturers’ websites.

Try it on a Few Machines

Before rolling Windows 8 out throughout your entire company, try it out on a few machines. You should make sure that the programs, applications and utilities that are crucial to your business remain stable on the new operating system. Some of your software may have to be reinstalled after the upgrade. By trying Windows 8 out on a few machines, you can iron out any problems or issues before they become company-wide. See it as a trial run for the permanent upgrade.

Invest in Staff Training

Windows 8 has many new features that make it very different to previous versions of Windows. Invest in a Windows 8 course from a reputable IT training operator for your staff. This will help them familiarise themselves with the new look and feel of the operating system. Your staff will also learn how to use the features of Windows 8 most beneficial to your business. Training will help to make sure that no valuable time is lost when your staff members start using the operating system.

There are many reasons why an upgrade to Windows 8 could be beneficial to your system. By investing in Microsoft Windows 8 training for your staff, you can reap the full benefits from an upgrade to this new operating system.