"ATM deployers should start their [Windows 10] migration without delay."
That's what ATM Industry Association CEO Mike Lee said about the importance of getting your self-service terminals, computers and other technologies ready for the latest and greatest operating system. The fact that this statement is four years old only serves as a reminder that the future is now! Come this time next year, Windows 7 will be dead and buried; therefore what was formerly construed as advice has evolved to an impetus for action.
This is an exciting time. Windows 10 is widely considered to be perhaps the most advanced OS developed by Microsoft in quite some time. As such, many ATM producers have embraced the technology and commenced shipping Windows 10-enabled processors. It has a number of features and optimizations that are more user-friendly and resistant to cybersecurity threats, which makes it particularly appealing to those looking to fight malware threats to ATM networks.
"You need to ask yourself a few questions to ensure that the migration is as seamless and as integration-friendly as possible."
It's not enough, however, to simply install Windows 10 and call it a day. You need to ask yourself – and your potential vendors – some questions to ensure that the Win10 migration is as seamless and as integration-friendly as possible. Here are a few lines of inquiry to pose with vendors which will support your OS migration success:
1. Will adjustments to back-end systems be necessary to support the Windows 10 software upgrade?
New, state-of-the-art technology often requires added installations. Depending on how old your terminals are, you may need to swap out certain back-end systems for those that are compatible with the Windows 10 framework. Be sure to ask your vendor about this so you can determine if the OS will require more than a software upload for your financial institution.
2. What hardware upgrades are necessary and available to support Windows 10?
The latest software often requires the latest hardware to perform at peak. You're no doubt familiar with the large-scale migrations that accompanied the OS changeovers of yesteryear, including the move from XP to Windows 7. Again, depending on what terminals you now have, it may make sense to swap out existing hardware for updated versions that allow you to future-proof your investment. Should this be a consideration, check with multiple vendors to determine what they can do for you in terms of supply, installation and service.
3. Will my ATMs be able to facilitate cardless access with this new software?
ATMs remain predominantly card-based, meaning they require a card for users to access their accounts, but given that an increasing number of ATM users prefer going cardless for security purposes, code-based ATMs are the wave of the future. If your fleet has cardless compatibility, check with your vendor to see that the software upgrade won't pose a problem.
4. When is the next software security update expected to be released?
Regrettably, new security threats emerge on what seems to be a daily basis, which is why patches are regularly released by OS developers to fill any vulnerabilities. That's only one of the most promising aspects of Windows 10, as perhaps more than anything else, its security enhancements are next level. Generally speaking, Microsoft releases updates on an as-needed basis, but you may be able to get a ballpark estimates for when one may be in the offing by speaking to your vendor.
5. How long will you support Windows 10 as an ATM operating system?
As noted by the ATMIA in its position paper, Microsoft will provide updates from time to time. The question then is whether the hardware is equipped to handle these updates. These service packs are designed to provide this OS with both longer functionality and enhanced shelf-life. Translation: Your vendor should support Windows 10 for the foreseeable future (e.g. at least five years), but you may want to ask so you can get a more accurate reading. By optimizing your fleet, you'll be able to get the most out of your machines by virtue of the fact that they will take longer to depreciate, given their state-of-the-art functionalities.
BranchServ is with you every step of the way. Whether you're trying to get your terminals operating on the latest operating system or seek to find out more information about how your current models will function with Windows 10 in place, we've got you covered. Don't delay – contact us today so we can get you and your financial institutions ready for 2020.