Nexthink, the leader in Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management software, today released a new report, Predicting Windows 11 Upgrades in Corporate IT, which investigated 3.12 million anonymized devices across 457 organizations and 8 industries to reveal that roughly 40% of devices are actually ready for the Windows 11 migration. Windows 11 is set to take over as Microsoft’s primary operating system on October 24, 2025, along with it comes stricter requirements than its predecessor Windows 10. While the deadline might seem far off, new data indicates that many organizations may need this time to prepare, as the total number of hours required to update the 60% of devices that were not compatible would at minimum take more than 4.2 million manual hours.
Nexthink’s customers are at the forefront of innovation, creating a positive digital experience for their employees, ensuring that all technology and devices are up to date and running smoothly. Because of this, many of them are focused on Windows preparedness and those who are in the planning stages welcomed the opportunity to learn more about how their organization can successfully prepare for the Windows 11 migration, including which devices are ready, almost ready or not ready at all to upgrade.
“Upgrading to Windows 11, like any digital transformation, can be viewed as a double-edged sword for companies who want to take advantage of the innovation but are concerned about the effort that comes with checking compatibilities and ensuring the upgrade happens without risk,” said Yassine Zaied, Chief Strategy Officer at Nexthink. “As a result, often these upgrades get delayed, costing organizations valuable time and money. While the upgrade to Windows 11 is tricky, our research confirms that with the right understanding of every employee’s digital environments, the selection of the best pilot scope, and an exact understanding of what is needed to be done prior to upgrading – companies can more quickly take advantage of the innovation and without risk.”
It is crucial that IT teams accurately assess device compatibility and performance sooner rather than later to minimize costs, delays and disruptions. The key findings from this study underscore that point:
1: Over 60% of the devices analyzed were not ready to upgrade to Windows 11
When it came to assessing readiness and compatibility, close to 40% of the devices analyzed were compatible with Windows 11. Upgrading these devices will require relatively little resources and cost, and IT will simply have to educate and inform employees to accept the upgrade. However, of the remaining devices, 25% were almost there, while over 35% were not ready at all. These devices will require significant upgrades and IT will need to consider how and when they’ll migrate these employee devices to Windows 11, if at all possible.
2: In total, the cumulated effort needed to upgrade these devices manually would be 4,212,000 hours
Shockingly, if upgrading manually, the total number of hours required to update the 60% of devices that were not compatible would be at minimum, a cumulative 4,212,000 hours. This calculation is based on a conservative estimate of 15 minutes for each manual task required to update devices to Windows 11.
3: Work sector can influence the readiness of devices for Windows 11 adoption
A company’s work sector can have a big influence on the type of technology experience it provides. Looking across eight industries, the report discovered that the consumer goods sector recorded the highest percentage of devices ready to upgrade to Windows 11, while the energy and utilities sector had the highest percentage of devices with outdated hardware and operating systems. Certain industries, like the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, tend to stick with older operating systems to ensure critical applications are compatible and tested on newer Windows versions.
With the knowledge that typically around 15% of Windows upgrades fail, it’s vital that organizations understand their migration readiness and what challenges they’ll face when the time comes. Learn more about how organizations can successfully prepare for Windows 11 adoption here.
Nexthink is the leader in digital employee experience management software. The company is energizing the future of work by providing IT leaders with unprecedented insight into employees’ daily experiences of technology at the device level – freeing IT to progress from reactive problem solving to proactive optimization. Nexthink enables its more than 1,100 customers to provide better digital experiences to more than 15 million employees. Dual headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland and Boston, Massachusetts, Nexthink has 9 offices worldwide.