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  • Writer's pictureMurray Wall

Being a Windows Insider - the Business Value Proposition

One of my good Co-workers, an Enterprise architect is always asking about "The Business Value Proposition" of solutions we put forward for strategic or tactical projects and initiatives. Business Value Proposition as the Wiki defines it, "identifies clear, measurable and demonstrable benefits consumers get" by being a Windows Insider. The full definition is here, have a look but this leads me to ask how that is relevant to being a Windows Insider - a regular or Business Insider specifically.

Being a Windows Insider can be considered fun for those that do it (no real business value) - but it can be a lot more than just fun and can bring a whole lot of value to both regular and Business Insiders!

As a Windows Insider you get a look at a countless number of new features, changes, bug fixes, and items that may never appear in new Windows builds but are being used to test new features. This is the part that many Insiders really appreciate, what I refer to as "Fun" I am going to tell you flat out that this fun, along with other key elements has a business value proposition that makes being an Insider critical.

"I am just a Windows Insider" - is what some will say, what's the Business Value Proposition for me - Believe it when I say this, both regular Insiders and Business Insiders have opportunity to really bring back value to the end user at home or at work.

Microsoft has setup the Insider program to really encourage those who want to provide a conduit for, regular and Business users to help test, showcase and be part of the insider community. The Business Value Proposistion comes here:

Windows Insider Business Value Proposition

For me, being a Business Insider is a no brainer in all aspects, I am already imaging and building test deployments, why wouldn't I use the newest features to test? - there is a good chance that it will make my job easier. It will certainly make any deployments out to business users when the features become production ready super easy - In every build I have seen new features that make deployments quicker and much more streamlined for the users - the User Experience is simply better. Why wouldn't I be an advocate for that!

There will be always those businesses that take a more conservative approach, saying when the features become production, they will investigate it - I am sure we have all heard this line - and its valid to a point. I am not saying you roll an insider build on all your production clients! I am saying that on a small subset its really easy to test things that matter to your environment - that just good practice and something you should be probably doing proactively!

Businesses running 3rd party software have a legitimate roadblock - Antivirus, 3rd Party Encryption etc. are not usually supported on insider builds and these tools are usually released some time during the 1st quarter after major OS builds are published. Hard to test when it doesn't work with your software - Well maybe you should review this approach! Security people suggest that a defense in depth is a valid approach right? Why not look at the built in Antivirus and Encryption while waiting for your vendor to release their version - you might find that its better for your organization and you can recommend streamlining changes that may end up saving money and effort! At worst you can learn something new about software you maybe didn't know - always value in that! Its not always possible but if you can save money and time, while learning something new, you need to consider it!

Being a regular Windows Insider or a Windows Insider for Business has real value to you - don't lose sight of that. If you are a business and not using insider builds, consider these points to bring forth justify being a Business Insider - Its good for you, its good for business and its great for the Windows Insider team at Microsoft. Sounds like something you should just be doing! Good luck and get testing!

Murray Wall @Murmanz

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