IT managed services provider, Advanced 365, has warned businesses still using Windows XP that they need to make plans to migrate to alternative operating systems before XP reaches end-of-life on 8 April 2014. Businesses which fail to do this will face increased support costs and regulatory compliance issues.
Advanced’s warnings follow statistics recently published by NetMarketShare which indicate that despite being more than 11 years old, Windows XP is running on nearly 39% of the world’s computers.
Advanced experts have highlighted the fact that many organisations within the public and charity sectors have yet to make migration plans, as they are unaware of the full implications of continuing to use XP after Microsoft has withdrawn its support for the operating system.
Neil Cross, Managing Director, Advanced 365 said: “Windows XP has been a popular choice for businesses since it was originally introduced in 2001 and the system is still widely used. Many businesses will be tempted to continue to use the system after 8th April 2014, however, Microsoft will no longer be issuing security patches or updates of any kind. As a result, many businesses which decide to continue using XP may well compromise the security of their own data. This could lead to serious problems in terms of compliance with data management legislation.”
Organisations also need to be mindful of the costs of continuing to support desktop infrastructure that is based on Windows XP.
IT industry analysts, IDC, have estimated that the annual costs per PC, per year for Windows XP is £569.63, while a comparable Windows 7 installation costs £110. This is an incremental £458.98 per PC each year for IT and end-user labour costs.
“This is money that businesses could be investing in modernising their IT assets and ensuring employees are equipped with technologies that optimise and drive their performance,” continues Cross.
Although planning migration to alternative systems may well strike many business directors as an onerous task, it is the best opportunity for many to think carefully about updating their systems, streamlining performance and reducing their IT costs.
“We have already helped many businesses plan their migration away from Windows XP and consider the pros and cons of various alternative operating systems. Most are well on their way to moving to new systems, which will improve efficiencies and sharpen their competitive edge,” concludes Cross.