Despite early Windows XP End of Life 'retirement' warnings, Windows XP is still one of the most prolific Operating Systems in use, and we get it - it has worked well for ten years and changing is a disruptive thought.
There’s a good reason for this; given the short-lived success of the Windows Vista Operating System, many companies hesitated at upgrading at this point. The compounded effects of this is that many systems are now firmly built on XP, and have been operating quite nicely thank you very much for a long time. If it isn’t broken, why fix it - we hear you saying.
Because Microsoft say so - that's why.
After April 8th 2014 Windows will cease their standard support for XP which could leave your organisation vulnerable to security and compliance risks. From this date there will be no security updates, security hotfixes or online technical content updates. Plus, unsupported and unpatched environments may result in the suspension of your compliance certifications if your systems and customer information are not migrated to fully supported systems.
What does this mean to you?
- Your systems performance may drop, meaning slower processing times and an impact on productivity
- Resolution times may increase as we will not be able to rely on the fixes from Microsoft and will need to find alternative ways to resolve issues
- Compliance defaults mean you may enter breach of standards and accreditations, in particular around data security
- You will not be able to run the latest, feature-improved applications such as Office 2013, or cloud computing Office 365.
Microsoft and the Market
Changes from the way Microsoft will be delivering their solutions will most likely impact your business in the coming months.
Firstly, Cloud Computing isn't going anywhere. That doesn't mean we recommend Microsoft's Cloud Office 365 in every situation - there are many cloud solutions to achieve business agility and performance. Take our Email Security cloud offering for example that works alongside Microsoft Exchange Server to maintain email continuity in any situation. There is a cloud offering on every street corner and may become the common-sense choice for the way you manage your business in the future, if not already.
Secondly, the life cycle of Microsoft Windows and Office will be shortening. We are all used to the 3-year refresh cycle (e.g. Office 2007, 2010 2013); this is changing to a 2-year refresh pattern, meaning the upgrade points will be happening more frequently and your business will need to find a way to adapt to this in terms of managing user expectations, systems performance, and financial availability if you intend to remain with the Microsoft suite.
You may have noticed that all these changes start to make Cloud Computing look a lot more appealing than stoically sticking with 'the old ways'. Security concerns have been addressed and widely answered. It's now a matter of finding the right solution for you, and it may not be as costly or prohibitive as you initially thought.
This is why it is important to the experts to understand your options in full.
You may not be ready to change right away - this requires consultation, careful consideration and budgetary planning, however, we strongly recommend you begin the conversations now to understand how an IT Roadmap can identify the critical impacts and cost that you can expect to encounter. We can help you plan and budget for system improvements that suit what your business needs in order to remain productive and competitive. This way you will be better equipped to identify when to upgrade and will be in greater control of your business’ future.
Read our earlier blog on Windows 8.1 to learn more about the key business features we think you'll appreciate the most.
Windows 8.1 - The Improvements You'll be Glad to see
Talk to the Mirus IT team today on 01908 257352 or contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org