The official End-of-Support for Windows XP arrives this month, bringing an end to useful life for the erstwhile operating system. While a majority of organizations have taken significant action and have completed Windows migrations, or have projects very much underway, a surprisingly large number have not yet taken their first substantive steps towards migrating.
Some of these late movers have started to think about taking on the enormously high costs of extending XP support for the near term, and some have even evaluated the risks of moving forward for a period of time in an unsupported state on XP.
Indeed, recent studies by NetMarketShare and Forrester* show that somewhere between 18% and 40% of PCs are likely still running Windows XP today across organizations worldwide. Far from being yesterday’s news, the drive to get Windows XP migration projects running and completed remains a huge priority for a large subset of organizations, and therefore remains one of the most important cost questions facing IT groups today.
These late movers find themselves far behind their peers in meeting a hard deadline, and it can appear to them that all of their options are either fraught with extreme cost or extreme risk. And while it may be fair to view them as having reaped the consequences of a failure to act earlier, this trailing group may actually have a benefit they can realize from their position.
They have the ability to look at what their peers have done and not done; evaluate those organizations’ successes and challenges; and craft a tight plan that actually puts them in a better cost position than the early movers, with a superior user experience and satisfaction level to boot.
An evaluation of the strategies that organizations have used to migrate from Windows XP to date and their associated costs, shows that the very best practice strategies have the triple benefit of being a fastest route to a completed migration (and therefore offer the prospect of actually achieving the deadline), the most user-friendly and likely to delight end users, as well as the most cost effective (sparing the trailing organizations the financial hit of having waited beyond the point where the majority of their peers have taken action).
We’ve written a free white paper that provides an analysis of options for migrating to Windows 7 or 8.
* Source: Forrester Research Inc. Forrsights Hardware Survey Q3 2013