One year before the end of Extended Support for Windows XP, organizations are putting their systems seriously at risk and may face increased support costs if they delay further
London and New York, April 8, 2013: 1E, the global leader in IT efficiency software today issued a reminder to enterprises that time is running out for Windows XP. With support for Microsoft’s Operating System (OS) due to end one year from today, organizations are wilfully putting their systems at risk without a comprehensive migration plan, and heading towards inflated support costs if they end up having to retain Windows XP – a decision that will undoubtedly cause serious budget issues for many businesses.
Earlier this year, many hardware vendors discontinued support for Windows XP, and Microsoft’s deadline for extended support is scheduled to end on April 8, 2014. This has left organizations with three options: migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8 as soon as possible; run Windows XP ‘at your own risk’; or alternatively, pay large fees for an extended custom support package. According to recent findings by leading research house, Vanson Bourne commissioned by 1E[i], less than a quarter of UK respondents had upgraded their IT estate to Windows 7 by the end of 2012, while only 40 percent claimed they were ‘in the process of upgrading’. As a result, IT departments now find themselves in what top analysts call the migration “danger zone”, with little or no time left to complete the process before they are charged exorbitant support costs that will undoubtedly complicate budgets for many businesses.
Despite much publicity from leading analyst houses, and Microsoft itself, strongly advising companies to migrate to the next OS – specifically Windows 7 or 8 – many organizations have been at a loss as to how to achieve this cost-effectively and efficiently before the scheduled end date. As a result, IT departments now find themselves in the migration danger zone, with little or no time left to complete such a gargantuan task.
“The message is loud and clear – organisations that are not yet off the starting blocks or only a little way down the track are highly unlikely to complete before the Microsoft deadline,” explains Sumir Karayi, CEO at 1E. “Whether the delay is because they misunderstood the sheer scale of the project, or that they are coming across myriad technical hurdles – from application reinstallation to gotchas around device drivers – which they never encountered before, it means they cannot confidently predict when they will finish the project or how much it will cost them. Ultimately the challenge of such a project is that few IT teams will have ever experienced such a complex migration.”
Migration success can be achieved by following a high level of automation and optimisation for the software delivery process. This means a Windows 7 or 8 migration project can be considered as business as usual while underway, as it will not impact the business. According to a report[ii] written by David K. Johnson of Forrester Research, Inc., “Touchless,” automated OS deployments and upgrades require third-party tools. A key strategy for many firms trying to gain efficiencies in their PC management processes is to fully automate the provisioning and recovery of a wide range of hardware and PC personalities, with a minimum of maintenance and manual labor. Combined with automated, self-service Windows XP to Windows 7 migrations, this level of automation is seen as a holy grail of sorts by the industry.”
With the right preparation, companies can approach an OS migration project with confidence: from rationalizing and mapping applications, to optimizing content distribution and – most crucially – empowering users to reinstall applications and initiate their own deployments. This business-driven migration attitude ensures that projects are carried out at a time that is most convenient for the business, in the most automated and efficient manner.
The traditional approach is to build a desk side visit into every upgrade. Many of the mainstream Systems Integrators will employ some automation on the repetitive tasks, but again still plan to visit every desktop.,” concluded Karayi. “Our philosophy is to focus on fully automating the process across as many machines as possible rather than partially automating the process for every machine. This might sound like a trivial difference, but it leads to 80 to 90% reduction in desk side visits. This is critical because coordinating desk side visits is a massive logistical challenge that slows everything down. In fact using this totally automated approach means organisations can deploy literally thousands of machines per day – completely hands free. This is the only way to get migrated within the available time.”
For further information on how 1E can help with Accelerated Windows 7 migrations, including whitepapers and solutions sheets, please visit: https://www.1e.com
[i] 1E research with Vanson Bourne of 250 senior IT decision makers in private sector organisations with 250+ employees, in the UK, USA, and France (December 2012)
[ii] “Product Spotlight: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012” by David K. Johnson, Forrester Research, Inc., January 7, 2013