Public sector organisations risk missing second Windows XP deadline, says 1E

Dec 09, 2014 |

New research suggests public sector organisations will not be able to migrate before the Windows Extended Support ends in April 2015, with serious cost implications

London, UK, August 28 2014: New data from 1E suggests that many public sector organisations will fail to migrate away from Windows XP before the end of the first year of Microsoft Extended Support in April 2015. Any public sector organisation failing to migrate by this time may be forced to take a second year of support at a significantly higher cost.

The survey of IT decision makers, commissioned by 1E, shows that fewer public sector organisations have completed a Windows migration than in any other sector: 56% compared to 61% in financial services and 65% in other commercial sectors. The public sector is also the only sector where any IT decision makers registered they simply ‘don’t have a migration plan’ at all.

According to the 1E research, Windows migration within the public sector takes seven months on average to complete, compared to five months or less in the private sector. This means public sector organisations such as NHS Trusts now only have a matter of weeks to start their migration to meet the April 2015 deadline, unless they can radically reduce the time it takes to migrate.

Earlier this year it was widely reported that UK public sector bodies failed to meet the original April 2014 deadline for XP migration. Several chose to extend their support contract with Microsoft rather than expose potentially sensitive public data to the risk of exploitation, including the NHS, which in April took out an Extended Support contract for an eye-watering £5.5M in order to secure its patient records.

Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, comments: “There can be no doubt that public sector organisations are lagging in their approach to Windows migration. Some are still due to start their XP migration but our research also reveals a reliance on manual migration methods, which only serves to compound the challenges they face in meeting the April 2015 deadline.

“At this stage, any public sector organisation that has not set the ball rolling must consider their plans as a matter of urgency and make sure they have the right timescales to act. Many are already paying handsomely for the first year of Extended Support and cannot afford to miss a second deadline. Highly automated migration methods offer a fast and effective route to migration and we have seen as many as 80,000 PCs migrated per month using our Zero-Touch approach.”

1E offers five principle tips to anyone looking to undertake a late-stage migration:

  • Study the ‘sticking points’ encountered by those who migrated before you, Learn from their mistakes
  • Audit and rationalise applications before beginning, not halfway through
  • Fix infrastructure issues up-front. They’ll be more expensive to fix mid-process
  • Plan for risks, disruption, and user-down-time, and get user buy-in to the process
  • Automate as much as possible, (both in application auditing and OS deployment)

1E invites anyone interested in learning more about Zero-Touch Windows Migration to download its latest whitepaper: “The automated migration: an analysis of options”.

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