A couple of weeks ago, IDG published a white paper (commissioned by Microsoft) called Migrating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea.
It’s fair to say Microsoft’s got its stick out. The report gives you a pretty long (and compelling) list of reasons why clinging on to XP beyond the April 2014 support cut off date will be painful. Every year you’ll:
- Count eight hours of extra downtime per user
- Spend five times more on support for XP than Windows 7
- Suffer productivity hits by keeping users on ageing hardware
- Fail to benefit from new PC features XP can’t handle
- Come under a growing number of security threats
Looking around the media reports, and the ground swell of comments, you’ll find a mix of people who agree, and a good number who take a “they would say that wouldn’t they” view.
But one particular standpoint truly stood out for us. Read it. See what you think.
“Microsoft has to create urgency through FUD like lost efficiency and wasted money by staying on XP…For the most part, the organisations still on XP…are staying put because they have no choice due to the complicated set of applications they run.”
The comment captures two points that we’d like to explore. Let’s start with the FUD.
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
If you’re still running XP (with no plans to migrate) then it’s time to sweat. You might as well take that big red flag you keep for emergencies and hoist it on the HQ roof today. You’ve got problems. Maybe not now, but they are in the post.
But it’s not the OS you need to worry about. That’s just a means to an end. Progressive businesses ask a more fundamental question: can we meet the strategic business challenges ahead?
These challenges are bigger than XP. They’re about competing for business and talent in an age punctuated by consumerisation, mobility and cloud. It’s time to create a technology infrastructure that allows users to flourish while cutting back on huge costs sucking your organisation dry.
The point, you see, is that upgrading Windows helps you adapt. It’s not the cost of migration (or not migrating) that should worry you; it’s the cost of being unprepared for an employer and workforce that will demand true flexibility and agility.
True Windows 7 pioneers understand this. It’s the business that’s migrating. And it’s their job to make sure the technology keeps up.
The second part of the comment adds more richness to the debate. Some businesses are worried that migration will actually set back their ability to support the organisation.
Apps are employee productivity engines. Organisations rely on them but, if they’re honest, don’t know much about them.
We coined the phrase Application Chaos because it sums up almost every portfolio we’ve seen. Most application portfolios are bloated and badly optimised and cling on to Windows XP for life. Pull too hard and you might just unravel the string that’s holding them together.
But you’re going to have to do it sometime. And the Windows 7 trigger is a great time to get stuck in.
As with the XP argument there’s a financial stick to wave around as you spend too much on apps you don’t need.
But your apps – even more than your operating system – need to follow your users in their drive for productive freedom. Holding them back will hamper your business.
Focus, Unlock and Drive
A best way to approach a migration is to focus on your apps. You need to unlock their potential by ending the chaos and drive the business into a place where users can realise the productivity and cost benefits of consumerisation, mobility and cloud.
One thing’s for sure: you won’t get that from a bloated application portfolio that continues to be tied to unsupported and unsustainable XP.
Want to know more about how to focus, unlock and drive your applications to real business agility? Download our Application Agility ebook today.