Understanding the Business Impact of Windows XP Migration Plans
For the last several months, we’ve been talking about the importance of migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7. Much of the discussion has focused on the two year countdown for end of support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, however, we have also pointed out that Windows XP is over a decade old – two generations behind Microsoft’s current product technology and will soon be three generations behind. These two aspects are valid points for demonstrating the risks for customers who stay on Windows XP, and we recommend customers also take a look at the compelling business incentives to develop and implement a migration strategy to Windows 7.
This week, we sponsored a whitepaper issued by analyst firm IDC that analyzes the risks, user productivity costs and IT labor costs associated with businesses running Windows XP versus Windows 7. The study interviewed nine large organizations that have deployed both Windows XP and Windows 7, and used the content of those interviews to quantify both the IT and end user costs of not migrating to Windows 7. The “productivity costs” were measured for end users on metrics of lost time due to virus or malware attacks, reimaging, rebooting, downtime, and help desk requests/needs. Cost components for IT included upgrading PCs, security-related activities, deploying apps, patch management, help desk service, and several other metrics. IDC’s conclusion: “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are waiting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”
Many of the companies still running Windows XP contend that it’s a solution that still “works” in their environment. “Works” however, could mean these customers are missing out on the benefits of a more modern operating system including dramatic savings, higher user productivity and a more valued IT department.
Staying on Windows XP is an expensive investment when Windows 7 provides dramatic savings.
IDC found that the base IT and end user labor costs of continuing to support Windows XP is now approximately five times as much as the cost of running Windows 7. That’s a significant amount of money IT shops could put towards modernizing their departments and adding value to the businesses.
In addition, IDC found the longer you wait, the pricier supporting Windows XP gets: IT labor costs go up 25 percent in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline, and user productivity suffers as well, with an increased cost of 23 percent. In the fifth year, IT labor increases by an additional 29 percent, and user productivity costs jump up a staggering 40 percent.
A modern workspace means more productive users and a more valued IT department.
Organizations realized amazing productivity gains over the status quo when they first implemented Windows XP, but technology has advanced and Windows 7 can support much more, including integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, faster and better performing hardware and new improved UI. Additionally, IDC found that the single largest component in loss of productivity in downtime-related activities is the help desk operation, accounting for more than half of downtime-related time support. Not far behind is resolving downtime issues, which account f