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Is Changing Technology Costing Your Company Too Much?Is Changing Technology Costing Your Company Too Much?

Remember the Y2K bug? You know the one, the pre-millennial tech glitch that was going to see computers shut down, the lights go out, hospitals without power and planes fall out of the sky? It seemed a big deal at the time (and it was), yet when the fireworks went off and the clock struck midnight on the dawn of 2000, everything carried on as normal.


That was an IT scare story that takes a beating. However, technological changes are happening all the time. Sometimes these changes can have a negative impact on the efficiency and finances of your business if you aren’t keeping up with the pace. And while these changes may lack the drama of Y2K, they will cost your business money if you don’t do something about it.

This takes us onto the recently announced demise of Windows XP.

We are often talking about change. Not everyone is comfortable with it, but change is constant and inevitable.

Microsoft announced that they are going to stop providing support for Windows XP in April 2014 except for updates to Microsoft's anti-malware products running on XP, which will be available until July 2015. On the one hand, Microsoft is filling its pockets with money from those customers who upgrade their computers to Windows 8 or 7 but on the other hand there are many companies which may choose to migrate to alternatives platforms. This includes Macs, iPads, Chromebooks, Android tablets and smartphones. It doesn’t look like a win-win situation in this case, does it? 

What about the cost? It is a pretty expensive exercise to carry out any major systems migration. It can also take longer than one might think. The good news is people may have an extra year to prepare for this change. The advice from those that know this use this time well. One such organisation having to rise to the challenge in the UK is the National Health Service (NHS). They have over a million (yes 1 million +) PCs and laptops running Windows XP in England alone. How are they preparing for this unexpected (or maybe expected) move? Well, Microsoft is more than happy to help the NHS, in return of course for them incurring some additional costs. In brief: fees offered for a special protection for Windows XP start at £120 per desktop for the first year, £240 for the second and £480 for the third year. Data security for an organisation like the NHS is sacrosanct. The value to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries alone (even with the protection of legislation in place to only permit data to be sold on if it is to the benefit of the NHS) makes the on-going security of data held in any system as robust as the operating systems in use can provide. Using exposed and outdated versions of Windows is really not an option.

Then there is the disruption to end users. Really Simple Systems, our CRM partner expressed a viewpoint which I am sure will resonate with many other Windows users “Here at Really Simple Systems those developers that moved to Windows 7 last year are still cursing an operating system that seems designed to stop you working, and the one person who bought a laptop with Windows 8 spent a week reconfiguring it to look like Windows 7. Even worse, Windows 2012 Server now has a Metro style interface, a truly pointless irritation – servers don’t have touch screens!”

It obviously takes time for people to adjust, and adjust they must. The technology is moving forward. It always has, and it always will. Standing in the way of progress is foolhardy for any single individual or organisation. However,  organisations do have a choice and maybe some will choose to not stick religiously to Microsoft technologies for evermore (remember when the only real choice was IBM?).

Whatever the driving forces behind the change, we all will  just have to learn to adapt and move on.

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