When Windows XP and Office 2003 reached the end of their 10 Year Support Lifecycle policy in April 2014, all security and online content updates came to an end. Now organisations are faced with the decision of whether to take the leap and upgrade.

 

Despite this, an estimated 27 percent of PCs around the world still use the outdated operating system, leaving users open to viruses, spyware and other malicious software that can compromise sensitive information and personal data.

However, some organisations face considerable challenges when forced into weighing up the cost of upgrading their operating system or continuing to run a platform that is no longer officially supported.

Training hundreds of employees to use new software can be an expensive and time-consuming exercise. Migrating to Windows 7 Professional does not require significant change, but Windows 8 Pro, which was released in October 2012, is vastly different from its predecessors.

“It’s not just about updating your operating system,” explains Kareem Tawansi, CEO of Solentive Technology Group. “You may need to update both your hardware and software.”

“Some organisations can experience compatibility issues when their legacy application is no longer compatible with the upgraded system,” says the CEO. “For instance, a lot of drivers for Windows XP may not work on Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro.”

“Some organisations can experience compatibility issues when their legacy application is no longer compatible with the upgraded system,” says the CEO. “For instance, a lot of drivers for Windows XP may not work on Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro.”

It is expected that other software providers will do the same.

As with any software migration, upgrading from XP to Windows 7 or 8 involves some risk. Tawansi stresses that when planning to upgrade a system, it is critical to ensure that the current applications used by the organisation are supported by the new system.

He suggests consulting with an IT expert to take inventory of the organisation’s IT components and take the time to have a solid look at what is and isn’t compatible. “I would engage a professional to look at your systems,” says Tawansi.

“It’s not advisable to upgrade a system with legacy applications operating on it unless you are confident that the legacy items will be compatible with the new system.”

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