New Year, New Operating System

As time goes by and technology evolves, new operating systems are created in order to allow businesses and individuals to do more and ensure performance is faster and more efficient.

Windows 7 has reached its end of life, so IT professionals should have long abandoned it and adopted its successor, Windows 10 – right? We’re not so sure. Our survey carried out last October revealed that 59% of IT workers were yet to migrate from Windows 7 to the new OS, and that 39% wouldn’t complete the migration process in time for the January deadline.

The fact that many organizations still rely on legacy IT is a real concern – outdated systems risk causing significant IT failures, exposing the network to security threats and, crucially, they prevent businesses from reaching optimal levels of efficiency. Demonstrating its large-scale impact, McKinsey recently reported and analyzed the UK’s discouraging drop in enterprise productivity – what with Brexit anxiety causing a crippling decline in company technology investments, and ageing IT infrastructure holding business back from progress and digitalization.

It’s time for companies to upgrade their digital assets and migrate to Windows’ latest operating system.

Breaches and outages galore

Over the past few years, the news agenda has been rife with IT outages and major organizations exposed as users of outdated technology. From British Airways, to Facebook and Twitter, IT crises certainly didn’t spare big industry names in 2019.

For example, it was recently revealed that it can take up to 17 minutes for NHS GPs to switch on their computers. Interestingly, it also transpired that many NHS computers still run on Windows 7 – it’s not difficult to see the connection.

Of course, long-established organizations can frequently be found to rely on older operating systems because these systems are deep rooted, but it’s precisely this attitude towards technology which can often increase the likelihood of IT failures.

In today’s always-on world, business cannot afford to disrupt operations and risk letting customers down, the result would be lost business, reputational repercussions and financial damage.

Legacy tech doesn’t only cause IT failures, it makes it extremely difficult to respond and recover from one as identifying the root cause and swiftly deploying fixes is near to impossible with clunky, outdated tools.

Finally, a dependency on legacy technology often opens the doors to cyber-attacks, as systems which have evolved past their end of life are no longer protected by patches. It’s not just about the damage this would cause to the company’s credibility: in the age of GDPR, businesses can be fined hefty sums for exposing personal customer information.

The migration minefield

It seems absurd that, considering the potentially devastating backlash, many organizations are reluctant to abandon legacy IT and upgrade to systems that run reliably and keep their networks safe. The truth is migrating to a new operating system can be a pain – businesses are often worried that updates could break apps, disrupt employee productivity and, ultimately, cause more trouble than they’re worth.

Naturally, they couldn’t be more wrong as the security breaches and system failures caused by antiquated technology would be far more inconvenient.

Turning to automation can make migrating to a new OS significantly less painful. By allowing an automated solution to take care of the migration process, businesses can save time and resources which would otherwise be tied in the system upgrade, and ensure they receive the appropriate application support. This will not only minimize the monetary and practical cost of the procedure but will empower companies to reap the benefits of their upgraded IT assets – enhanced protection, increased speed and improved productivity – much more quickly.

Ultimately, automation saves the business money, time, and improves the agility and effectiveness of IT process – research shows that 66% of automation processes are “very” or “extremely” successful. 

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, businesses and individuals grow ever-more dependent on technology. Legacy technology, as catalyst for IT failures and security breaches, represents a huge threat to this balance. Therefore, organizations should religiously respect operating system end of life timelines, in order to protect themselves from such incidents.

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