The importance of migration - Buy now or pay later

What is the value of migrating from an older OS to a new one? And do the benefits, time and costs outweigh the hassle?

Memories are great. Who hasn't looked back on photos of them during the 70s/80s/90s and smiled? But then been glad you don't sport that hairstyle/clothing today? The past is littered with fond memories, but let's be honest, most of them are best kept there, aren't they?

The same can be said of operating systems. While older operating systems were great in their day, in the modern world they can appear tired and lacking in terms of what we, as users, demand from them now.

Times change and so does technology. While many argue that hardware refreshes should be every three years and software updates fall in line with vendor roadmaps, the reality is actually defined by organisational pace, business needs and, ultimately, budget.

Our previous features have given you a feel for XP's limitations and what Windows 7 has to offer the modern business, so, for those of you still running XP, rather than questioning why, let's offer some practical guidance as to the benefits of moving and how to actually do just that

Let's start with a reality check. The time is never right to rip and replace what you have. But, often, needs must.

"The migration to Windows 7 is one of the most complex, costly and time-consuming projects in recent times certainly since the migration to Windows XP. Many organisations are struggling financially with the timing of this hard date so soon after the global financial crisis," according to AppSense whitepaper Windows XP EoL: The Cost of Not Migrating.'

With so much to consider; IT service, delivery and support, business continuity and productivity, data migration and centralisation, and user experience and quality of service organisations are looking to improve efficiencies, reduce cost and protect user uptime. The problem is that the cost of ignoring this migration could have severe repercussions in the cost of a custom support agreement."

Indeed, while there are custom support options available to those who wish to linger that bit longer with XP, the costs are likely to be quite high.

AppSense believes the following should be taking into consideration when debating whether to stay on XP or to move:

  • The three-year custom support agreement pricing can double year-on-year.
  • The first year of custom support for Windows XP is more equivalent to a product in its third year of custom support.
  • Previous custom support cost caps have been eliminated, so large organisations using the cap as inexpensive insurance against a large number of devices will be subject to much higher costs.
  • There is no cap to the cost limit for custom support of Windows XP, with Gartner seeing customers quoted $5 million for the first year alone.
  • Custom support will not be given without the customer having a plan to migrate off Windows XP, much like the Windows 2000 custom support model.
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