IT Departments Delay Implementing an XP Replacement

Computer Hard DriveThe days of Windows XP may be dwindling, but information technology professionals around the world do not seem to be ready to let go of this prominent operating system just yet. However, even if chief information officers wanted to hang on to this program, they could not afford to do so, as the consequences of running their businesses via an unsupported platform would be unwise and may prompt a wealth of undesirable consequences.

Microsoft looks ahead and leaves XP behind
Many of the most seasoned IT experts are aware that solutions – no matter how revolutionary they may be at the moment of their release – are bound to be trumped by new tools after some time. Microsoft XP had a good run, and a number of different users, ranging from individual consumers to financial corporations, adopted this operating system and embraced it wholeheartedly. After 12 years since this program’s inception, Microsoft has decided to start a new chapter of innovation, informing users that come April 8 of this year, the tech giant will be abandoning this product so that it can dedicate its resources to game-changing ventures it has in the works.

Although this has been a hard decision for the IT giant to make, it has come to the conclusion that, to deliver the most cutting-edge tech products possible, it needs to move on from XP and invest in developing other solutions. To realize this objective, Microsoft has opted to leave this old operating system in the dust, cutting this solution off from support so that the company can reallocate its resources, and users can switch to progressive programs that will take their experiences to the next level.

According to Microsoft, “technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)”

Companies continue to drag their feet
This news should not come as a surprise to IT professionals, as Microsoft has given fair warning of this impending deadline. In spite of such an advanced notice, though, a substantial portion of people are still using XP, refusing to make a switch in terms of operating systems because they have grown accustomed to this solution. It will certainly be somewhat of an inconvenience for tech departments to adopt a new operating system – reconfiguring their XP-centered processes, learning how to navigate unknown tools and working out all the kinks so they can find a way to leverage these solutions for the best of their businesses. At the same time, the issues that may result from CIOs failing to wean their companies off this operating system could prove detrimental.

In general, security is one of IT professionals’ top concerns when it comes to the solutions their organizations are employing. This worry should be even worse for companies clinging on to XP because without any updates that can throw hackers for a loop, cyberthieves are more apt to find ways to infiltrate businesses’ networks. This possibility should be especially disconcerting for certain users, such as government agencies and banks who rely on this operating system to handle some of their most confidential information imaginable.

InformationWeek explained that to mitigate potential problems that companies still depending on XP may encounter, a number of IT professionals are taking matters into their own hands, implementing some proactive tactics to minimize damage that could be done. For instance, a share of CIOs have reportedly disconnected their operating systems from public domain. This way, certain tech departments hope to continue using this operating system internally, while still eliminating the possibility of cyberattacks by cutting ties with the Internet.

Even though this strategy is likely to keep hackers at bay, CIOs should realize that taking such an approach would only be prolonging the inevitable. The truth of the matter is that XP has been deemed irrelevant, and probably with good reason. Rather than trying to hold on to yesterday’s technology, IT professionals should jump on the opportunity to take on a more innovative operating system.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for CIOs.com. She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.