Legacy IT: Don’t Let It Bring an End to Your Business
As technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed, we have seen new operating systems enter the fold, with each introduction bringing enhanced performance and increased efficiency. This inevitably means that older platforms become outdated and, consequently, the manufacturer ceases to support them.
This is the case with Windows 7, which reached End of Life (EOL) last month. You would expect that IT professionals had long abandoned it in favour of its successor, Windows 10. Well, our Windows 10 survey, carried out last year, suggests otherwise. It highlighted that 59% of IT professionals hadn’t migrated to the new OS while, more alarming, it found that 39% were unlikely to complete the migration process before the January deadline.
As we work our way through February, it’s worrying that many organisations still rely on legacy IT – and Windows 7 in particular. These outdated systems risk causing significant IT failures, jeopardising the network and making it vulnerable to security threats and, ultimately, hindering productivity. For these reasons, I strongly urge these companies to upgrade and migrate to Windows 10.
Failing to Upgrade Is a Dangerous Decision
News about IT outages caused by archaic technology has been grabbing the headlines. Last year saw high-profile companies such as British Airways, Facebook and Twitter, fall prey to this. Headlines even revealed that it takes up to 17 minutes for NHS GPs to log on to their computers, with many NHS computers still running on Windows 7.
It goes without saying that organisations can’t afford to suffer from downtime as this can severely affect how they serve their customers, which can have a knock-on effect that causes reputational and financial damage. The repercussions of legacy technology aren’t limited to IT failures and downtime. The very nature of legacy software and devices can make it exponentially difficult to respond and recuperate in the face of a disaster, as it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint the root cause of the issue, therefore delaying recovery.
Legacy technology can also make organisations more vulnerable to cyberattacks as manufacturers no longer provide patches for systems that have reached EOL. Aside from the crippling damage that this can inflict on a company’s credibility, organisations can find themselves subject to substantial GDPR fines for exposing personal customer data.
Mitigate the Migration Process
Taking all of this into account, it’s astonishing that many businesses are still reluctant to migrate to supported systems. Perhaps this hesitance is fuelled by the fear that it may disrupt employee productivity, therefore causing more trouble than it’s worth? It’s fair to say that a security breach or system failure caused by outdated technology is infinitely more inconvenient.
As companies try to navigate the migration minefield, automation can offer a helping hand. Such a solution can streamline the process, enabling businesses to free-up time and resources which would otherwise be allocated to the system upgrade. Once migrated, a company can enjoy the benefits of their upgraded IT assets, such as: enhanced protection, increased speed and improved productivity.
In today’s digital-first society, IT failures and security breaches are at the forefront of many of our minds. To minimise the chance of encountering such an issue, businesses must make migrating from legacy technology, such as Windows 7, a priority.