By Daniel Hunter

A leading IT firm has alerted that underestimating the process of upgrading their operating systems to Windows 7/8 could land companies in a compromised position when Microsoft ends support for Windows XP.

This crucial process of migration calls for a complete metamorphosis, and entails more than just software changes. ITC Infotech is therefore urging organisations to address without any delay, the conflicts that may arise from the switch to a new operating system.

ITC Infotech, which specialises in upgrading businesses to newer operating systems, says that many firms, particularly SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises), currently don’t have a mature enough IT estate to roll out Windows 7/8. The company cautions that those who don’t begin the migration period now could overshoot the April 8 deadline next year and end up with machines that can suddenly become a huge cost centre instead of being assets for the company

Businesses are in a race against time to upgrade their operating systems to Windows 7/8, with Microsoft announcing that it is ending its support for Windows XP in under a year’s time. However according to ITC Infotech, as many companies may have to upgrade their hardware first, the support and transition period should be adequate to help staff to acclimatise to their new IT environment.

“The move from Windows XP to Windows 7/8 represents a complete paradigm shift that businesses must be prepared for. The move is more of a transformation than migration because the look and feel of the Graphical User Interface, the operating system behaviour and the architecture of Windows 7/8 are completely different," Hardeep Singh Garewal, President — European Operations, ITC Infotech, said.

"The shift, therefore, calls for two critical elements to be addressed. Evaluating the hardware adequacy of the Computing platforms, and more importantly, assessing the compatibility of applications and remediating any conflicts. We have seen many production estates still sitting on platforms that are older than 5 years. A prerequisite would be to have all hardware platforms Windows 7/8 ready, and the rationalised set of applications, fully remediated and tested in a Windows 7/8 production environment.

“Transformation to Windows 7/8 shouldn’t be looked at in terms of ROI only; it should be prioritised as a necessity. A series of basic enablers need to be put in place such as the application landscape, hardware landscape and a comprehensive project plan for deployment," Hardeep added.

"These can all be handled by the same provider but shouldn’t be delayed until next year. Once the deadline date is surpassed, it will cost up to three times as much to continue to receive support for XP, and then after a short period, that too will be cut off altogether. It’s therefore imperative that the transformation begins now.

"Smarter companies have also used this transformation journey as a process to inventory all applications in the IT estate, and retire redundant/ not in use applications, thereby unlocking significant savings through better management and consolidated visibility."

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