Busting 3 health sector myths about migrating from Windows XP

It’s no secret that too many health organisations are lagging behind the curve when it comes to upgrading their systems from Windows XP to a modern operating system like Windows 8.1. But with Windows XP support ending on April 8, 2014,  making the change has never been more important -- or easier.

Still, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around about the benefits and challenges of migrating to a new operating system. So let’s clear up 3 of the biggest myths that change advocates at health organisations face when making the case for upgrading.

  • It’s too expensive. Public sector organisations are under pressure to cut costs, there’s no doubt. But the truth is that outdated technology is a serious drain on resources. Just think about all the time employees waste each day while waiting for Windows XP machines to boot up – now compare that with Windows 8.1’s ability to boot directly to the desktop. Bringing your technology up to standard creates opportunities to not just do “more with less,” but to do new with less – new and better services that consumer fewer resources. Windows 8.1 is designed specifically to run across devices, so upgrading empowers employees to work smart, with greater efficiency and flexibility. You can’t embrace tomorrow’s work environment with yesterday’s tools.
  • We’ll just have upgrade again in year. New editions of software may be a fact of life – but the upgrade process doesn’t have to difficult. For the first time, Windows 8 separates your applications and user profile data from the operating system, making any future upgrades a breeze. The sooner an organisation embraces today’s tech, the easier it’ll be to pick up tomorrow’s tools as well.
  • XP is good enough. Windows XP was a fantastic operating system in its day, but it was built for a different world. It simply can’t handle today’s programs and worker mobility requirements, let alone today’s security threats. Today’s Web is crawling with hackers, worms and other security risks, many of whom are just waiting for Windows XP support to end. At best, an organization’s firewall will only slow these intruders down. Cyberattackers can damage, destroy or steal confidential information or stop mission-critical systems in their tracks. Any organisation weighing the costs and benefits of an upgrade needs to consider what it would cost them, in time, money and reputation, to recover from a truly devastating attack.

The world is changing. Employees are approaching work in new ways and they need new equipment to do their best work. And quite simply, most of today’s equipment just isn’t compatible with Windows XP. In fact, even if you could get Windows XP to run on a Windows 8 machine, you won’t automatically have the right to downgrade to Windows XP. While the road to a modern system is challenging, there’s little doubt that long-term benefits will make it all worthwhile in the years to come.

What upgrade challenges is your organisation facing? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments (2)

  1. Mark R says:

    None of the above are reasons why NHS organisations (on the whole) won't be moving to Windows 8, the real issue is compatibility with national applications that require earlier versions of IE to run.

  2. Hi Mark — Depending on an organisations' needs, moving to Windows 7 can be a great intermediary step that balances the advantages of continued support with a greater range of app compatibility.

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