Windows XP

Some 94% of UK organisations have still not migrated all of their devices from Windows XP, despite the fact that Microsoft will stop offering support for the operating system on April 8, 2014 - posing potential security risks.

According to the research from VMWare and Dell, only 34% of IT decision makers planning to migrate remaining Windows XP devices before the April, said they were “extremely confident” that they would be fully migrated before the deadline.

And 36% admitted they are “not even close to having the migration complete,” and a fifth are only part way through – with completion expected after Microsoft support ends.

Of those respondents who are planning a migration, or are already in the process, 79% said they will migrate their devices to Windows 7. Only 35% said they plan to migrate to Windows 8.

After April 8 Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, technical updates or bug fixes for Windows XP. Desktops and laptops running on the operating system therefore may be vulnerable to security threats, including hackers and viruses.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 250 IT decision makers across private and public sector organisations in the UK.

According to the study organisations still have an average of 24 business-critical applications which only run on Windows XP. These systems include those forming the foundation of the business, with finance (58%), ERP (39%) and CRM (26%) applications affected.

“The most notable thing about this research isn’t just how few companies have fully migrated from Windows XP to date, but how many business-critical applications there are still in operation that will only run on XP,” said David Parry-Jones, UK and Ireland regional director at VMware.

“These business-critical applications related to finance, sales or customer relationship management can affect the bottom line, potentially disrupt operations and damage the reputation of organisations.”