Tuesday, 25 March 2014

BYOD and the Windows XP warnings

There are only days left until Microsoft withdraws support for its Windows XP operating system (8 April), and although it’s spent more than a year warning everyone to move to Windows 7 or 8, there are still predictions of a lot of people and businesses being caught out.
I’ve recently watched an FT Connected Business video of a couple of Gartner analysts warning that something like 10-15% are going to have a nasty shock over the next few months, and that anyone who hasn’t begun a migration ought to get onto it now.
I’m not arguing with them, and I should think most of us have experience of working somewhere IT upgrades have been put off as long as possible. The cost, the disruption, and the feeling that the odds are well against a meltdown prompt board members to decide it can wait until next year, or even the year after. It’s not a sound approach, but it’s what happens in some organisations.
But it has got me thinking about how organisations that are big on ‘bring your own device’ will be affected. It’s most likely that those that have gone for it have a sufficiently rigorous approach to IT to have planned for the end of Windows XP; but there must be companies with a more slapdash approach that allow employees to use their own devices for work without paying much attention.
Anyone who is working on their own devices is not going to be reliant on Windows XP - they’re going to be on iOS, Windows 8 or Android – and they would have set up their machines to connect to their employer’s networks and systems. I can imagine that if the office IT hits the XP rocks, then the captains will be begging those on BYOD to do what they can to keep the ship afloat.
I don't see this as a widespread scenario, and I'm not suggesting that BYOD is an alternative to upgrading from Windows XP, but it could be the substance of a few anecdotes for IT managers over the next year or two. And a few people who work on their own devices might find themselves more highly valued by their employers.
More about Mark Say at www.marksay.co.uk

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