COMMENT: Are you running out of time? Top 5 tips for Windows XP migration


Chris Hykin of Stone Group reveals his top tips for healthcare organisations planning to migrate to a more modern Windows platform

With less than a year until Microsoft removes its support of Windows XP, it is essential that healthcare organisations affected act now and realise the benefits offered by upgrading to another platform. In this article, CHRIS HYKIN, solutions delivery manager at Stone Group, identifies the top five tips for migration

According to a report by analysts IDC in June 2012, not only will migrating to a more modern Windows platform help organisations to minimise the risk from any security breaches, they will also save money.

For example, it is forecast that the additional cost of running XP over Windows 7 is an incremental of £460 per PC per year for IT and end user labour costs. It is also an opportunity to embrace new learning models supported by the technology and devices that complement the new operating system (OS).

Recognising the benefits of migrating to a more modern OS is one thing, but actually migrating is a different matter altogether.

As with any IT change project, there are common threads to follow which will help avoid the most common pitfalls. Here are my top tips:

  • Understand what you have Will the PCs you currently have run on a new OS such as Windows 8? Some older PCs in your estate will need replacing as they won’t meet the minimum technical specs required to run the new OS
  • Testing, testing… Depending on the applications you uncover, there will be varying degrees of testing required before full rollout. This will allow you to isolate any compatibility problems. Consider using a virtual machine to save on space, time and money
  • Fix any software compatibility issues Any applications which have software compatibility issues should be resolved wherever possible. Once you believe they’ve been resolved, test it just to make sure
  • Establish a pilot group It’s important to trial the new OS across a variety of users, using individuals from each role within your organisation as this will build a credible and validated list of managed applications
  • Importance of training No matter how much more intuitive Windows 8 may be over the legacy Windows XP, it is still important to plan training effectively for ensuring all users can use the new technology efficiently

In summary, if these steps are followed then organisations should be in a good position to ensure a seamless migration.

It should be remembered that if individuals are facing any difficulties then experience is everything. Consider bringing in a Microsoft partner to help with your project – this will likely reduce time to migration by up to 80%.