Small Businesses Hit With $3 Billion In New Outlays By XP Support Removal

February 12, 2014   //   News

More than $3 billion dollars will be sucked out of small and medium sized businesses (SMB) as a result of Microsoft’s decision to end support for XP-based systems.

This decision will leave companies who do not migrate to other systems to be more vulnerable to hackers and other ills.

For most small businesses the motto is usually: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

But in the case of the XP end-of-life (EOL) means companies will need to invest either in new software and/or upgraded equipment.

These major changes will occur on March 31, 2014 are on top of a long recessionary period are not good news for SMBs.

While Microsoft officials may argue the potential investment needed will be offset by productivity gains, the impact on many small businesses is significant.

The estimates on the outlay costs come from Dr. Kenneth E. Lehrer, nationally known economist. He based his analysis on the estimated 4.3 million small businesses currently running XP as their work stations. Assuming an average outlay of $600 for software and/or new equipment for each current computer station, this generated an estimated $3 billion in additional costs.

The impact will be particularly hard on the smallest enterprises.

A recent survey of 1,034 small businesses under 50 employees by this newsletter’s parent, Information Strategies, indicated 78% ran their operations on XP platforms.

Of those queried, only 57% were highly aware of the impending loss of support from Microsoft.

Microsoft has set up a site to help XP users transition.

SWC Technology Partners‘ Deployment Expert Jeremy Alt says “additional efforts will be needed to protect sensitive company data on XP machines. Unfortunately, there are not many options for keeping XP in the environment without introducing significant risk. Organizations should develop their migration plan, which can be as informal as swapping PCs one by one or developing a strategic plan with automation and consistency.”

Regardless of the path chosen, SMB face challenges brought on by Microsoft’s decision. (continue with full article)

This article, “Small Businesses Hit With $3 Billion In New Outlays By XP Support Removal,” originally appeared online at Managing Small Business.