With Windows XP end of support still fresh in CIO’s minds, Avanade report shows firms planning to beat Windows Server 2003 deadline using the cloud

LONDON, UK – 5 November 2014

Four out of five business still using Windows Server 2003 plan to migrate from the platform before the July 2015 deadline, according to a UK survey from Avanade.

The study commissioned by the business technology and managed services provider found that of the IT professionals surveyed that were still using Server 2003 - 63% of all businesses - 81% will move before support ends for the platform. It will be a move that enables businesses to avoid the last-minute efforts seen by many firms when support ended for Windows XP in April this year with some paying additional costs for extended support as they had left it too late.

Some 40% of businesses still on Windows Server 2003 plan to move from the platform by the end of the year, while 41% will do so before the July 2015 deadline.

However, there is still a contingency of firms that may be putting themselves in jeopardy of missing the migration deadline. The survey found that 8% plan to migrate after the July 2015 deadline, 8% didn’t know what their plans were and 3% had no plans at all.

Of those with migration plans in place, just over three quarters of respondents plan to use the cloud as part of their new platforms. The study found that 41% said they will move some of their estate to the cloud, 29% will move most of their estate to the cloud and 7% will move all of their estate.

The manufacturing industry is the most likely to move to the cloud with 92% of companies in the sector saying that they would move at least some of their estate to the cloud.

Paul Veitch, Cloud and Integration Practice Lead at Avanade UK, said, “It’s important that lessons are learnt from the end of support of Windows XP when some customers left it too late to upgrade before the April deadline. The good news is that it appears CIOs are moving away from ‘big bang’ upgrades where they have to make sizeable last minute changes to their IT estates because of end-of-life warnings. They are now starting to review the updates to both hardware and software with more regularity and make incremental upgrades as part of an ‘evergreen’ philosophy.”

With the largest number of Microsoft certified professionals for Azure and Office 365, Avanade is the most experienced Microsoft Cloud OS partner globally. To that end, Avanade is well positioned in helping companies implement a ‘cloud first’ approach, which includes the use of Azure, Microsoft’s business cloud platform. As part of the move from Windows Server 2003, Avanade can help businesses migrate applications to the cloud to modernise and extend the value of existing assets.

Veitch continued: “Companies that don’t have plans to migrate should begin by assessing their current estate, understanding what the risk exposure is and what assets are still needed. Some things can be retired completely and some can be moved to the cloud. The cloud presents some positive opportunities for IT infrastructures and a growing number of businesses are now seeing that the cloud is trustworthy, secure and practical way to manage their estates. The cloud is a vital part of the move we’re seeing whereby IT is a utility that provides value and also a great deal of control for IT managers.”

The survey was carried out by Vanson Bourne, questioning 100 IT professionals across the UK. The survey was conducted in July 2014.

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