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Microsoft's Impact On Business Continuity

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-11-03

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SupportSoft revealed further results of a national survey conducted among IT management in which 50% of those surveyed said that they expected the migration to SP2, Microsoft's recent, major upgrade to Windows XP, to have a negative impact on business continuity at their company.

73% of the IT managers surveyed said that their biggest concern about migrating to SP2 was compatibility with other applications. Furthermore, 33% of those surveyed are employed at companies which currently run more than 100 applications, suggesting why application compatibility is top-of-mind.

Despite concerns, 79% of IT managers surveyed plan on deploying SP2 within the next 6 months. 49% of IT managers thought that better protection against viruses and worms will be the biggest benefit they will receive from migration to SP2, and an additional 37% felt that their company would benefit from the significantly increased security that SP2 can bring.

In a recent report from IT analyst firm Meta Group, analyst Steve Kleynhans confirms these findings, "Most organizations are likely to find some applications that will operate differently or in some cases fail outright," said Kleynhans. "Help desk personnel must be trained to deal with the potential issues users will encounter. However, the benefits of the update outweigh these problems and provide a good foundation for securing corporate desktops, though we caution that organizations must still look to third-party products to complete their endpoint security."

The survey was conducted for SupportSoft by InsightExpress, an independent research firm, which surveyed 117 IT managers at companies of 500 or more employees. All those surveyed had significant influence over the IT decision making process at their company, and plan on deploying SP2. The survey results indicate a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

"Because the effects of SP2 are far-reaching, it can expose the many gaps between end-users, the help desk and IT desktop management. If these groups don't coordinate with one another, companies may compound technical issues that arise during migration," said Chris Grejtak, senior vice president of products and marketing at SupportSoft. "SupportSoft's vision for the 'X-Celerated Enterprise" provides a closed loop approach to SP2 migration, helping companies to bridge the gap in communications between these groups to avoid unnecessary breaks in business continuity and to optimize end-user productivity."

SupportSoft's new software offerings, including the Endpoint Automation Suite, Self-Service Suite and Intelligent Assistance Suite, can help companies throughout the entire SP2 migration process, including pre-migration readiness, update deployment and employee communications, plus post-rollout support and monitoring:

Pre-migration readiness: SupportSoft's endpoint automation solutions can be used to conduct a more thorough inventory of all enterprise software and hardware assets. This information can be used to test for known incompatibilities, prioritize test routines, and prepare endpoints with necessary patches to avoid compatibility conflicts with SP2 and unnecessary downtime.

Update deployment and communications: SupportSoft's service automation solutions can be used to communicate in real time with end-users through firewalls, and without using e-mail. Using a knowledge-enabled Web self-service portal enabled by SupportSoft software, end-users can get personalized, up-to-date information on the status of the SP2 upgrade and where to turn for help if compatibility issues arise.

Post-rollout support and monitoring: After deployment, end-users can go to a Web self-service portal to access links to personalized FAQs and even download automated "one-click-fixes" built using SupportSoft patented technology, to resolve their issues and avoid flood calls into the help desk. Routine checks using SupportSoft's endpoint automation software can be used to ensure that computing systems continue to be configured correctly. IT desktop management can even distribute mass changes across multiple endpoints at one time if new issues arise.

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