Over the past decade, IT has become a major factor in how organisations are run. Though many organisations in Kenya have adopted it in their daily operations, there seems to be a gap, a huge one at that, between the level of IT in Kenya, and that of the bigger percentage of the rest of the world.
There has been a massive influx of computer use everywhere in the country, but a keen look at the practices applied in such IT use and the term ‘best-practice’ doesn’t even remotely dare to pop in mind. Believe me, i have experienced a good number of organisations, and frankly speaking, the kind of IT operations in play in most of these can only be termed as ‘legacy technology’ at best.
I understand that most organisations and even individuals see it as an unnecessary hustle to make the move to Windows 7, claiming XP serves them well enough, but i think its time we all embraced change and moved on. Technology is dynamic, not static, and if one chooses to remain glued to one bit of the evolution process, they risk placing themselves at a great disadvantage.
Why, you may ask, do I say this?
This is why…
To begin with, on Aug 14, 2014, all support for Windows XP ends. This means that, on top of absolutely no updates nor new service packs for the operating system, you won’t even be able to get security patches, and your computer will be open to newly-evolved threats with no way to protect you.
Secondly, most software developers today, are creating software compatible with windows 7 and above operating systems, and this even includes Microsoft itself,as seen with their DirectX and .NET Framework compatibility. Windows XP can only handle DirectX 9.0, which simply means that any multimedia operations that require a higher version, which is basically most if them today, cannot run on your XP computer. The .NET framework on the other hand, which is a library that provides programming language interoperability, provides another headache, since for many new programs, .NET 4.0 is required, and though, this is compatible to Win XP Service pack 3, the support for this service pack, as indicated above runs out in August 2014, which is probably indicative of a move to the newer version 4.5. This means that a good number of desktop applications will not even install, let alone work efficiently on your good old Win XP machine.
Win XP also greatly hampers 64-bit computing, and though not everyone has caught the 64-bit bug, it will soon catch up with most of us when 32-bit processing speeds, especially in XP are unable to prove their mettle.
Yes it may be expensive and time consuming to make the big move forward, but it is an inevitable fact that a move is imminent, and the sooner the better. It will be easier for your organisation to make the move and gradually get used to the new environment. It will also be cheaper to move and gradually integrate all your operations than it will be to make a sudden move after the inevitable demise of the legacy technology you are accustomed to, if you consider hardware and software upgrades, staff reluctance to change and the subsequent training time required, which will eat into the organisations productive time.
Change, hard as it may be, is inevitable, and the sooner most organisations, especially in the third world countries reconcile themselves to the fact that the rest of the world is moving and they also need do move, the better for them.