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Thought Leadership

Use your existing SAM investments to help diffuse the XP time-bomb

By Patrik Burvall | March 14, 2014

We’ve all known for some time that Microsoft was finally ending support for Microsoft XP this April. 

But research suggests that many organizations are behind schedule in retiring XP machines or upgrading them to a supported Operating System. Part of the reason for this is that many organizations don’t know how to identify which devices on the network are affected. But contrary to what some might have you believe, you don’t need specialist software to achieve this visibility. 

There’s a good chance you already have something in place that can help. A good quality software inventory solution can make it easy to pinpoint the devices on the network still running the XP Operating System. Using this information, together with details about the hardware specification of each device (again, a good inventory solution should provide this), you can make educated decisions about whether to replace or upgrade the device.

An inventory solution that can accurately identify the service pack installed on the device (beware, not all can!) is even better, as it can help you prioritize on which machines to address first. 

Anything not running XP service pack 3 or later should be urgently replaced as it could present a significant security threat to the network! Solutions like the Snow SAM platform go a step further and can actually help project manage the XP replacement program. 

For example, the system can be configured to email reports on a daily basis to stakeholders, confirming which machines have been upgraded/refreshed and which are still outstanding.

Further, the new ability to read information from Active Directory launched in Snow License Manager 7 helps organizations ensure that they are capturing information on ALL devices across the network, not just the ones with an inventory agent already deployed to them. If your organization still has devices running XP, you are running out of time. 

Failure to replace the old unsupported Operating System will certainly increase your vulnerability to malware and security breaches.  But rather than panic, first check what technologies you already have available to you. If your organization has already invested wisely in ITAM and SAM, you should have the tools you need to get the job done! 

If not, come talk to us, we’ll show you how effective inventory and software management can help make your life a whole lot easier. Tick tock.

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