Microsoft begins final two years of support for XP
Microsoft begins final two years of support for XP

Enterprises could be left with vulnerable applications due to system migrations, specifically those that are written to work within the Windows XP operating system.

According to a survey of 200 IT directors and CIOs, 80 per cent are concerned that Windows XP's end date in 2014 will leave them with a large amount of unsupported business critical applications, while 43 per cent have not introduced strategies to migrate any of the legacy Windows XP apps.

With a full migration typically taking 12 – 18 months, the survey said that enterprises could be left with applications that are highly vulnerable from potential security and incompatibility issues.

According to Chris Lowndes, application development director at Avanade UK who commissioned the survey, there are a number of businesses that will be affected by this, specifically as 91 per cent of enterprises are at risk from an "evolving application platform hell".

“In terms of legacy infrastructure such as Windows XP desktops, there are a number of business critical applications at risk today, from those that have operated under the radar of IT, to others seen as too costly to migrate to modern platforms,” he said.

“This problem is made worse by the emergence of multi-device application environments born from bring your own device (BYOD) platforms, which are introducing both similar and entirely new legacy risks. Moreover, unless businesses find a more holistic approach for application development and maintenance, they will continue to suffer from legacy issues for years to come.”

The survey found that 52 per cent of businesses do not have formal plans for how to address this, with the likely legacy problem of Windows XP support it will bring and 80 per cent of respondents said that this will be a concern.

Chris Wysopa, CTO of Veracode, said: "Those numbers do not surprise me. The testing and rework required to move applications to a new platform can be significant. Organisations often do not plan on the maintenance resources required over the lifetime of the application and they are loathe to pull developers and testers off of the new application which they need to grow their business. Often things are just left to a breaking point when something gets compromised or it fails it is dealt with."