With only eight months before Microsoft withdraws support on its still widely used operating systems Windows XP and Office 2003, companies must have a plan to switch operating systems or face security issues warn Poole-based IT firm Innovate.

From 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop providing security updates for the technology and those firms using Windows XP and Office 2003 beyond this date will be exposed to cyber attacks, security breaches and theft.  To ensure companies remain on supported versions of Windows and Office action needs to be taken now or else companies will not be fully protected. 

To help local companies to understand what this means to a company and what can be done in advance of 8 April, Innovate will be running a free workshop titled: ‘The death of XP and Office 2003 – what next for SMEs?’ from its office in Poole.

The session will take place on Friday September 13 from 9am to 11am and is designed to inform business owners, directors and senior managers about how to future proof IT.

The workshop will cover:

  • Why XP and Office 2003 are finishing
  • What this means to businesses
  • What are the hardware and software choices
  • How to mitigate the effects of the pull-out
  • Where next for your IT
  • How much it will cost to change
  • How to future proof your IT

Delegates will also hear about examples of businesses that have recently moved away from XP.

David Pape, managing director at Innovate, says: “XP and 2003 users are likely to face very serious problems in the future.  Their whole business could be compromised and we are encouraging everyone who has not upgraded to make plans as soon as possible. There are many alternatives including Cloud but doing nothing is likely to be a dangerous stance. We are recommending that anyone who is unsure of their next steps to just pick up the phone and we would be very happy to give some free, impartial advice.”

The workshop takes place at Innovate, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road, Poole, BH12 4NZ.  Places are limited to 12 people. To book a place, please telephone Adrian Pitt on 0330 999 1000 or email apitt@innovate.uk.com.