1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Why does IT stick with old software/OS's?

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Gonadman2, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. cvidler

    cvidler Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Or one thing I've experience first hand.

    Install 64-bit printer drivers on the server, no worries. Got to load the 32-bit drivers up too, as the clients need these, fail. 16-bit installer to extract the 32-bit drivers. 16-bit apps don't run at all on a 64-bit server.

    Had to find a older system to extract the 16-bit InstallShield* self-extractor, and copy the 32-bit drivers up to the server manually.

    *this alone renders many 32-bit apps not 64-bit capable, even though the app itself has no troubles. You just can't install the thing. So add some $ for a installer reverse engineer and repack in a 32/64bit capable installer.
  2. Great_Guru

    Great_Guru Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    As you've said there are many members here who have given you some of the technical and business reasoning behind the case you brought forward.

    It sounds as though your manager if he does have any power in regard to the IT situation is burying his head in the sand because he already has all the tools he needs "Win7" and is sticking to his guns because of the money factor.

    Getting any movement on an OS upgrade would require a business case to be put forward to justify the expensive / down time / retraining etc. How would the change positively impact the business?


    Get a new IT contractor if they aren't serving the businesses needs satisfactorily. But remember that in itself is a migration cost.
  3. Renza

    Renza Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    It's all been said in this thread, but i believe the biggest factors are:
    • software compatibility
    • hardware compatibility
    • cost
    • support

    I've just been given the green light that our proprietary software will be officially supported on windows 7 (and unofficially supported as of the last patch), which is coinciding with a new hardware rollout. Perfect time to transition, and many new features which make the upgrade worthwhile (especially touch features, native touch support in windows 7 was a large deciding factor)
  4. g1g@8yT3

    g1g@8yT3 Member

    May 30, 2003
    FWIW Woodside started there Vista/Windows 7 migration over 3 years ago, this is what happens when you have over 5000 staff. AFAIK it is being rolled out now as there are people on the pilot.
  5. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    I want to know why my company sticks with IE6, equal era flash and acrobat reader. (Along with Office that I'm sure came on floppy disc...)

    It's not hard to spend no money on free software, especially when we can't use vendors websites or view data sheets or service manuals that we *need* to do our work.....
    I've asked why and if I can get the software updated or even just installed on my computer, and am met with brick walls all the way. Basically they tell me it's not policy and it's too hard.

    So my job takes 5 times as long, as I wait for 15 minutes to open a 500k pdf.

    I hate Citrix with a passion.
  6. swiftyb

    swiftyb Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    The reason's which I have not pushed for seven and continue to deploy XP to 'servers' is:

    -Can't be bothered / justify the time / cost to test legacy applications
    -We've generally nutted out all of the bugs with XP - don't want to encounter all new ones with a new OS
    -Already have a VM template built
    -Know that it works, and can back it up with 5+ years of solid day in day out experience
    -Have xxx other servers that run the same configuration (sort of a SOE if you will)

    That said, generally - unless a specific situation calls for it - I will get my Helpdesk guys to deploy 7 to new / refurb laptops - find the turnover (driver install) quicker.

    I think its ultimately a cost to benefit ratio, having the latest and greatest is fine for home - but I generally have better things to do at work. Its hard to sell a overhaul of software licenses to management 'just to run the latest version'.

    That said - SQL server for instance brings with it many benefits (performance, management tools, optimization etc) which I could justify the costings. I think its horses for courses - in some cases I'd suggest an upgrade, but couldnt justify it to keep ahead of the curve.
  7. Nikoy

    Nikoy Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    Perth WA
    Its a case of you lose either wa with IT.

    You either manage it like a rolling upgrade a continuly evolving beast and churn through OS's and make sure everything recent and shiny. Then you become the silly IT department that always changes everything

    Or you create a solid SOE and leave it solid for a while but then you become the IT department that uses old shitty software.

    It is a a lose lose situation.
  8. Hyram

    Hyram Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    Newer is rarely better.

    The more complex the entire technological infrastructure is, the longer it is going to take to get it working smoothly, which directly reflects in the resistance in changing away from what works. The more money that has been poured in to make things stable and reliable, the lower the resulting on-going maintenance costs are.

    Take Nestlé for example. One of the world's megacorps with dozens of factories, hundreds of offices and many thousands of employees world wide, and it is all held together by a huge data infrastructure. What OS are they still using? Windows 2000. They have spent years and billions into refining their network into a fast, stable, globe-spanning neural network that now requires almost zero maintenance, yet manages to allow the company to cope with anything.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  9. Mongolian

    Mongolian Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    IE6 because they probably have a compatibility issue somewhere. Plus it's not free when you factor in all the packaging, testing and GPO stuff that's required. I'm sure there's still quite a few larger organisations out there that haven't moved to IE8 yet.

    Flash and reader on the other hand contain a plethora of security updates, and are incredibly easy to update, so that's just being lazy.

    As for Win7 we've only got till 2014 before support ends for XP, so no doubt most SOE teams have something in the pipeline.
  10. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    Griffin , Brisbane
    I can live with XP, and all the reasons for it..

    but ie6.. god, causes more problems than it could possibly solve compatability wise.
    not to mention trying to print something with it.

    I think if microsoft themselves want it dead.. its time to move on..
  11. Splade

    Splade Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Sydney 2127
    The mob I work for rolled out a bunch of new laptops with IE8 installed. Unfortunately there were compatability issues with one of the more important web based applications we use that was mission critical for those guys jobs. Not sure what the solution was there.

    Like most others have mentioned our standard is XP with IE6. A lot of applications in use across the business are still old command line things built and developed over the last 20 years.
  12. dangermouze

    dangermouze Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Interesting thread, and glad to hear others in the same boat as us.

    We're doing a two upcoming Win7/office 2010 Pilots pushing a few departments to Win7, but we have one major app that has to be upgraded to run on Win7.

    just so many little things need fixing and there's just not enough man power to sit down and fix them/setup the changes.

    Also to take benefit you should upgrade you domain/exchange to latest versions, two huge projects on their own....eeek
  13. randomman

    randomman Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Do you want to upgrade from XP to Win7 for thousands of users and then deal with a multitude of issues that arise?

    Not to mention the costs associated.

    As mentioned software compatibility is generally a big problem, this can be avoided by utilising a newer version, however licenses aren't cheap - do you see how cost keeps coming into this?
  14. fnp

    fnp Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    Wait Awhile
    What I find the most interesting is the amount of people who discuss migrating XP to 7 vs. Vista to 7. It seems quite a large portion of the corporate world skipped Vista, perhaps for the same reasons that migration to 7 is somewhat slow, except Vista just never matured.
  15. shift6

    shift6 Member

    Sep 3, 2005
    There are many reasons behind it, which may include the huge initial backlash against Vista which Microsoft really never recovered from, or perhaps that computers really exploded in terms of growth during the XP period - with many legacy applications cemented into IE6/XP, or perhaps that official XP support from Microsoft was still strong at the time.

    Though again it goes down to the main points that have been discussed above: cost, hassle, value, need etc.
  16. DarkYendor

    DarkYendor Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Using 2 widescreen monitors, Win 7 lets you move things around with just a tap of two buttons. Saves me wasting time dragging and resizing windows when i need to view two (or 4) things side by side. Also, the search functionality in the sart menu (and other windows) saves time (and frustration). Navigating through the shitty XP menu to get to apps just wastes another 30 seconds every time I want to open something. Oh, and the new taskbar - way better than that ancient thing in XP.

    The truth of the matter is that IT departments only care about keeping things running. Increasing productivity of the organisation means more work for them - so why bother. I'm sure everyone in this thread will claim their company is the exception, but I'm yet to find anywhere that bucks this trend.
  17. bobrandom

    bobrandom Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    OP do you work in a small sub 20 pc office by any chance?

    On Re-cutting an SOE

    Sometimes its not a case of simple smacking in a disc and clicking install and it all works

    Does that copy of CAD your company brought in 2002 run on windows 7 pro 64bit? Maybe, maybe not, if it worlks at all?? $$$
    What about that custom envelope printer which cost about 26K in 2003? Let alone the custom app which integrates with it which was written by some two bit one man band that went out of business. What a new one cost??? $$$ or app rewritten to run on win7 $$$
    Another chestnut I got Office 2010 integration with Acrobat 9 Pro have a guess how much replacing a 40 user volume license costs - Enough for management to say fuckitt we will use cute pdf writer instead

    Testing all this stuff costs money shitloads of money

    Take an architects firm for instance maybe 5-6 users in the smb space assume that they want to re-purpose some stuff
    Upgrade all the workstations & monitors $$
    Office Licenses $$
    CAD Licenses $$ if it won't run
    Photoshop Licenses $$ if it won't run
    Rendering software if any $$ if it won't run
    Any other software $$
    AV solution?
    Don't forget the plotter $$ if it won't run
    Labor deployment costs $$
    Labor testing costs $$
    Remote monitoring $$
    Support contract $$

    You don't get change from $50K and that would be bones of your arse scraping shite together with a hope and a prayer and more than likely stealing half of it from the back of a truck

    So whats the ROI on that $50K

    CBA for instance deployed new macbook air's with xp on them..

    End users don't have too much of a concept of what deployments actually cost, just that they can buy a sudo elcheap workstation / laptop from your local store knock it in at home and awayyyyy she goes. They turn up at work and turn on their workstations and wonder why the same doesn't apply at work

    The most simple answer is...it costs money shite loads of it
  18. [KEi]SoVeReIgN

    [KEi]SoVeReIgN Member

    Feb 20, 2002
    lol. Try months to create an SOE ready to rollout. Thats after all your software is usable in new version of windows.
    Our SOE engineer worked out we have something like 93 different models of PCs (minor change in model run = new model) and other than getting the imaging environment ready, one of his first jobs is to download every single driver for every model and find one of every model of PC to test them on. Because what happens when you roll out your 2 hour SOE to a PC with that requires a different driver set, or the driver that you used for it works but crashes or causes programs to corrupt data.

    We're still running XP as our main SOE, with some manually built windows 7 machines for people that have a solid business case for using it (hint - "I will be more productive" isn't a solid business case) It's proven, it works - Why risk screwing with perfect reliability and productivity for what's at best the potential for maybe increasing productivity for SOME of the people who are computer literate enough to hit the ground running.. who are probably a minority to being with.

    When you factor in that you'll probably have to pay for the SOE development time and then the increase in initial support time, why the hell would you upgrade?
  19. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

    Jun 27, 2003
    Damn straight they do, and so they should. It is up to the business and those that hold the purse strings to pursue productivity improvements. IT's role is to facilitate what the business wants, not what end users want or what IT wants.

    It's quite easy to see which side of the fence posters in this thread have worked, or how high up the decision tree their awareness extends.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  20. Soarer GT

    Soarer GT Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    It's strange that this comes up now, just as I was dealing with it today and telling the ops director "I f*cken hate legacy apps".

    One of our legacy apps needs (I crap you not). 18 custom DLL's loaded, a dependancy on SQL2000 backward compatibility pack, a hard coded ODBC connection, a specific version of PDF creator (only 1 version works or whole app crashes) and needs to be in a specific folder to work (forget your x86 for 32 bit apps vs normal Program Files folder). Maintaining it is costing 2 senior FTE days/week just bug fixing and the amount of missed opportunity due to the inability of the app to move with the times has no doubt cost us clients.

    Add to that, the actual cost of setting up a user with this legacy app costs about $1000 in additional software.

    I'm in the middle of trying to transition it, but again, dedicated time for this is short. It's cheaper to keep it ticking along and letting it do what it does than do a revamp. Sucks, but it's how the business world works.

Share This Page