Everyone procrastinates every now and then, especially when faced with certain unenviable tasks, like migrating away from Windows XP. According to a recent survey sponsored by Dell Software and conducted by Dimensional Research, 47 percent of nearly 500 IT professionals polled haven’t completed their move off XP—and 16 percent haven’t even started.

Considering most industry pundits predict it takes between 12 to 24 months to complete an OS migration, there will be lots of procrastinators paying the price in terms of significant custom support costs and higher security risks when Microsoft’s April 2014 end-of-support deadline for Windows XP hits.

I say there’s no time like the present to get a plan in motion, starting with a complete inventory of hardware, software and users. Once you know what you have and how you’re using it—or not using it, which is often the case, it’s easier to determine next steps in readying applications for the migration. The biggest challenge, according to the participants in the Dimensional Research survey, was application compatibility, with 41 percent of those surveyed citing that existing applications didn’t work on their new OS.

Often the longest phase of most migrations, application compatibility testing, remediation and repackaging can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. By automating this process, organizations can slash migration time and costs in half while reducing their risk of post-deployment failures that could disrupt business.

That’s where Dell Software comes in. We help customers transform their IT environments by alleviating migration pain through automation, consolidation and best practices. We help customers clear the toughest migration hurdles so they can gain rapid business value from OS, application and system transitions, upgrades and replacements.

But don’t take my word for it. Click on this link to hear what Tim Suttle, director of IT Infrastructure at TechSoup Global has to say about how the Dell KACE family of Systems Management Appliances is helping to streamline their Windows 7 migration. By centralizing and automating desktop and laptop imaging as well as software distribution processes, TechSoup Global is easing its migration while reaping significant time savings.

Also, check out Dell Software’s case study on Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, to learn how they achieved seamless Windows 7 migration, thanks to Dell ChangeBASE. Met Office shortened migration prep time by weeks, freed staff for other tasks and delivered more than 100 percent ROI within eight months by using ChangeBASE to test and check each application for compatibility issues, highlight possible problems and suggest fixes.

Today, we’re issuing a Migration Topical Advisory that highlights what TechSoup Global and Met Office already know: Dell Software blends best practices and world-class solutions to remove major migration roadblocks.

It’s not too late to kick your Windows XP migration plan into high gear. Drop me a line at Tom_Kendra@dell.com to discuss how we can help you automate, consolidate and simplify this important migration milestone.