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Citrix channel needs to give NHS some TLC

The desktop virtualisation specialist has found that many NHS Trusts are still using the unsupported Windows XP

It has been a while since anyone talked about the dangers of using Windows XP with support for the OS having long run out and users having plenty of chances to upgrade to the latest version.

But resellers will only be too aware that there are still pockets of users in verticals that have yet to make the move and as a result are leaving the organisation vulnerable to hackers and maintenence issues.

Citrix has exposed the NHS as one of those areas that continues to use XP, finding that nine in ten trusts are still reliant on the aging operating system.

The vendor put in a Freedom of Information request to 63 NHS Trusts, with 42 responding, which found that half were still not sure when they would begin to migrate away from XP.

The case to move off XP is fairly compelling but once resellers are armed with the fact that the health sector suffered the most data breaches, according to the Information Commissioners Office, between April and June, the pitch becomes one that is going to be hard to ignore.

Of those Trusts that responded to the Citrix FOI request 14% indicated they would move off XP by the end of this year and 29% are looking at 2017 for migration. But that still leaves plenty without much of a strategy.

“The British public champion the NHS for its staff’s unwavering dedication and commitment to delivering first-class patient services. However, with prolonged austerity – and following the Brexit vote - it is under even more pressure to do more with less," said Jon Cook, director, sales, UK & Ireland at Citrix.

“With the health sector accounting for the most data security breaches across all public sector departments, it is critical that up-to-date and secure software is in place to safeguard patient data against cyber-attackers," he added.

Citrix found that the strategy most of those NHS Trusts looking to migrate away from XP were using involved desktop virtualisation as a way of taking the pain out of the process.

Although that ties into making it a Citrix play there are many services that the channel could be suggesting to help the NHS modernise its desktop infrastructure.

“Technology such as desktop and application virtualisation has the ability to drive up the productivity potential of the entire workforce, delivering better patient care and ultimately making it easier for staff to work more efficiently. Whilst many authorities now only use a small number of devices that run Windows XP, the transition to a newer operating system needs to happen as a matter of urgency," said Cook.

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