New research shows how companies are struggling with keeping Office up to date

Windows 10 may be getting solid adoption in the enterprise – but the same cannot be said of Microsoft Office’s latest iteration.

According to a new study from Spiceworks, more than two thirds (68%) of the more than 1,150 IT professionals across the US, UK and Canada surveyed said they were still operating Microsoft Office 2007 in some capacity, even after the product officially reached its end of life.

Just under half (46%) of respondents - who of course may have more than one product in their organisation - said they still had a version of Office 2003 on board, 21% had Office 2000 and 3% still had ties to Office 97. In comparison, the majority (83%) of respondents had Office 2010, the most popular choice, compared with 46% for Office 2013 and 17% for Office 2016.

Digging deeper into the figures, the research found mid-size companies – those who employ between 100 and 1,000 workers – are most likely to be stuck on Office 2007. The reason for this was straightforward enough; smallest companies are able to utilise their size to take all employees on Office 365 in one hit, while behemoths with bigger IT budgets also have the resources. If you’re stuck in the middle, however, it can become difficult to keep up.

Of course, Microsoft is not the only game in town when it comes to productivity. While overall it dominates – 82% of all companies polled cited Office, and 53% Office 365, compared with 17% for G Suite, 16% for Google Docs and Gmail and 16% for open source productivity suites – some industries differ markedly. In education, for instance, more than half (54%) of organisations reported using G Suite.

When it came to factors influencing organisations when choosing productivity suites, reliability was top of the tree, cited by 90% of those polled, with user friendliness (81%) and security (81%) also frequently claimed.

Back in July, data from Spiceworks found that 75% of software companies polled had adopted Windows 10. This publication has frequently covered the end of life dates for Microsoft operating systems, with most companies – eventually – getting the message. While one set of applications may not be as terror-inducing as a whole operating system not being supported, it is still a serious risk, as Spiceworks explains.

“Although they’re aware of the security risks of running end of life software, many IT departments haven’t had the budget, time, or resources required to implement new productivity suites and train end users accordingly,” said Peter Tsai, Spiceworks senior technology analyst. “However, as IT budgets and staff begin to grow in 2018, more organisations will look to invest in newer cloud-based and as-a-service productivity suites with more resources to manage the transition.”

You can read the full report here.

 

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