Microsoft’s end of support for the venerable XP operating system on 8 April 2014 could have unfortunate consequences for most UK organisations, which still lack a plan for migrating XP legacy apps.

According to new research, 52 per cent of UK IT departments have yet to put in place a strategy for dealing with applications that currently run under XP, first released to manufacturers in August 2001.

However the study, from Accenture- and Microsoft-owned software consultancy Avanade, suggests that IT leaders are aware of the scale of the problem they could be facing in 14 months.

Eight out of 10 of the CIOs and IT directors surveyed say large volumes of unsupported apps represent a concern to them. XP continues to account for 43 percent of enterprise desktop infrastructures in the UK, according to Avanade figures.

The reason for the inertia in preparing for the end of support for the OS is attributed to a lack of a business case, which was cited as the key barrier by 79 per cent of the XP organisations polled.

The legacy software infrastructure of XP includes a number of business-critical applications, some of which the IT department may not even be aware of, and other programs that are seen as too costly to migrate, according to Avanade.