6. September 2011 15:23
It’s no secret that Microsoft has launched a campaign to eliminate IE6. They have been encouraging people and organizations – for quite some time now - to upgrade to an IE7 or newer version. In fact, Microsoft has created a website (www.theie6countdown.com) specifically for convincing people to upgrade to at least IE8, and preferably IE9.
The reasons for upgrading are plentiful. The biggest reasons are centered on security and features. However, it seems as though hospitals in particular are slow to upgrade. I’ll touch on the two most common reasons today.
The most common concern has to do with legacy applications and sites. IT departments are concerned that IE8 won’t work with these applications and may cause an entire chain of “have to upgrade” events. You know…the chain of “I have to upgrade this, that, and the other to support this new software.” We’ve all been there.
However, newer versions of IE include a ‘compatibility mode’ that actually seem to work pretty well. A large number of the sites that many people don’t think will work with IE8 actually work fine, even without the compatibility mode.
The second issue concerns resources, manpower, or staff. Most hospitals have a limited budget for the IT department. Often, projects like “upgrade IE hospital-wide” seems to incur a cost with little perceived reward. Additionally, other projects tend to have a higher priority simply because the rewards are immediately noticeable.
The problem with this is…IE6 is a pretty large limitation. Both for the hospital environment, as well as those companies who provide applications and solutions used by those hospitals.
IE8 can be deployed via group policy, or any of several software management utilities. Many hospitals decide to do a unit-by-unit, or department-by-department rollout. You can first start by testing all of the software that accounting uses, and then rollout to that department. You can test all of the software that ICU uses, and then rollout to that unit. You get the idea. The mass deployment of an updated web browser becomes a series of smaller tasks and projects, and often can gain traction easier within your facility when broken up in this manner.
How much of a life span does your IE6 have left?