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Vast Majority of Companies Are Using Unsupported Microsoft Office Suites

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Microsoft stopped supporting Office 2007 on October 10, 2017 -- but 68 percent of companies are still running at least one instance of it, according to a recent Spiceworks survey of 1,168 IT professionals across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

What's more, 46 percent of organizations are still running at least one instance of Office 2003, 21 percent are still running Office 2000, 15 percent are running Office XP -- and 3 percent are running one or more instances of Office 97.

When asked which attributes are most important in office productivity software, 90 percent of respondents listed reliability, followed by user friendliness (81 percent), suitability for professional tasks (70 percent), and both manageability and cost effectiveness (65 percent).

"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," Spiceworks senior technology analyst Peter Tsai said in a statement.

"However, as IT budgets and staff begin to grow in 2018, more organizations will look to invest in newer cloud-based and as-a-service productivity suites with more resources to manage the transition," Tsai added.

Fifty-three percent of organizations are currently using Office 365, and another 17 percent plan to start using it within the next two years. Seventeen percent of organizations are using Google's G Suite, and 16 percent are using open source productivity suites like LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

Moving to the Cloud

A separate Barracuda Networks survey of more than 1,100 organizations worldwide found that 63 percent of respondents are currently using Office 365 (a significant leap from 42 percent a year earlier), and 49 percent of the remaining respondents are planning to migrate to it.

Still, almost 44 percent of those who haven't yet switched to Office 365 say cloud security concerns are keeping them from doing so. Other reasons for not migrating include a company-wide "no cloud" policy (32 percent), the hassle of migration (30 percent), and lack of budget (38 percent).

Security remains a threat for current users -- almost 70 percent of active Office 365 users reported significant concerns about advanced threats, and among those planning to switch to Office 365, 76 expressed the same concerns.

Notably, while 89 percent of respondents said they're concerned about phishing and social engineering attacks and 46 percent said they've already been targeted by such attacks, less than 36 percent of respondents leverage a third-party solution to help mitigate those threats.

Almost 57 percent of respondents said they're augmenting Office 365 deployments with a layered security approach along with additional archiving or backup solutions. Among those planning to migrate to Office 365, 72 percent said they plan to adopt a layered approach as well.

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