60% of Businesses Have End-of-Support Devices on the Network

About 60% of businesses have end-of-support devices operating in their networks, which places those organizations at a higher risk of security breaches, lost productivity due to longer network outages and higher replacement costs down the road.

That’s according to Softchoice’s Cisco Contract TechCheck, an assessment service that examines the state and health of an organization's network infrastructure.

“Most organizations struggle to get a basic understanding of the state of their network because few regularly check up on the different devices they have in play,” said David Brisbois, senior manager of assessment and technology deployment services consulting at Softchoice. “It isn’t until a breach occurs or their network crashes that most organizations react and realize their network is past its ‘best before’ date.”

Softchoice's TechCheck analysis also found 95% of businesses also have end-of-sale devices operating on their networks. End-of-sale devices are products that are no longer available on the market, but are still supported (for now) by the manufacturer.

Softchoice discovered that 51% of all devices they assessed are end-of-sale, 4% are end-of-support, and 30% lack SMARTnet—a standard technical support service that provides direct, anytime access to Cisco experts in case of an outage or disruption, as well as accelerated hardware replacement options.

For any organization struggling to gauge the health of their network, Brisbois suggested a three-step strategy to proactively analyze and modernize network infrastructure: Assess existing infrastructure; evaluate one’s disaster recovery strategy; and plan and budget for replacement.

“When a device enters end-of-sale, it has a maximum of two-to-five years before it’s no longer supported by the manufacturer,” he explained. “Organizations must proactively plan and budget for the replacement of those devices before they go end-of-support. End-of-support devices on a network increase the risk of lost productivity due to longer downtime, potential security breaches, and ultimately higher replacement costs—and should be replaced immediately.”