CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Softchoice, a leading North American IT solutions and managed services provider, released findings today based on an analysis of more than 212,000 Cisco networking devices at 350 organizations across North America. Softchoice found 73 percent of businesses have end-of-support devices operating in their networks, up 13 percent from 2015.
The data was collected through Softchoice’s Cisco Contract TechCheck™, an assessment service that examines the state and health of an organization’s network infrastructure. Organizations with end-of-support devices are at a higher risk of security breaches, network outages, and higher future replacement costs.
“We found the overall number of at-risk network devices is on the decline, however, the number of businesses who have them in their networks is actually on the rise,” said David Vigna, Cisco Practice Director at Softchoice. “The misconception is that fewer at-risk devices make an organization less vulnerable, but it only takes one to bring down an entire network.”
Softchoice's TechCheck™ analysis found 96 percent of businesses also have end-of-sale devices operating on their networks. End-of-sale devices are products no longer sold by the manufacturer, but are still supported. Twenty-three percent of all devices Softchoice assessed are end-of-sale, which is down 28 percent from 2015.
Further, 20 percent of all scanned network devices lack Smart Net – a technical support service that provides businesses daily access to Cisco experts in case of an unexpected outage or disruption, as well as accelerated hardware replacement options. While presence of uncovered and end-of-sale devices are down, Softchoice found total end-of-support devices increased to 6 percent in 2016 from 4 percent in 2015.
For organizations trying to assess the health of their network, Softchoice recommends a three-step approach to proactively evaluate and streamline their network infrastructure:
1. Analyze your current infrastructure
Using services like Softchoice’s Cisco Contract TechCheck™ gives organizations an inside look at their network infrastructure, including which devices are protected by Smart Net, which need to be replaced now or down the line, and which currently meet business requirements. Having this insight allows organizations to alleviate risk, avoid network downtime, and control replacement expenses. The Cisco Contract TechCheck™ is fully funded by Softchoice, and delivered by a Softchoice Cisco Sales Specialist.
2. Assess your disaster recovery plan
Organizations should review their disaster recovery plan and identify which devices need Smart Net support and which can live without it. Doing this allows organizations to pinpoint the devices most likely to cause problems down the line.
3. Prepare for replacement devices
End-of-sale devices have around two-to-five years before the manufacturer eliminates support. Because of this, organizations must plan ahead and account for the cost of replacement devices before they become end-of-support. End-of-support devices that remain on a network too long increase the risk of potential breaches, outages and higher replacement expenses. Once identified, these devices should be replaced as soon as possible.
As a leading North American provider of IT solutions and managed services, Softchoice combines the efficiency and reliability of a national IT supplier with the personal touch and technical expertise of a local solutions provider. Softchoice's holistic approach to technology includes solution design, implementation, asset management, cloud and managed services, as well as access to one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective technology distribution networks in North America. With over 1,300 employees, Softchoice manages the technology needs of thousands of corporate and public sector organizations across the United States and Canada.