You are probably aware that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is heading out of support in January 2020. Hopefully, you have taken steps to start your upgrades and replacements to give your business time to roll out the changes.
But it’s not just Windows 7 that’s coming to the end of the road: Windows Server 2008 R2 will also be in the same situation come January 14th 2020 and if you haven’t taken steps to look at your options, it‘s probably time to do so.
What exactly does end of support mean to your business?
Simply put, it means the end of security updates for your servers. This will cause security and compliance issues and the potential for business system interruption. You may find it impossible to protect your business systems against external threats such as hackers and malware. Without regular security updates, you will be vulnerable to data loss and breaches because of potential weaknesses in your IT environment. This poses a threat to your business and importantly, your businesses reputation.
It is essential to reduce potential threats by updating and modernizing your systems and solutions. This is an ideal opportunity to review your technology estate and consider adoption of new innovative solutions to help your business grow. Many businesses who maximise the use of their technology platforms will not only see increased revenue by increasing efficiency and productivity but will also keep ahead of the competition. It is estimated that around 41% of business users have company data trapped in legacy systems. Think how much more productive your staff would be if they could access their business data faster and use more efficient tools to mine and analyse the information.
Continuing to maintain old hardware and software inevitably increases support costs. The loss of productivity due to ageing systems suffering outages should also be considered.
Security and compliance issues
It’s important to understand your risks. Without updates and security patches, you will be at risk of being exposed to malware, hackers and other threats. If you lose customer data, you will not only be risking a visit from the Information Commissioner’s office and a hefty fine but also loss of trust and reputational damage, which can be unquantifiable. And if you are regulated by a professional body such as the ICAEW or Law Society, you may incur specific industry compliance issues.
Scalability and flexibility
Replacing legacy systems can help you adopt a flexible and scalable environment. The ability to adopt cloud services and respond to your competition will be a powerful improvement to your business. Scaling up and down as required will also help keep control of costs and reduce the need for expensive upgrades. Around 50% of business see technology as a business growth influencer over the next 3 years.