Does your company still run legacy software on your computers? Maybe Windows 7—or how about Microsoft Office or Exchange Server 2010? If so, you are not alone; as many as 39 percent of Windows users are in the same boat.
What’s more frustrating than dealing with old software, however, is what you decide to do next; these products—and several more—are reaching end-of-life status in 2020. Effective Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will pull the plug on support for Windows 7, Exchange 2010, and Windows 2008/2008 R2 Server. Office 2010 will meet the same fate on Oct. 13, 2020. Finally, if you are running SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, your time is nearly out because support is set to end on July 9, 2019.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
When a product reaches end of life, it means that Microsoft will no longer offer mainstream support for that product as part of their existing purchase agreement. For business customers, end of life means that they enter a period of extended support during which assistance is still available for a fee, which varies in scope, price, and length for each product. In both situations, however, customers continue to receive security updates, but at a much less frequent pace.
In turn, this means that as hackers find new security flaws or bugs in the software, these issues will remain unfixed by Microsoft. As a result, you are potentially leaving your organization vulnerable to exploitation if it is still running legacy software that is not being patched and supported.
Your organization can also run into issues with compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS or GDPR. These regulations expect organizations to have sound cybersecurity controls in place to reduce the risk of a cyberattack or data breach in order to remain compliant. Depending on the regulation and how long your organization is deemed to be noncompliant, fines can be issued or authorizations can be removed.
In the face of falling victim to a cyberattack or being found deficient and fined for running unsupported software, the business case for migration can quickly write itself.
What to Do Next
Simply put, the solution is to upgrade your systems. For those on Windows 7, Windows 10 is the best option, and nearly 40 percent of the market has already made the move. Meanwhile, Office 2010 users should look to Office 2019 or consider Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based alternative.
In the server market, Windows Server 2008 and 2012 have clearly stood the test of time, but these products, too, need to make way for new technology and features that can improve your back end. This is where Windows Server 2019, which is packed with new security features and new tools to aid workflow, can really drive new levels of efficiency in your network.
Fortunately, thanks to years of steady patching and continuous support, Microsoft has left their legacy products in a pretty resilient state. However, motivated hackers or integration issues with newer technologies can harm your organization in the long run, so making the move sooner rather than later is key.
Making It Happen
The truth is that any migration is much easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good experience for your organization. In most cases, time is still on your side, but you should begin planning now to prepare for the operational and financial impacts a migration like this could have on your business.
One of the best ways to expedite the process and avoid common pitfalls is to engage an experienced team like the one at FNTS, whose professionals can present and compare options, develop a migration plan, and offer support throughout the migration process. Right now, 2020 may still seem far away, but you may find it coming sooner than you expect. To make sure you’re prepared, consult our experts to learn more about our comprehensive services and how our team can make your migration a success.