On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will officially end its support of Windows 7 and Server 2008. In fact, both software packages have been in “extended support” for years and the impending 2020 date isn’t simply the beginning of the end for either…it’s the final nail in the coffin. If your business is using either one of these operating systems, you absolutely must start now with planning out a refresh cycle that allows you to avoid use beyond the end of support date.
You may be wondering what exactly happens if you continue to use software after Microsoft officially ends support of one of its operating systems. Simply put, you expose your business to security holes that will become increasingly easy to exploit. Microsoft will no longer issue any security updates or patches to operating systems that have passed their end of support date. Any new flaw or security hole discovered in the software will not be fixed or addressed in any way (and believe me, there will be new ones discovered). Have you seen those pop-ups Microsoft sends to you telling you to update your computer? You won’t get those any longer. You may think that’s a good thing– “I won’t see those annoying messages…yay!” Think again. You’re setting your business up for incredible failure if you follow that path.
In addition to Microsoft ending its patches and updates, many other software manufacturers will discontinue support of their own packages if you’re running them on a non-supported version of Windows. This could happen even if you are paying for support from these 3rd parties. Read the end user license agreement (EULA). The odds are good there’s a caveat in there that says you have to run their software on an operating system that’s supported by Microsoft.
The good news in all of this is that there’s still time to avoid these issues. Choose to partner with an I.T. firm that works with your decision-making team on business budgeting. As part of our I-SUPPORT program, you will have annual planning with one of our dedicated Consultants where planning for future obsolescence is a given. Additionally, we’ll ensure any plans your business is making for the future will be supported by the technology systems you employ. Don’t rely on ad-hoc advice from technicians who are busy fixing issues in your network (they’re busy putting out fires and don’t see the big picture anyway). Don’t count on a sales representative to handle these responsibilities (they’ve moved on to the next new client and don’t have the technical chops to make strategic plans). And lastly, while it sounds good to have the ear of ownership, don’t expect the owner of your I.T. partner to be your technology sherpa (he/she is probably running sales, finance, purchasing HR, etc.; this isn’t someone who has clarity of focus to do the job well consistently).
Partner with a company who is invested in your success by providing dedicated consulting services. Your roadmap will be clear, planned out and actionable without surprises.
Ready to plan your Business Roadmap? Give us a call!