On 14th January 2020, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 will become “End of Life” Microsoft products. Businesses who work with either of these products and fail to take action could result in huge risks not only for their own business’ data, but that of their suppliers and customers, too. Alongside this are compliance and compatibility issues which could likely arise. All this combined means businesses could face huge unexpected and unnecessary costs, and a damaged reputation.
It is therefore vital that companies act early and prepare for the upgrade to avoid these potential pitfalls. By doing so, they will reap the benefits of a smooth transition allowing them to focus on the bigger picture, such as delivering growth and superior customer service.
What is End of Life?
“End of Life” means Microsoft will no longer offer support for these product versions, to either end users or Official Partners, and most worryingly, they will not issue any further security updates.
There are three main implications:
Without the latest updates, devices become an instant easy target for hackers, viruses and malware.
Servers and entire networks will become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
There is a huge risk of compromising the business’ data, and potentially that of customers and suppliers, too. This could be damaging to the brand and bottom line.
Any data breach which can be traced back to “out of date” software can result in huge fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as unpatched or out of date software is not GDPR compliant.
The latest versions of some software simply won’t be supported when running on End of Life platforms.
Without support, businesses can become subject to industry regulated non-compliance.
Out of Date or End of Life software can become a real headache for businesses who just assume an upgrade will simply work across all systems without any big picture thinking. Unsuccessful implementation planning inevitably leads to inefficient users, system downtime and unnecessary costs.
What should companies do next?
There are number of options available at varying costs. But with such a choice and some horror stories to accompany, it can be a daunting and confusing process.
Simply purchasing and installing or updating to the latest version of End of Life software will most certainly be problematic, time consuming and potentially counterproductive.
Instead, with expert advice, companies should review and understand the implications of End of Life software to their business as a whole, not in isolation. By choosing the best solution tailored to their needs, they can ensure a successful implementation without unnecessary disruption to the everyday running of the business, and without the worry.
All IT Support providers can advise on the upgrade, but only really good IT Support providers will advise on the upgrade with the whole interest of the business in mind, to ensure a smooth transition across all platforms.
For more information on End of Life products, contact Quintech.