Many IT administrators are following the calendar like Nervous Nellies as July 14, 2015 rapidly approaches. That is the date Microsoft has designated as the end of life for Windows Server 2003, the operating system still running in numerous business environments. Despite being on the clock, Server 2003 still works, and the conundrum it has created in countless IT rooms is directly tied to the challenge managed service providers often face in convincing clients to upgrade their technology.
In a previous One Guy’s Opinion, Casey and Guy Baroan of Baroan Technologies discussed the importance of moving on from old software and old hardware in timely fashion. The discussion brought to light some genuine concerns just about everyone can understand. It also helped me draw up this list of key selling points.
Security Suddenly Becomes a Bigger Issue
Security is the reason a program like Server 2003 is considered a ticking time bomb. Following the EOL date, there will no longer be any patches coming from Microsoft. That means the lifeline on crucial updates designed to protect the system from viruses, Trojans, and other harmful threats will be pulled. Microsoft’s enterprise OS is one example of how using unsupported software can put mission-critical data at risk. Whatever a company pays in hardware and software upgrades will be minimal compared to the astronomical cost of a data breach, which has gone up according to a recent report.
Failure Can Be Easily Averted
Any machine with moving parts can malfunction, which means everything plugged into the network is vulnerable to failure. A study StorageCraft conducted a while back found that of all hardware, hard drives fail most often. Many companies realize this, so every few years, they replace drives and other vital components just to reduce the likelihood of failure and all the hassle that comes with it. Timely hardware upgrades minimizes headaches for service providers and clients alike.
Function and Productivity Benefits Are Immediately Delivered
Sure, it still works, but old equipment is limited in one debilitating way or another. Bumping up to new gear usually means a much needed power boost. Upgrades to memory, graphics and video cards will result in a more fluid, responsive system that allows users to multitask with ease. On the software side, upgrades make sure IT users have convenient access to the latest features and tools, which ultimately helps them work more efficiently. When it comes to migrating to newer technology, productivity is one of the most important factors to consider and a major selling point for MSPs.
A Competitive Edge Is In Easy Reach
Computers are tightly integrated into the modern day business landscape. In many cases, they are not only the backbone of production, but precious commodities that add to the company’s value. The latest features in networking, desktop virtualization, and server management are essentially assets the organization can tout to attract superstar talent. Now more than ever, an up to date IT environment is vital to unleashing business capabilities needed to carve out a competitive edge.
Planning For Upgrades
Transitioning to new technology platforms isn’t necessarily something you look forward to. But when you factor in customer data, compliance standards, and everything that’s on the line, it truly is a necessary evil. IT service providers can make the transition less of a hassle by helping clients in planning for the migration. A well laid plan will outline what needs to be upgraded and when, while making sure a budget to fund the transition is in place. Doing this every three to five years will actually ensure that both parties keep their hardware and software assets up to date.
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