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Built by Blue Sound Construction, designed by MaKe Design, photos by Alex Hayden

Still Using Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2? You Need to Read This

Posted on Oct 23, 2018 in:

By Jennifer Hill, Dataworks Consulting

It’s that time of year again.

October is budget season. Advertising, hiring costs, and accounting services may be high on your list, but have you factored system updates into your 2019 budget? It may not yet be on your radar, but Microsoft has announced that the Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 systems’ end-of-life will be January 14, 2020.

Did You Know?

System replacement can be a huge expense and undertaking, especially in small-to-midsized businesses or if technology isn’t typically on your radar. It is such an undertaking, in fact, that it is tempting to ignore the problem altogether. However, that’s not a temptation you want to indulge! When Microsoft deems a product “end-of-life,” that means they no longer release security patches and updates. As such, every end-of-life operating system you have becomes a security risk. Hackers and malicious software creators know this.

Additionally, if you are not actively patching all your systems regularly now, you are leaving backdoors open to your network and data. The release of security patches by software manufacturers is essentially an announcement of vulnerability. Even if your data is in the cloud, it can be accessed through your local systems if they are breached.

Given the challenges of year-end and a new year, Dataworks recommends that all Server 2008 and Windows 7 systems be replaced well before the end of 2019.

Four Ways to Prepare for Windows 7 and Server 2008 End-of-Life:

  • Identify what systems need to be upgraded. Older hardware and equipment may be unable to support operating system upgrades, and so we recommend system replacement rather than merely updating the operating system.
  • Develop a timeline and budget for system replacements now. If preparing for Windows 7 and 2008 end-of-life is not there already, it’s time to get them in your 2019 budget. The sooner you can begin to plan for this transition, the more strategic you can be in budgeting.
  • If any old systems are business-critical and your business must run old systems, work with your IT provider to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place, namely segmentation. However, running outdated software and OS is never recommended.
  • Train employees on the new operating systems. Training should accompany rollouts and your IT provider should offer training with new systems. With a couple tips and tricks, Windows 10 is easy to navigate. Just be sure to account for the learning curve.

Budgets and end-of-year checklists are a headache. Taxes and paperwork are just the tip of the iceberg. As a small-to-midsized business, you have to think about end-of-year bonuses and commissions, getting employees up to speed about their FSA funds, and rounding out 401(k) contributions. The bottom line is that you do not want to be worrying about system replacements on top of year-end tasks. Start now on your system replacement plans.

As you add the final touches to your business’ 2019 budget, make sure to account for the replacement of any end of life systems, as well as other technology platforms that need improvement. Do you need a new software to enhance productivity? Do you need faster internet? Consider outsourcing your IT to ensure these upgrades are done correctly and timely.

If you and your business are looking for assistance preparing for Windows 7 and Server 2008 end-of-life or improving any of your technology platforms, give us a call at 425.687.6185.

 


MBAKS member Dataworks Consulting is a managed service provider for small-to-midsized businesses in the Seattle metro area. We are passionate about enabling you to do what you do best by removing the hassle and uncertainty that often comes with technology. You are not in the business of solving technology problems—we are.

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Photo courtesy Blue Sound Construction, builder; MaKe Design, architect; and Alex Hayden, photographer