Countdown to Server 2003 End of Life
July 14, 2015 is a very important date for any small businesses using the Windows Server 2003 operating system for their computers. As of this date Windows will be ending support for this operating system, which will have an enormous impact on the functioning of any businesses that do not make the switch to a new server before this date. With an estimate that one in every five businesses will not make the necessary changes to their server before July 14 – a percentage that is far too high.
At first glance, Windows ending support for the Server 2003 operating system may not seem like a big deal. However, this is not the case. When Microsoft support ends for an operating system there are several direct consequences that can quickly place your business at risk.
1. Microsoft Will Not Be Providing Security Updates
Unfortunately, operating systems are constantly under attack from new cyber threats. Once support is ended for an operating system, no further software updates will be provided from Microsoft. This means that your computers will be at risk to any new security threats, potentially leaving sensitive information and the day-to-day functioning of your business at risk.
2. Microsoft Will Not Be Providing Technological Support
Not only will you no longer have access to security updates, but Microsoft will not be providing any kind of technological support to those using the Windows Server 2003 operating system. This means that if you run in to any kind of issues with your computers and contact Microsoft (either directly or through your IT provider) there will be no one who can help you to solve them.
3. Microsoft Will Not Be Providing New Software Updates
Computer software is constantly evolving in any number of small ways to keep up with advances being made in technology. After July 14, 2015, Windows will no longer be providing software updates to applications that run on the Windows Server 2003 operating system. This means that the applications and programs you use in your company’s daily operations will become incompatible with new software being used by others in your industry, and that you will not be able to experience any new features developed for your existing applications.
While it may be tempting to wait until as close to July 14 as possible before switching to a new operating system, it is not advisable. The only way to protect your company once Microsoft ends support for the Windows Server 2003 is to switch to a new operating system, and to ensure that this switch goes smoothly the earlier you decide to make the change the better. Switching before the deadline ensures that you and your IT professional will be able to work together to transfer your data and applications to a new server or cloud-based hosting environment. Furthermore, switching before July 14 will guarantee that you will have support from Microsoft throughout the transfer process if needed.
Making a large technological switch can be frustrating and time consuming, but if your company relies on Windows Server 2003 the earlier you make the switch to a new server the easier the process will be. If you are still using Windows Server 2003 at this time, contact your IT professional as soon as possible to discuss an action plan for switching your company over to a new hosting environment.