Don’t Put Your Business at Risk by Using Unsupported Products

Published on: March 24th, 2015

Do you remember Microsoft XP’s funeral from April 2014? It was a sad occasion, but hopefully you have moved on. By that we mean, we sincerely hope that you followed the migration guidelines and are no longer using Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Office 2003. If you neglected to follow through on those necessary upgrades, you already have a problem on your hands. If your business currently has a server, your life may soon be complicated by another “end of life” problem.

Ignoring Microsoft Server 2003’s Deadline is Not an Option

Server 2003 had a good run for the past 12 years, but it’s scheduled to join the legacy list with the funeral already planned for July 14, 2015. CT Business Solutions continues to be actively engaged in sharing important information about the dangerous ramifications of using unsupported products such as Windows XP, Office 2003 and Server 2003. If you haven’t already started on Server 2003 migration plans, consider the following important information:

  • Security Issues: The largest problem is the security of your business will be severely compromised. The Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert about the Server 2003 situation stating that continuing to run unsupported software opens your business up to elevated cybersecurity risks. Without the security of an updated operating system, you have placed your business’ data and customer information at risk to viruses, hackers and spyware. Cybercriminals are undoubtedly waiting to launch attacks on unprotected businesses beginning on July 15. Don’t risk your most valuable assets and allow your business to become a victim of cybercrime.
  • Compliance Issues: The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a department of Homeland Security, has been issuing alerts about the demise of Server 2003. Enterprises that are subject to regulatory obligations and continue to use Server 2003 after July 14 are not meeting standard compliance requirements. Enterprises that don’t meet compliance requirements can face the suspension of certifications. No business owner wants to face non-compliant issues that can lead to legal peril and seriously damage your business’ reputation.
  • Upgrade Expenses: Business owners are always looking for ways to save money, but neglecting an upgrade is the wrong place to trim costs. The problems that are likely to arise are significantly more expensive than the cost of an upgrade. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to investing in an upgrade.

Consider the Alternatives to Microsoft Server 2003 for Your Business

  • Office 365: This is Microsoft’s cloud hosted version of the Office applications and other productivity services that are offered as a subscription service. The subscription format eliminates the need to ever upgrade your Office products in the future. You pay a monthly or annual subscription fee that provides you access to the latest version of the products you need and allows you to use this access across multiple devices. Migrating your business to Office 365 can be complicated, but the project can be handled by outsourced IT support.
  • Microsoft Azure: This is Microsoft’s hosted server product developed for IT integrators to host server infrastructures centrally while controlling them locally. This enables software and applications to be deployed on an individual rather than a collective basis. A hybrid of Office 365 and Azure can be an alternative for industries that have developed applications that are reliant on 32 bit technology that was at the core of 2003 products and may not be compatible with 64 bit technology.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2: Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a lengthy list of improvements over Server 2003, including better security, extensive scalability, new operational roles, script execution capabilities and more. Server 2012 has a steep learning curve, but users should not try an interim upgrade to Server 2008 since that product has already reached the end of mainstream support back in January 2015.

Take Action Today!

If you are the owner of a small to medium sized business and are still using Microsoft Server 2003, Windows XP or Office2003, we strongly recommend that you take immediate action. Ignoring deadlines for unsupported products places your business in jeopardy. You are taking a gamble with your business and it’s a bet that you simply can’t afford to lose.

CT Business Solutions can help you understand your migration options and work with you to develop an upgrade strategy. Call CT Business Solutions today and one of their technology professionals can assist you before your business runs out of time.

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With an evolving business comes expanding technological needs. If your business is sending you any of these signs that it’s time to update your technology.