In a perfect world, you could update your computer systems one or two times over the course of their lifespans and be done with it. But that’s not reality with business technology today. Many companies are struggling to keep up with advancing systems. Some were caught unprepared when Microsoft ended its support and updates for Windows XP in April 2014. Using outdated technology isn’t only counterproductive, its also dangerous.
Technology evolves fast and it’s in your best interest to keep IT systems current in order to take advantage of the latest advances and security features — not to mention stay competitive in the marketplace. Over the next few years, Server 2003, 2003R2 and Vista will suffer the same fate as Windows XP as they are phased out to make room for the next generation.
Why many small businesses fall behind in their technology is that it’s difficult to keep track of what should be updated and when. This is especially true the greater number of IT assets you have to update, and when you don’t have an in-house IT team to track and execute. After all, when you’re busy running a business, updating hardware and software tends to take a backseat to other tasks.
Not only does failing to update your computers negatively impact productivity and security, it can leave you without support. As manufacturers usher in technology, existing versions are eventually pushed off the radar and support is no longer offered. Such was the case for Windows XP operating system in April of 2014. And such will be the case for Windows Server 2003 R2 users when Microsoft is expected to end support in July of 2015.
The end of support for Windows Server 2003 won’t be dreaded as XP. Servers are likely to be upgraded more often than PCs since they are maintained by IT techs who understand the importance of upgrading. Workstations and software tend to lag behind because users upgrade at their discretion. Plus there are far fewer of these servers to worry about compared to millions of computers with XP.
So with upgrades for hardware and software being constantly released, how is a small business to keep up? For most companies, the process is too time intensive. The solution is to partner with a trusted and responsive IT firm that will inventory IT assets, track operating systems and install upgrades whenever they become available.