One of the most important elements of maintaining a secure data environment is ensuring that all of your applications and services are fully updated. New updates bring new security measures and patch old problems; staying up to date on your apps and services will help insulate your business against a large majority of cyber threats. If you’re working with legacy applications, remember that as providers wind down their older offerings there may come a time when support ceases entirely.
For example, Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 support ends on July 14, 2015. If you’re still using Windows Server 2003, the time is now to plan and execute a migration.
What Does it Mean?
Here’s the explanation straight from the official Microsoft website:
“After July 14, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacenter, you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure.”
Migrating your services from Windows Server 2003 to a more modern offering, such as Windows Server 2012 R2, Office 365, or Microsoft Azure, is the best way to keep your business running smoothly and to protect yourself from security threats. It’s also worth noting that upgrading to a more modern service will yield tangible benefits in the form of better performance, better scalability, and better overall functionality. Many innovations and advancements have been made since Windows Server 2003 debuted; newer solutions will take better advantage of these advancements and offer you more secure, productive, and efficient workflows.
According to the IDC’s white paper on the upcoming migration, services like Windows Server 2012 R2 maintain “relatively good” application compatibility. The white paper explains that while Windows Server 2012 R2 is built around 64-bit applications, the majority of 32-bit applications will still install and run without problems. In other words, the bulk of your current applications should still be compatible even after you migrate from Microsoft’s now defunct server environment. Working with an external service provider skilled in migrations of this nature is a good way to ensure that the process is executed with care and that any possible compatibility problems are addressed before they cause harm to your business.
Failing to upgrade your server environment might not just cause problems with your workflows; it could put you in a situation where you are failing to meet regulations regarding the protection of data. If you work in a regulated industry or handle regulated data, you could face fines or the loss of key trading partners if you do not bring your services back in line with what is expected of your organization. Regulatory compliance is not limited to the operating system you use. If you are in a regulated industry or handle regulated data, Windows Server 2003 will not meet your compliance needs after July 14, 2015.
What Should You Do?
If you’re still running your business on Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003, you need to upgrade or migrate to a new service. Doing so protects your business from security threats and provides your employees with the best possible environment in which to succeed at their tasks. You have roughly two months to plan and execute your migration, which means you should be able to get everything done with plenty of time to spare before the July 14 deadline. Seeking the assistance of an expert IT firm with experience in migrations of this nature can lessen the workload on your internal IT department and streamline the overall migration process.
Don’t wait until support ends to migrate your systems.