Why it’s time for an IT evolution as support for Windows Server 2003 ends

With thousands of businesses potentially affected by the end of Windows support, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your IT strategy…

The storming of the Bastille is a time to commemorate the start of the French revolution on July 14th, 1789. This year, we hope that date will have been a little less tumultuous.

Although it’s the day when Microsoft ended its support for the decade-old operating system Windows Server 2003, companies can still put in place a plan to migrate away from their tired and worn IT solutions.

What does the end of Windows Server 2003 mean for small businesses?

There are around 9.1 million instances of WS2003 OS’s around the world; figures for the UK are less precise, but potentially hundreds of thousands of businesses of all sizes are affected. Small and medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable, as they lack the back-up and IT resources found in many larger companies.

One thing is certain – if companies do nothing they may risk everything. Businesses that choose to continue running WS2003 run the risk of major business trauma – perhaps not immediately, but in the near future.

Is it time to review your IT strategy?

Our research at Zynstra with the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) shows that 72% of businesses use infrastructure refresh as an opportunity to refine their IT strategy. Over the past four years, cloud adoption rates have grown by 61.5%, resulting in 78% of businesses having one or more cloud-based services in use. Another 71% expect to retain on-premises IT for the foreseeable future.

The future for most organisations is a hybrid one in which local IT infrastructure is integrated with the cloud. WS2003 end of support could signal the beginning of a new stage in an organisation’s IT evolution.

An IT evolution, not revolution

A hybrid model also allows you to get the performance and control of on-premise IT with the best of the cloud. Provided ‘as-a-service’, the hybrid model allows companies to predict monthly costs and quickly remove services and users when no longer required. With IT as a service, companies can also eradicate any future issues with end-of-life technology.

Feedback from our customers is clear – it’s easy to improve an IT refresh business case based on predictable OPEX rather than upfront CAPEX. So set up costs are contained and lifetime support efforts and associated costs mitigated.

Migration away from the decade-old operating system doesn’t have to be as painful as many may think. It’s important to understand that although organisations need to act now, they don’t have to change everything all at once. This IT refresh can be an evolution, rather than a revolution – so there’s no need to lose your head!

Nick East is co-founder and CEO of hybrid IT solutions service Zynstra

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