It’s that time of year again.

October is budget season. Advertising, hiring costs and accounting services may be high on your list, but have you factored system updates into your 2019 budget? It may not already be on your radar, but Microsoft Office has announced that Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 End-of-Life will be January 14, 2020.

Did you Know?

System replacement can be a huge expense and undertaking, especially in small to midsize businesses. Such an undertaking, in fact, that it is tempting to ignore the problem altogether. However, that’s not a temptation you want to indulge! When Microsoft deems a product “end-of-life”, they no longer release security patches and updates. That means that every end-of-life operating system you have becomes a security risk. Hackers and malicious software creators know this. If you have regulatory compliance concerns, continuing to operate with these systems beyond their support lifespan will most likely put you out of compliance.

Given the challenges of year end and a new year, Dataworks recommends that all Server 2008 and Windows 7 systems be replaced well before the end of 2019.

Here are 4 Ways to Prepare For Windows 7 and Server 2008 End-of-Life Now

  • Identify what systems need to be upgraded. Older hardware and equipment may be unable to support operating system upgrades, and so we recommend system replacement rather than merely updating the operating system.
  • Develop a timeline and budget for system replacements now. If preparing for Windows 7 and 2008 End-of-Life are not there already, it’s time to get them in your 2019 budget. The sooner you can begin to plan for this transition, the more strategic you can be in budgeting.
  • If any old systems are business-critical and your business must run old systems, work with your IT provider to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place, namely segmentation. However, running outdated software and OS is never recommended.
  • Train employees in the new software. Training should accompany rollouts and your IT provider should offer training with new systems.

Budgets and end-of-year checklists are a headache. Taxes and paperwork aren’t even the tip of the iceberg. As a small to midsize business, you have to think about end-of-year bonuses and commissions, getting employees up to speed about their FSA funds, rounding out 401(k) contributions. The bottom line is, you do not want to be worrying about system replacements on top of year-end tasks. Start now on your system replacement plans.

As you add the final touches to your business’ 2019 budget, make sure to account for the replacement of any end of life systems as well as other technology platforms that need improvement. Consider outsourcing your IT to ensure these upgrades are done correctly and timely.  If you and your business are looking for assistance preparing for Windows 7 and Server 2008 End-of-Life, or improving any of your technology platforms, give us a call.