Preparing for Microsoft End-of-Support
As many of Microsoft’s products reach the end of their support, your business must prepare accordingly. Find out what you need to do to protect against risk.
Most businesses using Microsoft solutions have already received notifications about a number of products that will no longer be supported in 2020. Unfortunately, many of these businesses are either unaware of what they should do to prepare or have simply ignored the notifications. Because these changes will undoubtedly affect companies that use the products in question, being proactive is essential.
Which Products Are Losing Support?
A long list of products will lose support beginning on January 14, 2020. Perhaps the most popular solution reaching end-of-support is Windows 7, which is still widely used. Other products on the list include Exchange Server 2010, Windows Server 2008 and others.
Understanding “End of Support”
When a product reaches “end of support” with Microsoft, it means that Microsoft will no longer be providing direct support to users of that product. In addition, “end of support” also means that the product may not provide the same quality of service as it once did.
However, it is important to note that the loss of direct support and the decline in the quality of your user experience are not the most serious concerns you will face. The biggest threat you will face when your products are no longer supported relates to security. Without patches and other updates from Microsoft, you will be vulnerable to compliance issues and cyber attacks.
Preparing for End of Support
If you use Microsoft products and solutions that will no longer be receiving support in 2020, you need to act now. In general, three options are available.
1. Paying for extended support.
As a business customer, you may be able to pay to receive extended support from Microsoft. However, even this support will not last forever, so the best this option can do is buy you some time.
2. Upgrade the solutions in question.
Another option available involves upgrading the Microsoft products and solutions that are reaching end of support. This will involve creating an exit strategy, upgrading each solution that will be losing support and training all of your employees to use the new solutions.
3. Switch to another approach.
A third options involves changing the way you accomplish certain tasks. For example, if you are currently using Windows 7, you may decide to switch to Apple products instead of upgrading to another Windows program.
Seeking Professional Assistance
Deciding how to deal with end-of-support deadlines can be a challenge. Even after you know how you want to handle this issue, developing and implementing your plan will take even more time and effort. If you are worried about dealing with upgrades or other end-of-support challenges on your own, it may be time to contact an IT support professional for assistance. With the help of the right company, you will be able to perform any upgrades or transitions without compromising productivity or taking on security risks.