Technology products work in cycles, so as a new product arrives the older version begins to be phased out. That can be hard on a business that is using a product that works perfectly well for them but has to replace it because it has reached end of life.This should be seen as a benefit, not a disadvantage.
Being forced to change to a new product will often bring a new level of productivity. There is, after all, a reason new products replace older ones. The plan is they are bigger and better than the previous model.
A lot of Microsoft products are reaching end of life in the next few years. In less than a year it is the turn of the popular Windows Server 2008. If your business is still using Server 2008, this article will help you understand what end of life means for your business and what you can do about it.
Windows Server 2008 end of life
When Microsoft launches a new product, they keep the previous version running. Lots of people will already be using it, and they might not want or be able to switch. They will continue to support the replaced product. They will also roll out updates for that product. But when a product reaches end of life, that all stops.
The Windows Server 2008 end of life date is January 14th 2020. Less than a year away. From that date onwards Microsoft will no longer be supporting that product. You can still use Windows Server 2008, but there will be no more support and more importantly no more updates.
Why are updates important?
Microsoft will update their products for many different reasons, but one of the biggest is to fix security vulnerabilities. Cybercrime is becoming more and more profitable, and highly-sophisticated hackers work on finding weak points in a product, like Windows Server 2008, they can exploit.
As they find these weak spots Microsoft has to respond by fixing those vulnerabilities. They do that by sending out updates. When Windows Server 2008 reaches end of life, those updates will stop. And very quickly that product will become susceptible to cyber attacks.
Microsoft has added this advice to their website in regards to Windows Server 2008 end of life.
"On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. That means the end of regular security updates. Don't let your infrastructure and applications go unprotected."
What should my business do about it?
While you can continue to use Microsoft Server 2008 after its reached end of life, we would highly recommend against. As you've just read Microsoft are also advising to switch to a new product.
Call your IT provider or get your in-house IT staff to start working on a replacement. Ten months might seem like a long time, but you don't want to be scrambling around at the end of the year to replace something as important as your server operating system.
Why Office 365 is the best replacement
The office suite has been around for a long time, but it is no longer just Word and Excel. Microsoft has created a group of products that truly earns the name 365. Because Office 365, is just that, it works as your office 365 days a year, and from anywhere you want.
Office 365 allows you to run your business in the cloud. Employees can access files from their PC, at home on a laptop, or on the move using their mobile.
You will also have access to the whole range of Office tools including, Word, Excel and Outlook. There are even some tools designed specifically for businesses that can help with managing customers or help with your invoicing.
What features does Office 365 offer?
The exact mix of products you will get depends on the Office 365 version you choose. Each version comes with the same core applications. OneDrive for storing documents and files in the cloud. These files sync with every user on the Office 365 account so employees can collaborate on the same document from anywhere.
Exchange Online is also included as a way of managing emails. Exchange lets you set up an individual mailbox for each employee which they can access and operate by using the Outlook application.
What version of Office 365 is best for my business?
Don't worry about which one of the multiple versions you should choose from. Call your IT provider and tell them what functionality your business will need.
They will then help you select the right version of Office 365. They will purchase the licences and then install it all for you. And then they will support you all the time you're using it. Well, they should do, and that is the service we offer our customers.
Benefits of using Office 365
Some clear advantages come from using Office 365.
With Office 365 you can work from anywhere. You can access and use 365 on multiple devices. If you're on the train on the way to your meeting, you can use your mobile and still get work done.
As well as flexibility as to where you work Office 365 gives you the flexibility to scale your business as and when you need to. Setting up new employees is quick and easy. You can also mix and match apps, letting you create your own solutions for each department of the business.
Office 365 lets you know where all your data is and who has access to it. Using the cloud also means your physical hardware is no longer as valuable to cybercriminals. If you lose your laptop and all your files are saved on the cloud and not your laptop, then all your business data is safe.
I get it, a lot of people don't like change, but end of life for a product can be an exciting opportunity to improve the way your business works. Office 365 is a more agile and adaptable product compared to Microsoft Server 2008.
The range of applications it comes with can help you increase productivity, and its extra flexibility can completely change the way your business works (for the better!)
If you are currently operating with Windows Server 2008, or you want to find out more about what Office 365 can do for your business call us on 01634 52 52 52, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the banner below.