Reasons to prepare for Microsoft support deadlines

In 2020 Microsoft will be ending support for both its Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010. This means that any devices running these editions will soon lose support. Here are five reasons why organisations should already be preparing to avoid this by updating their software now.

1. Protection is crucial

Following the support deadline, there will be no new security patches, upgrades or refreshes for the out of date software. Consequently businesses will be entirely on their own. Therefore, failing to update could leave systems open to cyber-attacks and malware.

2. Updates take time and lots of it

The switch across to Windows 10 and Office 365/2016 may not be a quick and simple procedure. For instance, all peripheral devices such as computer mice, keyboards and printers will need to be assessed to determine whether they support Windows 10. Considering other challenges along the way, a digital transformation such as this could take between one and two years depending on the size of the organisation.

3. Staff will need training

While some staff may feel comfortable operating on different versions of software, others may find the changes difficult to adjust to. If preparations don’t begin now, it might be too late to factor this in and employees could be left unable to do their jobs.

4. Costs will run high

Businesses should also be aware of underestimating costs. Senior managers and stakeholders must understand the scale of the change to guarantee that financial investment is available for a smooth and successful transition. This includes:

  • Budgeting for replacements of incompatible physical equipment
  • Reduced productivity during the migration period
  • Provision of new software licences.

5. Your organisation will benefit

Organisations will be pleased to hear that there is a silver lining to all this change. By updating to the cloud-based Office 365, employees will be granted licence access to their files and Office software on up to five devices. This will enable shared access to content and support remote and flexible working.

What now?

Updating IT systems can be daunting at the best of times, so a major change such as this is likely to leave some business owners quaking at the thought. However, they should consider the whole process as a project to be managed from beginning to end, with a clear plan in place. Subsequently the support deadline may give organisations the opportunity to embrace meaningful transformation at the same time.

Read our full article for CEO Today on Microsoft support deadlines.

To discuss how to begin the migration process and make the most of your software update, please contact Peter Marsden or another member of the team here at Entec Si.

By Peter Marsden

Principal Consultant

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