As the clock ticks down on end of support (EOS) for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, it might feel like everyone is telling you exactly how to prepare your business.  But what about the opportunities of upgrading?

Technology is evolving at a mind-numbing pace.  From Windows NT Advanced Server (NT actually stood for New Technology), Microsoft’s first basic network operating system server, we have seen many new versions over the years, bringing us to where are today –  an era of hybrid cloud computing and exciting innovations in data and applied innovation, all of which and more is encapsulated in the cloud and specifically, Microsoft Azure.

Thanks to the pace of change, from the minute of its release each new version of Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server has a shelf life – when it reaches a certain age and has been superseded by newer versions, support comes to an end.  SQL Server 2008 R2 support comes to an end on 19th July 2019 and shortly after, on 14th January 2020, so too will support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. 

Upgrading isn’t about adapting to cope, but adapting to win

Updating your IT infrastructure is no small task, and you’ll no doubt be sizing up the cost/benefit analysis of such a mammoth undertaking.  But running an unsupported infrastructure will lead to higher operational costs, lower reliability, reduced agility and weak security.  There will come a point where you’re spending more money maintaining legacy than you would if you had upgraded everything.

So where do we feel that the real opportunities lie?

  1. Robust Security

No patches, no automated fixes, and no updates will leave your business vulnerable to security attacks.  Failure to upgrade is like traversing a minefield – firefighting the vulnerabilities which hackers are all too ready and capable of exploiting.

Protecting your business from cyber-attack increases productivity, inspires confidence from your customers, allows your business to grow with confidence, and most importantly minimises your business risk, financially, operationally and reputationally.

With continuous security health monitoring, always-on encryption, dynamic data masking, row level security, threat intelligence, advanced threat analytics, information protection, and multi-factor authorisation, having your server estate in the cloud within Azure is your first line of defence.

  1. Improved Compliance

GDPR, HIPAA, SOX, ISO and PCI-DSS all require your business to protect sensitive and financial data in the most secure way possible.

Adherence to these regulations demonstrates to your customers that your business is one that they can trust to handle their payments and protect their sensitive financial and personal data.  Trust is your most important brand asset, and improved trust is an opportunity to build a stronger more profitable business.

Using unsupported software increases your risk of non-compliance.  Microsoft Azure provides the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings available, helping you meet a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance regulations.

  1. Cost savings and revenue generation

New applications are released on an almost daily basis, and old and new technologies rarely work together seamlessly.  If you don’t upgrade, your business will effectively be operating with one hand tied behind its back, unable to utilise the latest applications or newest versions of software, all whilst incurring increased maintenance costs.

Conversely, with modern software you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest features, all designed for today’s IT environments. In doing so you can realise significant improvements in productivity, thereby saving you money, as well being able to innovate rapidly launching new revenue-generating products, services and features.

As well as reducing maintenance expenditure, Azure unlocks the potential for enhanced total cost of ownership (it is 20% less than comparable alternatives), whilst pay-as-you-go consumption-based pricing ensures your business can scale up and down as and when it needs.  50% of businesses report reaching ROI at a faster rate by cutting productivity costs, creating lasting efficiencies, and optimising workloads.

  1. Do more with data

With an out of date platform your business could be missing out on the game-changing benefits of modernising your data estate.

One of the great benefits of upgrading to Azure is the increased ability to take advantage of the latest developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics.  Tracking metrics, analysing data and harnessing commercially valuable insights can enable your business to optimise strategies and processes for even better results.  It’s possible to make massive changes to both costs and revenues by integrating advanced data-based insights that empower your employees and your business.

  1. Empower your people

Empowered employees are happy employees.  Digital transformation is a welcome evolution for what is without doubt your greatest asset, who can benefit from the many new capabilities advanced environments, applications and digital tools have to offer.

When employees have the tools they need, they feel empowered and are more productive.  Everyone benefits – employees can do more, your customers get more, and your business generates more revenue.

Without expensive outlay, Azure empowers your people to innovate, test new features, and explore new avenues and technologies.

Azure is an opportunity to be jumped on

When you’re ready to start moving your legacy Microsoft servers into the cloud, New Signature can help.  Our unique turnkey EOS migration program takes the stress out of upgrading, managing your migration to Azure using market-leading tried and tested methodologies delivered by our team of specialist migration consultants.  So that means we can get your server estate up and running in the cloud quickly to then enable you to move towards your second phase of transformation where the real magic takes place!

Plus, our suite of Azure Support Services offers lasting peace of mind – with ongoing access to accredited experts, management of all of your Azure subscriptions, an advanced self-serve Cloud Management Portal, and advisory services.

If you haven’t seen our new End-of-Support Guide, download it now.

Download Guide

To find out more about upgrade opportunities, reach out to an expert.