If it ain't broke don't fix it. How many times have you heard that phrase in your life?
Generally, we tend to agree. However, there is an exception when it comes to operating systems and servers that have reached their end of service. Even if they appear to be functioning fine at the moment, it is not a wise decision – in fact, it can be outright perilous to delay upgrades. Even using outdated software can pose potential risks.
Unfortunately, outdated systems still have a pretty large foothold in what we do day to day. Operating systems, like Windows XP, had a 35% adoption rate 5 years after their last standard security update. Server patches are also largely neglected which can cause major gaps in data security and increase maintenance costs.
So, what does End of Service mean?
When it's "end of service" for operating systems and servers, it's like the system has entered retirement mode. The manufacturer stops giving it support, which means no more help when things go haywire (although your local IT company – wink wink – might still lend a hand).
What's worse, you won't receive any new updates. Now, on the surface, that may not sound like a big deal. Missing out on the latest features might not bother you much, but the real trouble lurks in the realm of security updates.
If you're running a business that needs to meet regulations like HIPAA, clinging to outdated equipment means you're probably violating some rules. Violating these types of regulations can result in fines and can potentially damage the trust your customers and patients place in you.
Why is running outdated tech dangerous?
When operating systems and servers reach their "end of life," they miss out on receiving crucial security patches, and that's when the trouble creeps in. Your system becomes wide open to any vulnerabilities discovered after its retirement, and unfortunately, you won't have a way to seal those holes.
But that's not all. Each time new patches are released for modern operating systems and servers, bad actors get a virtual treasure map of vulnerabilities to exploit against those poor souls still stuck with outdated systems.
Now, if you believe your business is too small to be on bad actors' radars, think again. They are well aware that small businesses don't have deep pockets to invest in robust data security like the big shots do, and they cunningly exploit that to their advantage. So, size doesn't matter when it comes to being a target for these digital troublemakers.
What should you do about your outdated tech?
It's vital to keep your machines in tip-top shape, whether they're servers, PCs, phones, or anything else in the digital realm. What we mean is to stay informed about the machines you currently have and be ready to update them before they reach that dreaded "end of service" phase.
Strategies to keep your systems updated: Patch Management Can Save Your Business: Here's How
If you've got machines that have already hit that end-of-service milestone, it's time to bid them farewell and swiftly migrate to shiny new machines. And here's a little pro tip: make sure you're aware of every nook and cranny of software residing on your company's computers. If, by any chance, you spot a Windows computer rocking Quicktime, do yourself a favor and remove it ASAP! Trust us, it's for the best.
Keep an eye on older programs as they lose support from the manufacturer. When that happens, bid them a fond farewell and hit that uninstall button like a pro. It's all about keeping your digital landscape fresh, secure, and ready to take on whatever the future holds.
PCs running outdated Operating Systems
Before you dive headfirst into updating your operating system, take a moment to ensure that all your beloved line of business applications will play nice with the shiny new upgrade you're eyeing. It would be a real bummer if you hit the upgrade button only to find out that your favorite tools no longer want to dance with the updated system. Compatibility is key!
Oh, and here's another crucial step: give your computer a quick once-over to ensure it has what it takes to handle the new operating system like a champ. You don't want to end up with a sluggish machine struggling to keep up with the upgrade's demands. So, peek at those system requirements like a curious detective on a mission.
When it comes to bidding farewell to an outdated server, you're entering a whole new realm. Brace yourself, because this is a bigger and more expensive endeavor than simply updating an operating system. You've got three enticing options at your disposal:
Option one: Strap on your purchasing boots and migrate to a shiny new physical server. Yep, that means investing in some tangible hardware to keep your systems running smoothly.
Option two: Embrace the cloud like a tech-savvy wanderer. This means waving goodbye to physical servers altogether and entrusting your systems to the ethereal realm of cloud storage. It's like having your own little piece of digital heaven.
Option three: Seek the best of both worlds with a hybrid solution. This magical concoction involves splitting your systems between a physical server and the cloud. It's a harmonious blend of the tangible and the intangible.
Now, let's not dive too deep into the nitty-gritty of each option here. We won't overwhelm you with all the details. (We're happy to talk details, give us a call (864) 552-1291) But here's the deal: the biggest factor that sets these options apart is cost.
Physical servers often come with a hefty one-time expense (until the time comes for yet another upgrade), while cloud storage usually comes with a friendly monthly fee that won't break the bank. And as for hybrid solutions, well, unsurprisingly, they bring a mix of upfront costs and ongoing monthly fees to the table.
So, choose your path wisely, considering the financial dance you're willing to perform. Just remember, every choice has its own set of perks and quirks. It's all about finding the balance that suits your needs and budget like a snug pair of digital gloves.
Using outdated operating systems and servers poses significant risks. It can lead to compliance issues, hefty fines, and a loss of trust from customers and patients. Outdated systems lack essential security patches, making them vulnerable to hackers. Regardless of the size of your business, staying updated is crucial.
When it comes to servers, consider options like investing in a new physical server, embracing cloud storage, or opting for a hybrid solution. Each option has its pros and cons in terms of costs and benefits.
Don't take risks with outdated systems. Keep your digital landscape secure and ready for the future. Upgrade and migrate to modern technology to ensure smooth operations and protect your business.
Take action now for a secure and reliable digital infrastructure. Upgrade, migrate, and stay ahead!
If you are interested in learning more about how to get the most out of your technology, give us a call at (864) 552-1291 and we'll help you evaluate capabilities and options. Also, sign up for PTG Tech Talk for monthly tech news, and consider following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter!