Consider this one of your final warnings about the need to upgrade your IT assets from Windows 7 as soon as possible. It’s understandable that your small business might not yet have upgraded as time does roll by quickly, especially when you have an organization to run. However, your company’s operations could be negatively impacted if you continue to wait as this blog post will explain.
The Last Days of Windows 7
Windows 7 has been a reliable and effective operating system that many companies are still attached to–thanks to its useful and varied features, speed, software compatibility, and overall dependability. However, its time has definitely come and gone as Windows 10 provides these qualities along with many enhanced features.
Windows 7 has been in extended support since January 2015 and will be there until January 14, 2020. This critical date also applies to Windows Server 2008. Up to that day, users will still be able to install important security patches and continue to have access to paid technical support. After the end of service phase is initiated on January 14, 2020, security patches and all technical support will cease.
Three Main Reasons to Upgrade Now
The three main reasons to upgrade from Windows 7 now are: Protection, Productivity, and Cost Savings as discussed below.
The most important reason to upgrade now is to keep your cybersecurity functioning at an optimal level to protect your network. It is crucial that your small business use an operating system that is continuously updated with the latest hardware and security patches, which will not be the case with Windows 7 after mid-January.
A stark reminder of the problems that can arise when using an operating system that is not supported at the highest level of security is what happened with the ransomware cyberattack known as WannaCry in 2017. This ransomware spread much more rapidly by exploiting vulnerabilities in PCs still using outdated and under-protected systems such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Conservative estimates are that more than 200,000 computers were infected by WannaCry in 150 countries at a cost of billions of dollars in ransom money and hindered operations.
Cybersecurity statistics reinforce the important message of staying protected at the most advanced level possible. The average breach costs a company $84,000, and 60% of small businesses go out of business after a successful cyberattack. Cybercriminals are becoming ever more sophisticated, so it is dangerous to leave your network protected at anywhere less than the highest level. After the end of service date for Windows 7, cyberattacks will increasingly focus on exploiting the networks and PCs still using this outdated operating system.
Even though Windows 7 has proven itself reliable and versatile for a remarkable length of time, its advanced age will increasingly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your business operations, making your employees less productive. It is important to note that a growing amount of new software and hardware used in your business will not even be compatible with Windows 7. For example, Intuit has recently sent out reminder messages recommending an immediate Windows upgrade to ensure their clients better protection along with the best functionality with their popular applications, such as QuickBooks and TurboTax.
The advantages of newer and rapidly improving technology are clear. For example, the latest PCs can run 8 applications or more simultaneously. As all different forms of applications continue to increase in complexity and power, your operating system must be able to work well with them to keep your business functioning at its optimal level.
It is clear that small businesses always have to pay attention to the bottom line by conserving costs and getting the most productive use out of all their IT assets. For this reason, it is reasonable for your company to have some reluctance about investing in new workstations and laptops. However, Microsoft points out the eye-opening statistic that the total yearly cost of owning a computer four years old or older (because of necessary updates, maintenance/tech support, reduced functionality, and downtime) is more than $2,300. This substantial amount would be enough for your company to replace one or two computers with better-performing IT assets.
Work with a Reliable IT Support Partner
Because of the important factors described above, we strongly recommend that you promptly contact a trusted IT Support Partner like Network Depot to discuss and arrange a Windows upgrade transition. A reliable partner will provide a professional recommendation concerning new IT assets based on your organization’s unique requirements. Their technical team will work closely with your company throughout the process to set up and install your new computers and transfer your data and applications smoothly and painlessly. Your company’s operations won’t miss a beat and will soon be functioning at a higher and more secure level to more effectively and efficiently achieve your organization’s objectives.
The year 2020 is right around the corner. Don’t be that last-minute company calling up your IT Support Partner the week before Windows 7 end of service sheepishly asking for assistance. Consider the IT upgrade an early gift for the holidays, as it will be one less business headache for the challenging new year ahead. Take the time now to work with your trusted IT Support partner to plan and execute a seamless transition process from Windows 7 to Windows 10.