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4 reasons why CIOs should really care about Windows Server 2003 End of Support

Arun Ulagaratchagan, General Manager, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft Asia Pacific | Jan. 12, 2015
Four key reasons why organisations should start planning their migration off of the platform now, before it is too late.

Would you step into an old but functioning lift that is no longer getting maintenance support from its manufacturer? That's the question that CIOs should also ask themselves when looking at IT inventory that is obsolete but still working.

Microsoft will officially end its extended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. What this means is the company will stop providing patches to fix security vulnerabilities or newly discovered defects in the code, much like Windows XP when its extended support ended in April earlier this year. What's different though, is that while those upgrading from Windows XP had to deal with application migration challenges, migrating from Windows Server 2003 is typically a much longer, planned and complex process.

Which begs the question that many CIOs and data center managers are asking themselves: Why the urgency to migrate from Windows Server 2003 if the current servers work just fine. Why incur the extra cost, spend precious manhours and risk possible downtime (of the system) to upgrade something that serves the organization well? 

Not surprisingly, many CIOs that we speak with in the region that are still running Windows Server 2003 continue to work with the notion that they are immune to security risks and compliance issues. Most of them are also confident that the data and applications that sit on these servers can still serve the mobile-first and cloud-first world that we live in today. In fact, many business leaders believe they can save money by not investing to upgrade their servers. Nothing can be further from the truth.

An average migration for Windows Server takes about 200 days to complete. With less than 250 days before Microsoft ends its extended support for Windows Server 2003, the time is now to start planning for the migration before it is too late.

Common Misconceptions Abound

Here are some of the common misconceptions that we are hearing from CIOs and data center managers in Asia Pacific:  

1.       Compliance

Common misconception: "Compliance is not important to my business"

Truth: Without support for its servers, enterprises run the risk of not complying to the latest regulatory standards. This is particularly crucial for mission-critical industries such as healthcare and financial services. For instance, the lack of payment card industry (PCI) compliance may result in the inability to provide credit card payment options.

Benefits of migrating: Being able to comply to the latest regulatory standards can help a company avoid fines or in some cases, avoid being cut off by partners keen to protect their own compliance standards.

2.       Security

Common misconception: "I never had security issues so far, and I doubt I will in the near future"


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