Inundating the headlines over the past year has been the news that support for Windows 7 is quickly coming to the end of the road. Microsoft announced that as of January 14th, 2020, critical security updates will no longer be provided, meaning that systems running on Windows 7 in the new year will become vulnerable to cyberattacks and run a high risk of a security breach.
IT service providers and Microsoft experts alike agree that the best solution for businesses both large and small is to upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 10. The new OS offers not only the security upgrades and support that Windows 7 no longer will; it also adds a host of other benefits to your business’s IT operations.
But for whatever reason, your business may still be resisting this upgrade. Whether it’s reluctance to operate within the cloud or incompatible equipment that’s keeping your business from making the switch to Windows 10, there are still several important reasons to upgrade. What’s more, there are great resources such as Managed IT Service Providers who can help your business upgrade without hurting end user productivity or interrupting business as usual.
Why It’s Important to Upgrade to Windows 10
As Microsoft pushes Windows 7 into obsolescence by encouraging users to upgrade to Windows 10, they have made it explicit that security updates on the former OS will be discontinued. As of January 14th, 2020, Windows 7 will no longer be a viable software option for businesses who wish to remain cybersecure.
While there will be an option to pay a yearly fee for extended maintenance and support on Windows 7, IT specialists have discouraged this costly practice as the support will end completely in the next few years regardless. These fees will range from $25 per device in the first year and $100 per device in the third year, which could add unnecessary strain on your IT budget. Additionally, any continued support offered will still not be as robust as Windows 10 security updates and support.
What’s Keeping Your Business from Making the Switch?
Whatever’s keeping your business from upgrading to Windows 10, there are still many compelling reasons that may help your business reconsider how migration from Windows 7 is necessary for both cybersecurity and overall performance:
Aversion to Change
Perhaps your business is resisting an upgrade due to an unwillingness to change decade-old business practices. Change can be hard, but keep in mind that a do-nothing attitude could cost your business dearly—and not just in fees to Microsoft. Systems running Windows 7 will become greater targets for cyberattacks come 2020, and the cleanup for a data breach is no small expenditure, not to mention you will lose client trust. A cost analysis of ransomware attacks based on this year’s marketplace data may convince you to make the switch.
If your worry is incompatibility, understand that compatibility shouldn’t pose an issue for most Windows 7 applications. Windows 10 boasts better compatibility than Windows 7 for a wide range of applications. But even if you’ve discovered your hardware is incompatible with the new OS, purchasing new, compatible equipment will likely be much more cost-effective than running the risk of a cyberattack.
Reluctance to Move to the Cloud
Some businesses fear that in order to upgrade, they will have to migrate their files into cloud storage. Perhaps your business simply doesn’t trust cloud computing over maintaining internal control of protected data. However, some specialized Managed Service Providers (MSPs) such as Network Providence offer alternative solutions such as OS management, office and onsite services, and private cloud storage to allow your business to maintain total control of company data while still upgrading to and reaping the benefits of Windows 10.
Other Windows 10 Benefits
Not only should your business migrate to Windows 10 because of Windows 7 looming lack of security updates, but you should also consider the other benefits the new OS offers your business. One such benefit is that overall support and security updates are increased, and major security updates can be expected twice per year with plenty of minor updates in between.
Additionally, many businesses have reported positive improvements with Windows 10’s hardware advancements in comparison to Windows 7, especially in regards to storage. Such advancements are increasing both the speed and longevity of their computers. Added features such as Cortana and the Action Center have also yielded more user-friendly experiences, and the overall UI has been optimized for newer touch screen devices as well.
A Managed Service Provider Can Help
Ultimately, some businesses may just be clinging to Windows 7 as long as possible to avoid a complicated software upgrade. But as mentioned, MSPs can offer solutions that make the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 smoother, less complex, and more tailored to your unique business practices.
MSPs can help plan and strategize Windows 10 rollout and conduct the upgrade in phases so as to ensure business productivity can be maintained during the transition. With an MSP, a Windows 10 upgrade doesn’t require a halt your business’s day-to-day operations or a total infrastructure remodel. You can strategize the upgrade in accordance with your exact business needs.
If you need further assistance on how to transition to Windows 10 or want to know more information on the options you have, contact us today for a free consultation.