On 14th July 2015, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003. This means that Microsoft will no longer release critical updates for Windows Server 2003 from July 2015 onwards. Any business that uses Windows Server 2003 is implicated and should be aware of the consequences this will have on their business. These include:
No updates: the end of security and bug-fix updates for 2003 is a big issue for users, especially when understanding that in 2013, 37 updates were released for Windows Server 2003, all of which were critical for businesses. The software will no longer be protected from potential exploits and compatibility issues.
No savings: Maintenance costs can add up, especially for aging hardware. These require more sophisticated firewalls, intrusion systems and other technology, all with the aim of isolating the 2003 servers. It is more than likely that staying with Windows Server 2003 past its end of life will result in more financial commitment than switching to an alternative.
No compliance: Continuing with Windows Server 2003 past its end of life could cause compliance issues for your business. It will most likely not meet compliance regulations, leaving your organization open to financial and reputational risk. It could also result in an increase in cost of business, due to higher transaction fees or even penalties.
There are a number of considerations when deciding how to react to Windows Server 2003 end of life. However, if approached within plenty of time and with due consideration for all of the important issues, this could represent a positive, transformational period within your business – now is the time to migrate.