Many QuickBooks users, especially those SMB clients who run networked versions of QuickBooks make use of small business servers. July 14, 2015 spells the end of support the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family of products. Now is the time you should begin the process of migrating to an alternative server operating system.
What does the end of support mean?
Microsoft will no longer release updates to this software after support ends. Did you know that 37 updates have been released since the start of 2013 for Windows Server 2003? Since many of these updates were designed to enhance the security and performance of your Windows server, it is very likely that your operations could fail to meet industry compliance standards and regulations after support services are lost. What's worse is both your server operating system and your data will be at increased risk to malware and other forms of attack from a wide variety of sources. More than likely your server software would not operate properly on a newer computer if you were required to change hardware due to some physical demand or defect.
What to do next!
Migration from Windows Server 2003 can take many different paths, a lot has changed in the Information Technology Age in the last 12 years since Windows Server 2003 was born. But even though there are many options, every journey of migration should begin with an inventory of your current technology, a needs assessment and an analysis of alternatives.
Some businesses may choose to maintain their own internal servers running a newer operating system, other businesses may choose to migrate ‘to the Cloud’. Cloud solutions may take the form of a ‘hosted server environment’, or in other cases your business may choose to make use of SAAS ‘cloud based software.’ In some circumstances a combination of all of these options may be the best solution for your business.
Different workloads, applications, access requirements and core functionality will all contribute to the path you finally select. Your final decision will, more than likely, be driven by additional considerations such as speed of transition, ease of migration and of course cost.
The important thing to remember is NOW is the time to begin, don’t wait until July 14, 2015 to say “Oh gosh, I guess I better do something about our server, because support for Windows Server 2003 has come to an end.” While there will be many small businesses who do wait to the last possible moment, you can bet one thing: “Waiting will mean that your migration will ‘take longer, be more complicated, and cost more’ than if you hadn’t waited.”
Contact your QuickBooks ProAdvisor or Information Technology consultant to get you started on your path to future success.