Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.

Stone recommends Windows.

On 9th July 2019, SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 support will end, followed by end of support for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 on 14th January 2020, with Windows 7 support ending the same day. These dates are fast approaching, so now is the time to step back and assess how end of support can impact your business and review your Windows Server position. Moreover, it’s a great opportunity for you to rationalise and update your entire server strategy, to help your organisation become more agile and futureproof for the fast-paced and volatile world of business.

What does end of support mean for your business?

Weakened security
When support goes end-of-life, security updates stop, leaving companies vulnerable in a threat landscape that’s more dangerous than ever. Cyber crime continues to rise every year, and the sophistication of cyber attacks is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Attackers find security gaps and loopholes to exploit. Unsupported software and dated security is a cyber criminals ideal gateway into your network. Without the latest security, your entire IT infrastructure becomes weaker by the second, making it open to attacks and data breaches.

It has been found that during an attack, typically 20% of organisations lose customers, whilst 30% lose revenue. Furthermore, of breached companies, research shows that the typical loss of customers, funds and business opportunities equates to over 20% of an organisations revenue. With the potential implications weakened security can have on your business, its vital your systems are kept up-to-date and supported.

Potential compliance issues
Running software without updated security also puts organisations at risk of breaking compliance with industry requirements and regulations, including GDPR. At nearly a year on since its implementation, you will be more than well aware of the potential penalties and financial implications of GDPR infringements. With fines having the potential to climb in to the millions, non-compliance will certainly be something your business will want to avoid.

Although up-to-date software and security alone cannot make your organisation compliant, it provides a foundation for meeting basic GDPR requirements, and a practical method for monitoring, managing and protecting data. And so, your company needs a strategy that includes uninterrupted critical security updates to keep it safe from hackers and security breaches.

Opportunity to innovate
Don’t let the risks of end of SQL support concern you – use it as an opportunity. The end of SQL is an ideal springboard for innovation within your organisation, to help you achieve a more modern and dynamic strategy. It’s an opportunity for your organisation to move from a traditional on-premise solution, to a high-capacity, futureproof cloud approach that can improve processes and the experiences of your people.

Embracing a cloud solution helps your organisation become more agile and extensible in the everchanging business environment, and as you evolve and grow. Staying traditional can not only inhibit your adaptability, it can also inhibit your finances. Managing legacy applications is costly, has diminishing returns, and rarely adds incremental value to your business. Making the choice to move to the cloud can protect your organisation’s valuable resources, reduce time-consuming tasks, save money, and add efficiency.

If you’re still worried about SQL 2008 EOS – you can move your workloads to Microsoft Azure for an additional 3 years support. Microsoft Azure, is a leading cloud solution built to help you keep your business safe, flexible and productive. Azure is designed to help your company turn ideas into real life solutions faster, whilst enhancing security and facilitating compliance. With Azure, you get enhanced security built-in to its core, as well as more than 70 compliance certifications – more than any other cloud provider. You can also enjoy cost savings; Azure helps you reduce your infrastructure costs with free extended security updates, Azure Hybrid Benefit and optimised infrastructure.

How can Stone help you utilise the end of SQL opportunity?

Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services to help your organisation meet your challenges. It’s the freedom to build, manage and deploy applications on a massive, global network using your favourite tools and frameworks. We can help you migrate your Server 2008 workloads to this intelligent cloud solution, to help you increase you productivity, flexibility, and business potential, and give you 3 more years of free security updates after end of support.

Windows 10
We can help you move to Windows 10, the most secure Windows yet. With Windows 10, your organisation is always protected by the latest security updates and your users have access to a plethora of collaboration and productivity tools that help them get more done. We can help you deploy Windows 10 into your business, in conjunction with your transition to your modern cloud solution.

Software Asset Management (SAM)
We can help you implement proven IT practices that unify your people, processes, and technology to help you control and optimise your software across your organisation. With SAM, you’re better equipped to for controlling costs and managing business and legal risks.

Optimise Microsoft licensing investments
It’s well known that the software landscape is complex even for IT professionals. That’s why we have dedicated software specialists that can handle every aspect of Microsoft license agreements, whether it’s consultations, renewals, new purchases, volume licensing and more.

As a leading technology provider for over 25 years, and as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re a well positioned IT partner of choice with the knowledge and expertise that can help you innovate your server strategy before end of support deadlines. We can guide your migration to a cloud solution, help you manage your software investments with greater efficiency, enable you to save costs and increase security.

We’re ready to help and have a huge range of options ready to discuss with you. So, why not use this end of support transition as an opportunity to evaluate and enhance your Data Platform options? Contact us today to find out more.

Contact one of our account managers today