Make a note in your diary because it’s one every business needs to be aware of. As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will withdraw support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. In effect, this means that there will be no security patches or bug updates after this point, so if your organisation is still using these operating systems, you may find your data compromised from hackers looking to exploit newly emerging vulnerabilities from unprotected computers.

You’ve got no time to lose

Although the deadline may seem to be a long way in the distance, the reality is that a complete overhaul of an IT infrastructure takes a considerable amount of time. What’s more, upgrades need to be managed carefully so that any transition is seamless and avoids disruption to day-to-day operations. Rushing through such fundamental change at the last minute could lead to costly mistakes.

It might be a bigger project than you think

Start planning now with a thorough audit of your existing IT assets – including the data your company holds and where it is stored, the apps and software used by employees, hardware and networks. A thorough evaluation will help you to better understand the scale of the project ahead and plan accordingly. If you’re not sure where to start, or your IT department is already stretched, turning to outside expertise in the form of an IT consultant could be the answer.

Failure to act could compromise data

The looming deadline means that Microsoft will no longer provide regular security updates. Lack of protection for your applications and infrastructure could pose a serious risk to your organisation’s data. Without putting a plan of action in place, you may find yourself suddenly vulnerable to spyware, malware and viruses. Failure to adequately protect the information you hold could also place you in breach of data protection regulations with the possibility of a substantial financial penalty.

There may be different options available

Depending on the needs of your business, and if you need a little extra time upgrading your servers, you may find that the best option is to invest in onsite infrastructure or fully migrate to a cloud-based system such as Azure. You may even be able to implement a hybrid combination of the two solutions. However, although there is a choice, the wrong choice is (as Microsoft admits in its campaign video about the deadline) not doing anything at all.

The Windows Server 2008 end of support date is not all bad news

Change is inevitable, and the opportunity to upgrade is a chance to transform the way your business works for the better. For example, taking advantage of a complete cloud-based solution could remove the need for bulky and expensive onsite equipment, while allowing for greater employee flexibility, improved connectivity and security.

If you would like support in preparing for the Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 end of support date, we offer a full consultancy package to help your business plan and implement change. Get in touch on 0845 241 6370 or email