Microsoft New Zealand is once again reaching out to its Kiwi customers to advise that time is running out for organisations still running Windows Server 2003, with less than 100 days to the end of support deadline on 14 July 2015.
With close to 61% of organisations in New Zealand still hanging on to at least one instance of outdated Windows Server 2003, IT leaders are faced with the challenge of managing security and compliance risks or the opportunity to modernise for today’s mobile-first, cloud-first needs.
Frazer Scott, Marketing & Operations Director for Microsoft NZ, says that this is already an extended date and is based on Microsoft’s standard lifecycle support policies.
“Microsoft NZ has been communicating with our customers about the impending deadline for Windows Server 2003 end-of-support for a long time, and working with our partners to educate users about the process of migration,” he says.
“If they have not already, IT leaders and business owners need to move quickly to protect the applications and information residing on old servers. The July deadline represents an opportunity to future-proof your business and realise the benefits of moving to modern platforms like Windows Server 2012.”
According to Spiceworks – a global professional network of more than 5 million IT professionals – 61% of organisations that use Spiceworks’ tools in New Zealand are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 as of March 2015. This represents a 5% percentage point drop in usage since June 2014.
Scott says for companies still using Windows Server 2003 after the end of support deadline, these servers will be particularly vulnerable as no new security patches will be made available.
“It can typically take around 200 days to make a typical server migration, so with just 100 days left before the deadline, this is especially critical, given the fast-paced evolution of security threats. In fact, since January 2014, 47 new vulnerabilities were identified on Windows Server 2003 according to a report by Secunia, a global player in software vulnerability management.”
Scott continues; “IT demands have changed dramatically since the launch of Windows Server 2003 more than 11 years ago. IT leaders across all industries are now managing an infrastructure that demands support for cloud, mobility, social and data-intensive applications.
“In addition, the increasing security and privacy threats are pressuring businesses of all sizes to transform in this new mobile-first, cloud-first world – all of which cannot be met with old technology platforms,” he says.