Upgrading to a supported version of Windows reduces risk, improves performance and lowers maintenance costs.
Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. The company no longer issues updates, including security updates and enhancements. If you still have Windows 2003 in your organization, you are at risk of security breaches, plus you are missing out on the benefits of better performance, lower maintenance and improved scalability, according to IDC Research.
Gartner Research warns that IT teams that fail to upgrade open themselves up to data theft, unauthorized transactions, application failures, inaccurate data and regulatory compliance failures in certain industries.
Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2, the latest release, is relatively straightforward. IT teams should start by building a complete risk assessment to garner support for the project and to ensure that it has the visibility to become and remain a high priority for the organization. Management needs to recognize that this is more than an IT project. Failure to upgrade could put the entire organization at risk.
With the high-profile security breaches that have occurred in the last several years, including Target, Home Depot, the IRS and Healthcare.gov, along with eBay, Sony and many others, it should be apparent that no organization is immune. Mitigating the risk of breach should be more than enough incentive for most management teams to understand the value of this upgrade.
Among the many tangible improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2 are integrated virtualization capabilities, improved scalability, better scripting capabilities, simplified maintenance, anywhere access and sandboxes, to say nothing of such important breakthroughs as Hyper-V and PowerShell 3.0. Improved compatibility with critical business applications and the ability to take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Azure or other cloud platforms are reason enough to upgrade.