2020’s End-of-Support List: Why it Matters & What to Do

January 14, 2020 is the fast-approaching date when a long list of Microsoft® products and solutions will reach their End of Support. That’s a lot of widely used products, and there’s a good chance your company relies on at least a few of them to get your job done every day.   

Why it Matters 

Microsoft solutions likely represent a big part of your daily software use. Even still, you might be tempted to ignore those incoming reminders from Microsoft about End of Support  but it’s imperative to your business and your clients that you don’t. Every Microsoft solution on the End-of-Support list will need to be upgraded or you will be facing three serious issues.  

  1. Security is DownWithout the ongoing patching and updates that come out regularly from the Microsoft team, your solutions will be vulnerable to the resulting security and compliance risks that can happen without proactive maintenance.  
  2. UX is Lacking – As patches stop happening, updates aren’t applied and support disappears, your users will start seeing user-experience issues that will make their everyday tasks significantly more complicated. 
  3. Support is OverIf you’re used to calling Microsoft when there’s an issue with one of the solutions on this list, that won’t be an option anymore. Microsoft’s support team will no longer be offering support for any of the listed solutions.

Proactive planning and aggressive action are the keys to making sure this transition leaves your business successful, protected and ready for growth. So how do you make it happen? 

What to Do 

If you’re ready to be proactive about updating your solutions, you have a few important steps to take.  

  1. Replace your Windows Server instance with cloud-based Azure and Windows Server 2019.
  2. Make the move to Windows 10.
  3. Replace your SharePoint and Office instances with Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

These three steps represent a big change for your business and your end users, but making the switch means future-proofing your business and building a stronger foundation for growth. Upgrading to cloud-specific solutions can offer you the flexibility of the cloud without the added cost (and expiration date) of paying for Extended Support from Microsoft.  

But to make the transition to the cloud as successful, simple and stable as possible, you’ll need an IT expert solely dedicated to your solutions and systems. Don’t have one on staff? That’s where we come in.  

How We Can Help 

We are the IT experts you need to take the pressure of the 2020 End-of-Support date off of your shoulders. With our comprehensive IT support, we can help you create an upgrade timeline, update your systems and avoid a dip in productivity. Don’t wait until the final hour to think about how your business will handle Microsoft’s 2020 End of Support. Call us today and we’ll get started on your upgrade plan. 


4 Ways a Business Continuity Plan Can Help Your Company

As a business owner, the buck stops with you. Your employees rely on you to have the answers when problem occurs. But what are you going to do when you find out a hurricane or wildfire is heading your way? What about massive hardware failure? Will you be prepared?  

Nobody wants to think about a natural or manmade disaster affecting their business, so that’s why companies delay or ignore creating an emergency plan. A Travelers Insurance study found that 48 percent of small businesses have no plan in place.  

To be prepared in the event of a data, natural or manmade disaster, companies need to have a business continuity plan in place before a crisis occurs. A business continuity plan is a document outlining how a business will continue services following an emergency.  

With that in mind, here are four ways a business continuity plan can help your business: 

1. Identify Essential Business Functions 

Do you know the minimum requirements for running your company? One of the primary goals of a business continuity plan is to identify the core functions of your business. These functions are what need to be addressed first to get back up and running at a minimum acceptable level. That way, you can reopen while continuing to address other issues. 

2. Minimize Downtime 

Every hour your website, production line or office is down costs you money in lost profit. Following a disaster, 90 percent of smaller companies fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days, according to FEMA. With a well-developed plan, your employees will know what to do to get operations running again as quickly as possible.  

3. Uncover Gaps in Your Business 

While doing a business impact analysis, you may find gaps in your plan. For example, if you’re in manufacturing, do you have a secondary location to shift operations if the main facility is inoperable? If not, then you may need to come up with a plan to temporarily use a rental facility or stock up on emergency inventory.  

4. Get Peace of Mind 

Researching and developing a business continuity plan can be a daunting task, no matter the size of your company. But once you’ve tested your plan and it works, you’ll be glad you have it. You and your employees can rest easy knowing that if the worst happens, you’ll be ready.  

Unfortunately, not all small-to-midsize businesses have the time to halt work and focus on building a plan. Luckily, they don’t have to do it alone. Our team of experts can help simplify the business continuity process to help prepare your business if the worst ever happens.  

Stop worrying about the worst-case scenario and contact us today.