As you probably know, Microsoft Windows 7 will reach End of Life on 14 January 2020. And, whilst upgrades to Windows 10 are shooting up as the deadline looms, as of January 2019, Windows 7 was still running on 37.2% of all PCs*. If your business still counts amongst them, it’s time to think about upgrading ASAP.
This article provides a reminder of you why you need up upgrade and the benefits of moving onto the Windows 10 operating system (OS). We’ll then look at whether a simple upgrade will suffice, or you need to look at replacing some or all of your kit. This will, of course, depending on your existing set-up as well as your current and future business needs.
Why upgrade now? Windows 7 is great!
Windows 7 was great. But it’s had its day. Even if it’s meeting your needs right now, there are pressing reasons to upgrade, including:
- As mentioned, coming very soon, there will be no more security upgrades or bug fixes, leaving your system wide open to cyber crime. There’ll be no more system upgrades either, so your computers will eventually start to run more slowly and develop glitches.
- Withdrawal of vendor support. Newer versions of applications such as anti-virus and accounting software won’t work with Windows 7 in the future. So, you’ll be stuck with outdated systems and no technical support.
- Compliance issues. You are required under GDPR to put robust data security measures in place and running an unsupported OS won’t cut the mustard. You could also fall foul of industry regulations, such as those imposed by the FSA.
- IT support limitations. It will be harder and more expensive to fix your systems if problems develop after Windows 7 reaches End of Life. There’ll be no more support from Microsoft, either.
The benefits of Windows 10
- Automatic install of important updates, so you don’t need to check for and install these manually. This takes all kinds of problems out of the equation, not to mention saving you time and hassle.
- New security features such as Advanced Threat Protection, identity management and biometric authentication mean your systems will be safer than ever before.
- Regular updates that consistently improve your OS’s performance and your user experience. Plus, access to cutting-edge applications that won’t run on earlier versions of Windows, like Cortana and Edge.
- A similar appearance to Windows 7, so you’ll feel at home, but combined with enhanced features that give you more control over look and feel.
- Consistent compatibility with new and existing applications, as Windows 10 is constantly being updated.
- ‘Windows as a Service’. Windows 10 could be the last OS you’ll ever need to buy, as Windows will simply release new versions of it as updates rather than creating new products. (This policy I s not set in stone forever, though.)
What are your options for the upgrade process?
Put simply, you have two choices: upgrade your existing fleet to Windows 10 specifications or invest in new, Windows 10-ready equipment. Buying new machines will cost more than upgrading (usually at least twice as much), but it could be the right decision for your business in the longer-term. The questions below will help you decide what to do.
- How old is your server? If you’re using Small Business Server (SBS), Microsoft have upgraded it so it works with Windows 10. However, problems have been reported with older versions, some of which have reached or are approaching End of Life in any case. If you’re running an older or unsupported version, it’s worth looking at replacing your server, so you can get the most from Windows 10. There are lots of options, including cloud-based servers that avoid the need to buy new physical kit.
- Can your machines meet your future needs? Even if your existing set-up is working well, think about your plans for growth and expansion. Older equipment might not be up to the job even if you upgrade to Windows 10. For example, you need to invest in powerful new technology so you can keep meeting your customers’ needs.
- Could making changes remove the need for replacement? A good example is moving business-critical programmes from a problematic machine to a different device, if one is available. Or investing in solutions like Solid State Drives to boost speed and performance in older PCs, and external hard drives to increase storage.
- Are your PCs and/or laptops on their last legs? If a device is on the verge of failing and an alternative machine isn’t available, solutions like those noted above won’t help. By cutting your losses and buying new machines before the old ones break, you can preserve your productivity levels and data integrity.
- Are your machines out of warranty? Replacing moving parts like hard drives and fans can be expensive. Replacing equipment every few years will avoid these costs but comes at its own price. Leasing might be an alternative option, especially as fluctuating market prices mean your monthly rental costs could go down – whilst you still have access to the latest technology.
Help and advice is on hand from Jalapeno
Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 might sound simple, but other considerations often complicate the process. Luckily, you don’t need to go it alone as the friendly team at Jalapeno Business Services are here to help. We can manage the process from start to finish, from auditing your existing set-up and assessing your current and future needs, to carrying out upgrades or identifying, supplying and installing new systems for your business