We always encourage our clients to keep their software up-to-date for a number of reasons. First of all, new versions usually come with new features. Sometimes these are features the user will notice and can take advantage of; other times they are more geared to better or easier management of the “back end” for your IT support people.
Second, newer versions most often come with improved security. With the ever-increasing cyber security threats to your data and computer network, taking advantage of any opportunity to improve your defences is always advisable. Furthermore, older software versions will eventually drop off the vendor’s supported list, meaning no more security updates will be released. This then makes it much easier for the cybercriminals to gain access to your network and data.
Third, the time will come when you want to implement a new software application or upgrade a key line-of-business application such as your accounting software. If other software such as PC and Server operating systems are old versions, incompatible with the new application, you may find the expense of this project growing well beyond what was expected. Now your investment isn’t just in the new software application but also in upgrading or purchasing new PC’s and/or Servers. Staying reasonably current as you go is much easier on the bank account.
With respect to Microsoft, the following is a list of software that has recently been removed or will be removed from their supported lists by January, 2018:
- February 28, 2017: Office ProPlus 2013
- April 11, 2017: Exchange Server 2007
- October 10, 2017: Office 2007, Project Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, Groove Server 2007
- October 31, 2017: Outlook 2007 connectivity to Office 365
- January 9, 2018: Communications Server 2007
Another date to keep in mind which is not imminent but still worth planning for is end of support for Windows 7, coming Jan. 14, 2020.
BSC works with our clients to regularly review IT software and hardware lifecycles for replacement planning and budget preparation. If you require this type of assistance, please give us a call.