Microsoft discontinued support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. On the surface this doesn’t sound like a huge deal but let me grab your attention. Windows 7 is running on almost 42% of the worlds PC’s and Server 2008 accounts for almost 50% of all servers. Why would you care? Great question!
When Microsoft moves forward with planned obsolescence, all of the supporting industries also move away from supporting outdated systems. Many of the endpoint protection companies will stop releasing updates for their products leaving your system vulnerable to attacks. Your current support team will no longer have access to any assistance from Microsoft should you experience a technical issue that needs to be addressed. There are a multitude of reasons why you should be concerned, but the biggest is why hasn’t your current “support team” or “your guy” made you aware of this change and to help you budget for updating your systems?
This is where I believe there is a great divide between having technical support and having a CIO/VCIO (Virtual CIO). The days of just needing a technical resource are over. Business owners need an advocate who is well versed in business acumen combined with technical knowledge. Someone who will ask real questions, listen and help with real change in their business. Finding how to leverage technology in the workplace, increase productivity, collaboration, communication and efficiencies. Not someone who is only concerned with a computer, monitor and a little bit of email or cloud backup service. At this point if your support team doesn’t offer simple services they shouldn’t be in the business.
So today, ask yourself and your team; when was the last time our technical support team came and asked about the next 3-5 years of our business plan? When have they spent time with us regularly in person to discuss what we have today and where we need to be in the next 18 months to prepare for this Microsoft change? Does our current provider even know how to help with more than the basic cost of entry to be a technical resource? Many companies look and sound great on the surface but dig a little deeper and you will find they only know computer stuff. Your company needs to take the next evolution in technology management, hiring a team of not only technical smart people but also members of that team that understand workflow, P&L management, communication methods, competitive landscape, basically everything you care about.
Small business’s need to spend more on IT support and it’s not as expensive as you think. Continuing to do what you have always done will not work now or in the future. Small business owners are going to have to recognize that we have vulnerabilities and need a trusted advisor. Most successful companies have a “trusted advisor” a CPA an Attorney that helps guide them through the day to day challenges of running a small business, and now more important than ever is to have an IT trusted advisor and sometimes an outside source is a great avenue to see if we all need a wakeup call. The average IT spend for small companies has a range of 6% up to 8% of total revenue, this will include all hardware, software and support spending. There are inherent risks especially for Small & Medium sized companies that don’t invest in their infrastructure. Now is a critical time to invest in your team, your system and the resources that provide ongoing support.
If you are ready to take the next step on finding a trusted advisor, I encourage you to reach out to Americom. Our team has been consulting with business executives helping find great intersections of technology and business to create collaborative environments to increase productivity in the workplace.
About the Author: Darrin Denney has been working in the technology industry for over 25 years. His diverse background has been instrumental in helping clients to ensure their technology meets today’s complex needs. Darrin was named an ENX Magazine 2019 Difference Maker for his commitment to industry excellence and steadfast work with local community colleges to ensure their Technology programs are producing and employable workforce. Call Darrin and the Americom team today at 314-894-1154.