Transform IT from Cost Center to Value-Add

Migrate from Windows Server 2003 to Turn the Tables

Contributing Writer

Unless you’ve been living in a bunker you probably know that July 14, 2015 brings the end of all support for Windows Server 2003. That means the end of support for the servers and applications that millions of businesses rely on every single day. At particular risk from this event are small to medium-sized organizations. They often lack formal IT departments, and those with IT staff are constantly struggling with shrinking (or flat) IT budgets. Not very high on the IT buying agenda is spending money on fixing something that doesn’t appear broken.

Yet migration from Windows Server 2003 has moved from an option to a necessity, as once support ends every system will be at too great a risk of malware attacks and data loss. As the bad guys find new security holes and vulnerabilities, there will be no patches forthcoming to repair them. In no time, those systems will be under siege.

But perhaps the biggest reason to get migration plans into gear is the bottom-line business benefits that can be reaped by re-thinking IT altogether. Instead of viewing IT as just a necessary expense, businesses can use this inflection point to look at ways IT can add value to the organization with technologies that are difficult to deploy on older servers.

First on that list: business analytics and big data. Instead of using technology to just recap what happened – a.k.a., descriptive analytics – moving to new platforms will enable deployment of predictive analytics tools that can help you move a step ahead of the competition and anticipate your customers’ demands.

Next up for IT transformation is enhancing your mobility profile. With users driving the bring your own device (BYOD) mobility revolution, having infrastructure that enables any device, anywhere support for business data and applications empowers employees to react faster and collaborate better. The result: improved efficiency of the workforce.

Then, of course, there’s the cloud. Smart businesses are using cloud computing to augment their on-premises IT during periods of peak demand, or moving workloads like Web and email to cloud hosts to reduce network bandwidth challenges and the need for IT staff resources. Want a seamless transition from on-premises to cloud and back? Think Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V to give you a running start to enhanced business agility by first enabling more efficient use of the new hardware (saving money) and simplifying the integration of on-premises and cloud applications.

For those businesses with limited resources – or who have resources focused on new application development and improving business processes – Connection and HP can become an extension to your IT organization and bring years of experience in server migration to bear in crafting an approach that’s right for your organization. Together, we can help you through the key phases of discovering what’s actually running on your servers, assessing the level of difficulty of migrating those applications, targeting your destination, and ultimately getting you up and running without a hiccup.

With the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.