Network Upgrades: Priority or Unnecessary?

Here we are again.  We are at that point where technology leaders such as Microsoft has made updates and changes that will affect networks everywhere. It began with the arrival of the Windows 8 OS and continued with Office 2013 and Exchange Server 2013.  And of course, let’s not forget the sad departure of our dear friend, Windows XP, just around the corner.  He was both popular and reliable, but his time has come to leave us.  So that leaves us with the question that everyone is asking…”Do I really need to upgrade my equipment?”

Is Your Company Fighting the Network Blues?

There are multiple issues to look at when determining your upgrade priorities.  Let’s look at a few of them individually.

1. Operating System (OS)– What OS is running on the majority of your workstations?  If you’re using Windows XP, final support will end in April of 2014.  For end-users, this means no more updates, security patches or general support from Microsoft.

2. Applications – What applications does your business run?  Are they dependent upon a specific OS?  A lot of applications are joining the crowd and moving to the cloud.  Your key applications need to be evaluated and their requirements checked with what you are currently running and what you are considering.

3. The Network Server – Just as your workstations, you need to consider what OS is on your server versus what applications you use.  For example, did you know that if your server runs Exchange Server 2003 and you purchase Office 2013 for a new workstation, your copy of Outlook 2013 will not run your Exchange email?  It’s a compatibility issue.  It’s just one thing of many that needs to be considered when looking at network upgrades.

4. The Cloud – Everyone is talking about moving to the cloud lately.  Having access to software and files regardless of your location and less maintenance and upkeep are just two of the benefits customers are looking at.  Of course, the more you rely on the cloud, the more it will change your networking goals.

The final point is, every business wants to save money.  Spending money unnecessarily on technology can set you back.  But at the same time, not doing upgrades that are necessary can cost you time, money, production, and worst of all, maybe even your data.  All network upgrades need to be thoroughly planned. If you’re not sure, find someone that will do a free, no-obligation network analysis such as CMS IP Technologies.  An analysis will look at both your hardware and your software and give you a list of your options.  If you’re interested in reading more about the Windows XP end of support, you can find a good article at .