A lot of equipment is used for years by companies. They find a reliable, easy-to-use system that they use every single day. But over time, the software on these devices becomes out of date and reaches the end-of-life. However, many companies don’t plan for this time which can lead them into trouble.
So what exactly is the end-of-life?
When a piece of software no longer has regular updates and security patches, it means that it is heading to the end of its lifetime. The developer is not actively working on it anymore and it becomes redundant. A lot of companies don’t plan for this stage in the software’s lifecycle.
Businesses tend to continue using the software despite the fact it is not updating or having any further security or technical changes. They dismiss the fact that the software needs to be upgraded. Understandably, companies do not want to have to deal with time restraints of upgrading as well as the effort to install new software. However, if a company continues using the system which has reached the end of its life, they are likely to run into a few problems.
What issues may arise with software at the end-of-life?
You might run into security problems
When software reaches EOL, they are at higher risk of threats due to the reduced level of security. With no further security patches and updates by the developer, hackers will find it easier to corrupt the system. They will be able to use weaknesses in the software to their advantage.
As this article discusses, a lot of cybercriminals are aware that individuals and businesses will continue using the software even when it’s reached this critical stage. Also, companies don’t realise that even though they have the latest anti-virus system installed on the device, it won’t protect the software if it’s not currently updated. So they are putting themselves unknowingly at risk.
You could run into legal problems
When a company continues to use software that has reached the EOL stage, they could be putting themselves at risk of regulatory and legal issues. Businesses that might be using software for finance that enters EOL could end up following guidance for tax which is out of date.
Also, when a company uses software that is in the EOL stage, any information they have on the system which is confidential could be put at risk. Regulatory laws require you to keep this sensitive and personal information in safe, updated software.
New software and applications might not work
When using a system that has reached EOL, you might run into trouble when downloading new applications. They are likely to be incompatible and will not work correctly.
Also, sending work to customers that were created on a system at the EOL stage might not work on their device. For instance, an old version of Word might not work on a newer version and vice versa and you could end up looking unprofessional
It could cost you more to run
While finance is often a leading factor why companies continue to use old software, you might end up spending more in the long run. If anything major goes wrong, you will find costs will be more for support with your outdated device.
An IT company will charge a lot more to fix issues on the software in ELO. And while there might be companies out there who will continue to provide support and problem solving for the software, this will also be at a high rate. In the end, it is often cheaper to upgrade the software.
So what can you do to avoid these dangers?
Use network inventory software
A lot of businesses use software called network inventory to ensure they keep on top of their devices. By ensuring they keep track of which network devices will need new hardware and software, they can maintain them well. The software allows businesses to know exactly when they need to upgrade so they are prepared when the time comes.
Plan to remove the software
As we have discussed, a lot of businesses continue using out-of-date software. Therefore, it’s a good idea to plan on how you are going to phase out the system and move the data safely and securely to a new system. That way, you are ready before the software reaches the EOL.
Keep on top of crucial software
For some businesses, the software they use is critical for the company. Therefore, you need to plan out exactly what will happen when the time comes and make a timeline. This means you can ensure staff are all prepared and are ready to move onto the new equipment and all installations can occur promptly.
Find a reliable IT company
When a business needs to make the transition to new software, it’s a good idea to contact an IT company. That way, they can organise the move and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible for a business.
About EC-MSP, your IT support partner
EC-MSP are one of the most trusted IT support providers in London. If you would like more help advice and support with technology for your business, contact us today to see how we can help.