Why Do I Need to Upgrade from Windows 7?
There are risks of using Windows 7 in your business, but is it worth the money to upgrade to Windows 10, Windows 11, or even Windows 8? Here are 4 important problems with Windows 7 that you need to know about before you upgrade.
Using Windows 7 is akin to using ingredients after their best before date. Technically, you can still use it, but you won't get the smoothness or quality you're looking for. You might be able to stretch its use until it becomes expired - the possibility of food poisoning is a risk you're willing to take.
It’s understandable! No one wants to waste what they currently have. Of course, you’ll save money by staying on Windows 7. But like using expired food, using an outdated system opens you up to many problems.
Here at ITS, we've made Windows 10 our current standard for our customers. We don’t want to recommend an unsupported system that could give your business problems! We’ve consistently seen significant problems with businesses that have chosen to stay on Windows 7, including:
- More security risks.
- Loss of system improvements.
- Lack of Customer Support.
- Eventual "tech debt."
By the end of this article, you will be able to see the reasons why Windows 7 is no longer the industry standard, and how you can fix the problems Windows 7 may cause your business.
1. More Security Risks
If you're currently on Windows 7, you've been exposed to security threats for over a year. No security patches were released for Windows 7 since Microsoft stopped support for it in January 2020. Even if you contacted them and asked for a year of extended security patches (for an extra fee), you've been exposed to security risks while you've been waiting for updates from Microsoft.
It's understandable why you might have gone with this route. Your business might be entrenched in Windows 7; you might even have specific software that's dependent on Windows 7.
But hackers are always looking for holes in systems, and this lack of security updates becomes a big, exploitable hole. Cybercrimes have gone up 600% in the past few months. Ransomware attacks are particularly destructive; 60% of companies who've experienced ransomware attacks go out of business within the next 18 months.
No company went into business intending to fail. Keeping your software updated is a major component in not falling victim to cybercrime. Investing in your company's security features and technology will save time, effort, stress, and money.
2. Loss of software improvements.
The second problem with sticking to Windows 7 is the loss of software improvements. Each update in an operating system is designed to help its users work with better software more easily. By not updating, you lose out on valuable programs like Bitlocker (a feature on Windows 10 that's part of the operating system (OS) and encrypts your data, therefore protecting it from theft or exposure).
Service providers also won't be able to take advantage of Microsoft's systems in their new operating systems to make your experience better. For example, updating software remotely has become smoother and faster in Windows 10, but staying on Windows 7 will cause longer downtimes should something go wrong.
Plus, in refusing to update your OS, you'll lose out on the latest versions of the programs you're already using. Newer versions of programs contain more tools designed to help you use them more efficiently - without these upgrades, you could be stuck using outdated programs. In the current environment where customers are looking for the most efficient and effective companies, losing out on having the latest tools might cost you.
3. Lack of Customer Support.
When things go wrong in your tech, your business suffers for it. You lose out on potential sales, customers, and efficiency. Every minute you're down, causes you to lose money. Of course, you want to fix the problem and fix it now.
And therein lies the problem with using Windows 7. There's no customer support for Windows 7 anymore, so if there's a sudden issue with your OS, there's no quick way to fix it. You'll need to have outside technical support or wait until your tech department figures out how to resolve the issue.
This costs time and effort; these are preventable problems that could have been solved with an update and wouldn't have cost valuable time - a non-renewable resource.
4. Eventual "tech debt".
If you don't update your system, chances are you're not updating your other software and hardware too. Eventually, your company will fall into something known as tech debt. Tech debt is the gap between the technology you have and the technology produced in the current tech environment. The larger the gap, the larger the adjustment period, the larger the overall costs.
Just like loans, maybe your tech debt is helpful for you. But one way or another, you're going to need to pay it - the question is how you want to pay it. Imagine having to update your system once Windows 11 rolls around - there would be a lot of things you’d need to change!
Aside from a system update, you would need more time to back up more files. You’d also have older equipment, and updating to Windows 11 might not be possible - this will snowball into larger overall expenses. Plus, the one-time huge update causes a longer time to finish - much more time than minor consistent updates would have.
How Can I Solve These Problems?
Fortunately, these problems can be solved by one straightforward action: upgrading your system.
However, if you don’t have the resources to do a system upgrade, you can make a plan to transition to the latest OS. In the meantime, make sure you are consistently protecting your data by using firewalls and making sure appropriate files are encrypted.
But by making sure you're no longer on Windows 7, you'll be able to reap the benefits of a more current tech setup.
- Your overall security will be better.
- Your system will be closer to industry standards.
- You’ll have customer support for your OS.
- You’ll have a low (or non-existent!) tech debt.
Though take note - just because the process is straightforward, that doesn't mean that the process is necessarily easy. You still need to make sure the entire process goes smoothly since upgrading your system can crash your system if not done correctly.
Plus, you also have to start asking questions like "What system should I upgrade to?" and "How much will the upgrade of my system cost me?" You might even be thinking about migrating to a different OS like macOS or Linux.
You're probably going to do more research into these questions. And you should!
Our experienced tech team can easily answer your questions. We've updated the systems and tech of other companies just like yours, and updating your systems is something we'd be able to help you with. Reach out to us here!