The small and medium business (SMB) community is more digitally driven than ever before, and modern infrastructure is the key to being digitally ready.
As the world continues to prepare for post-pandemic living, organisations are working to become more resilient and adopt a culture of innovation. Many are aggressively pivoting to a sustainable technology operating model to keep up with customer demand. To compete in this environment, small and medium businesses (SMBs) need their technology investments to lead directly to business benefits - like higher sales, lower costs, greater profitability and better analysis.
SMB momentum towards hybrid working is expected to rise to five times its current level over the next few years, making server infrastructure that can support these working practices crucial.
For many SMBs, this means determining how to upgrade their IT infrastructure and gain greater security over their applications and data. And while nearly eight in 10 are on a path to digital transformation, many SMB workloads still rely on outdated operating systems and ageing infrastructure. Some are still running Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, which has passed extended end of support, or Windows Server 2012/2012 R2, which will reach end of support in October 2023. To be fully ready for the future, they should now be looking to upgrade to the newest version: Windows Server 2022.
Built on the foundation of Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022 is a cloud-ready OS that SMBs can use to gain the benefits in performance, security and mobility that come with moving to the cloud, as well as - importantly in the post-pandemic world - the flexibility to operate in both on-prem and hybrid environments.
To support modern working practices, Windows Server 2022 innovates in four key areas: hybrid capabilities with Microsoft Azure; advanced multilayer security; more secure remote working; and modernised server infrastructure. Using the latest Intel-based hardware, Windows Server 2022 operates as a flexible cloud-ready platform, so you can have a hybrid infrastructure that helps enable additional layers of security and uses some capabilities of Azure.
While many business leaders will never think about it, modern server infrastructure is critical to every SMB, with benefits like optimised IT operations, more seamless storage migration, enhanced security controls and streamlined management.
On top of that, older versions of Windows Server reaching end of support means they will no longer receive new security or non-security updates, assisted support options or new online technical content. With nearly half (47%) of SMBs saying data security is their biggest challenge, there is simply no getting around the importance of protection. In fact, by the end of this year it is expected that more than half of firms without a migration plan from Windows Server 2008 will end up forcibly migrating, due to a security incident or compliance issue.
By comparion, Windows Server 2022 helps to protect businesses with next-level security features that can detect and respond to new and emerging threats - and, as already mentioned, it supports the transition to hybrid working to achieve enhanced mobility, security and scalability; and boosts the productivity of a distributed workforce, helping them work effectively from places that are safe and convenient.