Nine in ten U.S. and Canadian businessses see end of support for Windows Server 2003 as opportunity to move to the cloud

SEATTLE – April 23, 2015

With less than 100 days until the end of support for Microsoft® Windows Server 2003, new research shows that more than half (57 percent) of U.S. and Canadian businesses are still running at least a portion of their business on the platform. The study also shows that most organizations are evaluating a cloud based approach for their migration with ninety-three percent of enterprises surveyed considering moving a portion of their applications to the cloud.

The study, commissioned by Avanade, a global business technology solutions, cloud and managed services provider, reveals that across the United States and Canada, companies have completed less than half of the migrations for their business critical applications from Windows Server 2003. With a looming July 2015 deadline, the majority of North American businesses are struggling to rewrite or modernize applications in order to successfully migrate off Windows Server 2003. And, one in 10 organizations cited that more than half of their applications need to be rewritten or modernized.

“The good news is that many CIOs are using the end of support deadline as an opportunity to leverage cloud-based solutions to modernize their infrastructure and create a more agile environment for future migrations,” said Rich Stern, corporate vice president, Infrastructure Services global lead, Avanade. “Interestingly, among this group, half of the respondents said they are looking to a hybrid platform of both public and private clouds.”

While 51 percent of respondents say they plan to complete their migration before the July deadline, the reality is that companies are barely halfway done with migrating applications away from Windows Server 2003. When asked what percentage has been migrated already, U.S. and Canadian businesses averaged just below 40 percent of applications that had been migrated. For IT decision-makers tasked with driving this migration, they are faced with striking a difficult balance of migrating quickly without disrupting the business. The research also reveals that a majority of companies are looking for an experienced Microsoft partner to help them complete their Windows Server 2003 migration. Top challenges cited by U.S. and Canadian respondents included:

  • Concerns about disrupting the business (72 percent)
  • Other projects are taking priority (68 percent)
  • Process is taking much longer than expected (64 percent)
  • Resource costs are too high (43 percent)

At the same time, when asked what concerns organizations have about remaining on Windows Server 2003 beyond the end of life date, disruptions to the business was still one of the top three concerns. Top concerns for organizations remaining on the platform beyond the deadline included security (57 percent), outdated technology (39 percent) and disruptions to the business (39 percent).

Most interestingly, more than 80 percent of respondents said that business and IT priorities are aligned on the end of support for Windows Server 2003. However, the data clearly shows that more than two-thirds of respondents believe other projects are taking priority. “This conflicting view of priorities is putting many North American businesses in jeopardy of missing the migration deadline,” said Stern. “With three months until the July 14 date, it’s important to remember the lessons learned from the end of support of Windows XP when some companies waited too late to upgrade before the deadline.”

Avanade provides enterprises with the depth and breadth they need to successfully drive large-scale migrations on the Microsoft platform. With the largest number of Microsoft-certified professionals for Azure and Office 365, Avanade is the most experienced Microsoft Cloud OS partner globally. Avanade’s portfolio of cloud solutions and services empowers businesses to create dynamic workplace infrastructures that deliver greater business agility, faster time to value and improved operational efficiency.

The research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveying 200 IT professionals across the U.S. and Canada, with the majority of respondents (89 percent) from companies that generate more than $1 billion in revenue. The survey was conducted in March 2015.

About Avanade

Avanade helps clients realize results in a digital world through business technology solutions, cloud and managed services that combine insight, innovation and expertise focused on Microsoft technologies. Our people have helped organizations in all industries improve business agility, employee productivity and customer loyalty. Avanade combines business, technical and industry expertise with the rigor of an industrialized delivery model to provide and deploy high quality solutions–on premises, cloud-based or outsourced. Avanade, which is majority owned by Accenture, was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has 23,000 professionals in more than 20 countries. Additional information can be found at www.avanade.com

Avanade and the Avanade logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Avanade Inc. Other product, service, or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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