Your server is the backbone of your dental office’s network, housing critical information like financial records and patient health information (PHI). So you should know that after January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R21, and it’s also discontinuing support for the Windows 7 operating system (OS)2.
How does this affect you? Continuing to run hardware or software when Microsoft stops releasing updates puts your practice at risk.
Microsoft notes that it’s important to update the OS on your workstations and server before next January because as “cyberattacks become more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks.”3
Many IT experts recommend updating your hardware when migrating Windows to a new platform because existing hardware is typically outdated, inadequate and increasingly subject to hardware failure. Workstation and server hard drives have many components, making them some of the most likely points of failure. It’s important for you to understand that when you use outdated hardware, you run the risk of losing all your practice data, including patient and financial records in the event of hardware failure.
If your practice continues to use Windows 7 or Windows 2008, they won’t suddenly stop working on January 15, but as Microsoft notes, “once support ends, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks.”4 Additionally, if you continue to run either of these operating systems, new software applications and hardware devices may not be compatible.
Upgrading to the latest supported version of Windows is the recommended solution, but be aware that the latest Windows version will probably struggle to run on old hardware.
Microsoft says that “the upcoming end-of-support milestone is a great opportunity to transform your applications and infrastructure.”5 But this won’t be the last time they expect you to “transform” your IT infrastructure or discontinue support on their product. With a dizzying amount of information out there, how do you, as a dentist, know how to keep up? And how can you be expected to take on the expense of replacing several pieces of your office information technology (IT) every few years?
Is it possible to get out of this cycle of staying on top of technology refreshes? I’m here to tell you that it is, when you partner with an IT provider who offers “hardware as a service.” This means that rather than incur the cost and frustration of purchasing and supporting your own networking hardware, you simply pay a monthly fee for a trusted IT provider to install, maintain and monitor your dental office network.
TechCentral, by Henry Schein One, now offers Omnicore™, an all-in-one network infrastructure solution that provides all essential hardware and services needed to run your dental practice. No more building your network from à la carte IT equipment and services. With this solution, TechCentral truly takes the IT stress out of dentistry so you can focus your attention on the expert dental care you provide.
Omnicore helps relieve dentists’ IT financial burden as well, because all support, product management, equipment upgrades and even the replacement of failed hardware is included in one easy-to-budget monthly amount.
This single decision can make life easier for the entire life of your practice because you’re handing your IT burden over to a trusted partner, just like you do with many other business or electronic services.
TechCentral will keep your network current now and in the future because they are a one-stop IT partner for dentists able to take care of any network needs, from upgrading your OS, to replacing old workstations and software, to setting up IT equipment and remotely monitoring it.
Don’t rely on the local computer guy who may not know anything about the unique needs of the dental industry when you can depend on TechCentral, a trusted IT organization with proven solutions designed specifically for dentists.
The technology professionals at TechCentral offer a free technology assessment to help identify vulnerabilities in your practice, so you can get the IT solutions that are right for your current and future needs.
Donovan is a technology enthusiast that has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years, 10 of which have been with Henry Schein TechCentral. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things related to technology from quantum computing to circuit engineering and flying FPV drones. Donovan has been an integral part in managing valuable relationships with various large software and hardware companies to vet out the most ideal IT solutions for the unique needs of the dental market.