These questions went through my mind as I got an email from Microsoft announcing the expiration of support for certain products. Microsoft is good at letting their partners know how long they will support a particular version and when that support ends. Many software companies have a stated policy on which versions are supported.
It is one thing to be running an older version of Office or Exchange, but can you afford to run an older version of your critical systems? Especially if these systems are customized.
Yes, it is a pain to upgrade and it always disrupts business, but you need to analyze these costs against the benefits of the updated system.
If your needs or the way you use the systems change, you may be stuck. Typically the upgraded systems will run faster, and have more functionality than the versions you are currently using.
The newer operating systems and hardware are more robust, secure and faster. Your business requirements are likely different today than when you purchased your solutions. Additional functionality needed may be part of the updated solution, eliminating the need for customization.
Bugs or other errors in the system will be taken care of by the software vendor if you are on a supported version. If you have an older version they will not make changes to “old code” without hefty costs. This holds true for customizations you have to your solutions as well.
Compare the versions of your critical business applications to the latest versions available. Spend some time investigating the benefits of moving. You might just solve a business issue by upgrading! Or avert disaster!