The cloud industry is poised to cash in on the most significant IT refresh opportunity this century, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).
The body claims that in the run-up to the end of support for the server product next July, about 1,000 servers per day will need upgrading, presenting a mega opportunity for the industry. It estimates that 61 per cent of UK businesses are still running Windows Server 2003 in some form at the moment.
CIF's chief executive Alex Hilton said the refresh will be a boon for the cloud industry.
"These products have not only underpinned the IT server market for the last decade, they have been the basis upon which many local IT providers have built their businesses," he said.
"Some customers will take the opportunity to move the server workloads to cloud services, some will undertake a rudimentary incremental upgrade and others will take the opportunity to refine their IT strategy.
"The next 12 months represent a great opportunity for customers to make a cloud migration and adopt the latest enterprise-ready technology at a fraction of the price.
"In the period leading up to July 2015 the market faces the most significant IT refresh of the 21st century to date."
Microsoft has been keen to push its cloud agenda recently, especially since chief executive Satya Nadella took over in February with his "cloud-first, mobile-first" mantra.
The vendor's UK SMB director Glenn Woolaghan said: "Migration to the cloud presents businesses of all sizes with an opportunity to discover the right balance of simplicity, flexibility and cost, and enables SMBs to take advantage of enterprise-grade features at start-up prices.
"By this we mean that businesses will be able to host applications in the way that bests suits their business and cost structure, whether on-site or in the cloud."
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