Don’t get caught out: It’s time to act before your Dynamics CRM on-premise deadline hits
I make no apologies for going back to the very real issue of legacy debt, the situation where organisations are still using out-of-date Dynamics CRM
versions that are no longer supported by Microsoft.
You wouldn’t drive an uninsured car or go on holiday without travel insurance, but so many companies are still operating with software that
is fraught with security risks and open to catastrophic crashes.
First, let’s explain how Microsoft’s Product Lifecycles work: when a new version of their products, such as Dynamics CRM is released, it has a
lifecycle that is supported with advice, patches and updates, which are all part of the license fee.
Obviously, their army of engineers are constantly working on new features and versions of the products which supercede the older versions.
Eventually – and with a good amount of communication – the old versions are simply past their sell-by date.
It becomes the responsibility of the buyer to upgrade to a newer, better and supported version. The support from Microsoft for the older
version disappears as less and less companies are using it.
Products such as Dynamics CRM 4.0 and Dynamics CRM 2011 lost all support (including Extended Support, which is largely resticted to security patches)
in 2018 and 2021, respectively. Others have had their support extended, but still, the clock is ticking.
Here are a few examples:
Dynamics CRM 2013: Mainstream Support ended in 2019. Extended Support ends in January 2024
Dynamics CRM 2015: Mainstream Support ended in 2020. Extended Support ends in January 2025
Dynamics CRM 2016: Mainstream Support ended in 2021. Extended Support ends in January 2026
These have had their end dates extended from original earlier dates, but it still leaves a relatively short time for organisations to get
their acts together and migrate to a new version.
And that brings forth a number of new issues.
For a start, there are very few service engineers with knowledge and expertise of migrating on-premise Dynamics CRM systems to the cloud any more.
All the younger engineers are fully versed in cloud technology, having never needed to struggle with the server in the cupboard. There is a
big skills gap in the market.
It was also relatively simple to do a “lift and shift” migration to get all the data across to a new cloud platform, but that becomes more
difficult when there are multiple other applications and datasets integrated with an old system.
The longer time passes and the closer it gets to the end of a lifecycle, the bigger a commercial decision it becomes.
We are currently working with an charity (with CRM 2016) that has been grappling with the problem of moving to the cloud. The issue that they are facing
is in combining three organisations into one, with only one of them fully in the cloud. The others have a mix of legacy on-prem systems, with discrete
cloud apps plugging some of the functionality gaps, so it has became a bigger migration task, particularly with the lack of support available.
Also, earlier on this year we successfully migrated a client from CRM 4.0 on-premise to a new Dynamics 365 Sales & Customer Service system. I was
quite surprised to find that someone still had CRM 4.0, as this was the version that I began my Dynamics career on, back in about 2008.
If you have a legacy version of Dynamics, don’t hang around. Get in touch as soon as possible so that we can plan your way forward.
Microsoft support lifecycle webpage links:
Contact Solutions Shared here for a free consultation.
About the Author
Founder | Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Consultant, Solutions Shared Ltd