Things To Think About When Updating Your Technology
Assessing and, when necessary, updating your business technology tops no one's list of favorite things to do this summer, but now is a great time to consider whether your systems and solutions are working for you.
We know all the reasons you avoid the chore. With the ever-changing landscape of technology:
- it can be difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest
- it's time-consuming and expensive (is it really, though? keep reading- then you can decide)
- getting acquainted with new or updated hardware and software dips into employee productivity and output
Those are all valid reasons, some of them even have merit. But what if we told you, after some initial time and resource investment, that you could actually save time and money while improving your business and getting better results, top to bottom?
Here's a few things you should know:
- Outdated technology can cost you 46 minutes a day from every worker or about $3,500 per worker annually
- Running old software could be costing you triple the amount it would cost to update or upgrade your business technology
- Companies that use outdated business systems also increase their cybersecurity vulnerabilities (can you afford a cyberattack?)
So, what can you do to mitigate the effects of outdated technology on your business?
Consider the following factors and how they influence your technology decisions.
Do Your Staff Feel Handicapped by Your Tech?
Today most business networks need to cater to an increasingly remote workforce, but outdated workstations, laptops, and mobile devices may no longer be able to process today's volume of data most efficiently.
Is there anything more frustrating than waiting for something that should be instant? Technology that slows your employees down slows your business down.
In those situations, know that your employees are constantly frustrated with outdated technology, manual workarounds, and inconsistent workflow processes. Your business tech stack is meant to make your team's lives easier, not complicate them.
Invest in modern devices that offer your employees updated features and tools to improve flexibility, productivity... and security.
Are Your Business-Critical Systems Still Supported by their Manufacturers?
The number of "no longer being developed or supported by their creators" solutions is on the rise. This presents a problem for businesses that rely on these programs to run smoothly.
If a mission-critical program no longer receives updates or support, it can open holes, quit working, and cause irreparable damage. When this happens, businesses may be forced to revert to older versions of the software or resort to using manual processes in order to keep the system running. This can lead to lost customers, wasted resources, and decreased productivity.
Talk to your solutions providers to ensure you understand how their updates roll out. How will it affect your business and the systems it integrates with? Don't wait until launch time to determine the compatibility of the new upgrades, and don't be shy about ensuring any integrations continue to run smoothly.
Consult with an expert about how these updates can affect your entire business.
Have you applied the latest security patches to your software?
Your customer privacy is so crucial that privacy laws protect how customer data is collected, stored, processed, used, and deleted. Increased hacks, breeches, and other security concerns have presented a new and critical need for higher security protocols.
Using outdated technology could unknowingly compromise your customer and business data or put you in legal jeopardy and lead to fines, brand reputation damage, and other mitigation costs.
Can you afford a cyberattack?
If you're like most businesses, you rely on email and the internet for communication. But what if your network is hit by a cyberattack? What if hackers accessed your confidential customer or business data or shut down your operations?
If you can't afford to lose business or face legal repercussions from a cyberattack, it's time to take steps to protect yourself. Cyberattacks put you at the mercy of your attacker where the average cost of a data breach can reach $3.28 to $5.01 million, not including the added hidden costs in lost productivity and time.
Ensure your tech stack is updated to deter potential attackers from using vulnerabilities in your old technology systems.
Are You Using Industry-Standard Technology?
Legacy technology is comfortable: everyone knows how to use it, and its integration into your business systems feels seamless because it's been around so long. But just because it seems to work doesn't mean it's working correctly- or efficiently.
When assessing or upgrading your business technology, consider any industry-specific solutions tailor-made for what you do. Consider whether your current business technology systems do the same. What, if any, competitive advantages does it give you?
Are you compliant?
Regulatory and security compliance is vital for businesses today because of the (you guessed it) rise in cyber threats and attacks. When it comes to compliance with regulations, businesses should be using the most up-to-date technology possible. In fact, outdated technology is often cited as one of the biggest reasons why businesses fail to comply with regulations.
Did you know: A study by Forrester found that almost half of all organizations surveyed have failed to meet compliance deadlines due to outdated technology.
Are you eco-friendly?
Technology can consume an incredible amount of power. Between servers, cooling units, and always-on workstations, it takes an amazing amount of electricity to keep them running. How much technology are you hosting in-house?
If your energy and IT solutions costs are high, upgrade to sustainable, eco-friendly, and more affordable options that won't compromise efficiency, quality, and effectiveness.
Where does the cloud fit in?
As technology changes with new technology trends and updates that seek to improve work efficiency, like cloud technology. Cloud technology offers enough storage and backup to your business data offsite, from a centralized location for collaboration among all the members, stakeholders, and different departments in your organization.
With the right cloud provider, the security of your business IT infrastructure is enhanced not at higher risk.
What Technology Are Your Competitors And Market-Leaders Using?
Healthy competition is what keeps technological standards high all over the marketplace. These days, knowing your competition's tech stack would be like having secret intelligence. After all, consider what another company could do if they knew yours?
You should always consider the technology your competitors are using. By looking at the technology solutions your peers and market leaders prefer, you gain insight into new features that can propel your business into better productivity, efficiency, and results, leading to a better ROI.
Consider why they chose a specific technology upgrade and whether it could enhance the quality of your products or services.
- Will the technology reduce some of your labor or process costs?
- Will it help you compete with your biggest competition?
- What competitive advantage could it give you?
You Know What To Do
There is no question that upgrading your technology can be a major advantage. In today's fast-paced business environment, running your business on yesterday’s technology can (and will) cost your business more than it saves. It seems technology changes so much that it can be hard for companies of any size to keep up, especially when some systems from years ago slowly become compatible with new software or hardware.
It can also seem difficult to allocate funds to update equipment and software, especially when there are other priorities. Most leaders believe that technology is a key part of their company's success so let innovation and efficiency can be a competitive edge.
If you determine that your current technology is hindering your business, it is time for an upgrade. Remember, maintaining old systems is too expensive. Invest in a tech stack that mitigates the risk of malware infections, data breaches, cyberattacks, and lost worker productivity.
With advancements in both software and hardware technology, businesses that are able to shift gears quickly can keep up with the times increase efficiency, save time and money, as well as improve operational performance. So why wait?
Boost your tech performance with a free assessment to understand your technology infrastructure. Learn what’s working, what’s not, and what is costing you the most.