Last year sometime? Never?
It’s quite likely that many businesses are using a mixture of old and new. Equipment and software can be replaced as outdated systems fail, and there is probably a good chance that there is at least one piece of ageing technology that should have been replaced a long time ago.
But this is something that many put off for far too long. Sometimes people look at the cost as too extravagant, or there is a perceived loss in output while hardware or software is being updated. But these should be minor inconveniences, as the cost of not replacing this technology could end up being much higher.
It’s easy to think that the damage that old technology can cause is just limited to a productivity issue, but problems can grow exponentially and can begin to affect many different aspects of your business.
How vocal your team is about technological problems doesn’t necessarily reflect the scale of the problem. Some might feel confident to express some doubts, others will certainly not, and this will often depend on the individual. But make no mistake about it, IT problems in the workplace increases stress on those involved, whether they tell you or not.
A small problem in your eyes can quickly build. Deadlines might be missed, relationships between colleagues might become strained. There is a general sense of helplessness when systems are not working as they should be. This can have a knock-on effect that your staff become less productive, less motivated and much more likely to take sick leave.
- Processes are quickly ignored.
A well-run, successful business relies on a series of correct processes. When IT issues begin to appear, employees can be quick to find short cuts in order to get the job done. What can start as small, seemingly insignificant can quickly spread throughout the business. Once the habit, or need to find other ways to do things becomes rampant, your system in place begins to look very shaky.
- Security risks
60% of medium-sized firms and 31% of small business have experienced some kind of security breach or cyber attack. Old technology only exacerbates a problem that is growing regardless.
Whether it’s through viruses, malware or denial of service, the threats that companies face are growing and changing all of the time. The battle between hardware manufacturers and software developers and cybercriminals is constantly in flux. This means that the latest versions of any technology will have the best chance of protecting your business.
Old technology is sometimes so outdated that the company who first created it, no longer supports it. These services, with no security updates, are easy prey to criminals. Without updates, these services miss out on security patches designed to fix vulnerabilities from older versions. This is particularly important if you are responsible for your customer’s data. Many viruses are created to target this specific aspect of businesses, and by having a weak system in place you are jeopardizing this data, and in effect your future relationship with these clients.
- Compliance Issues
Depending on your sector, you may have a regulatory obligation to ensure that all of your systems are running correctly. For example, if you process payments through Visa or Mastercard, you need to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations which are designed to ensure you are using a modern, up to date system.
- The lost customers
If your security systems are breached, the potential loss in customers is high. But this is only one way that business can be affected. If your business becomes unable to respond to customer purchases, or enquiries quickly, they will likely look elsewhere.
The speed of business and commerce has become so great with cloud infrastructure, that anything below the normal standards is quickly looked upon as poor business management.
- Expensive emergency fixes
When a piece of software or hardware fails, it is likely that you will need to replace it quickly. Emergency fixes are never the cheapest methods, and it’s likely that whatever is done will need to be addressed again to ensure long term productivity.
If you need to pay for constant IT support for lots of small problems, this cost is also going to quickly add up.
- Increased Operational costs
If you want to reduce overall costs, one of the best aspects, to begin with, is the use of old technology. Old systems do not have the same power-saving capabilities, while features on news software and hardware are likely to bring down other costs, such as phone bills and headsets.
- Stuck in the past
The most successful companies are those that adapt to the times. This might include flexible working arrangements. Working from home, at least in part, can help to lower staff turnover, and so saving money in the long term.
But as we’ve already said, this can only work well if the employees are given the best, up to date tools to do their jobs.
- Lost opportunities
Successful businesses are those that are agile and can respond to any new opportunity. But constantly responding to small technological problems will slow you down and over time will prevent growth.
Small startups are disrupting well-established industries with their innovative approach. By keeping with old, obsolete systems and practices, you are essentially handicapping yourself.
Computers in the City, your IT partner
Computers in the City is London’s longest-standing IT partner. With over 20 years’ experience, we can assist you to meet your IT support, consulting and cloud computing needs. We’re proud to be local, offering 24-hour support in straightforward language that takes the stress out of IT support.