If your business relies on outdated software or hardware, it's time to consider the cost of not updating that technology. As a software program or hardware ages, the time and effort required to keep it running increases. While it may seem cost-effective to deal with aging technology as long as possible, you may set yourself up for significant problems in the future.
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) hang on to their computers and software for far too long. They adapt to slower loading times and inefficient processes, often without realizing that these drain time and money from their organization in numerous ways.
The Costs of Outdated Technology
Understandably, small business owners shy away from investing in new technology. While rising hardware and software costs can be high, you must consider what you would be paying versus the cost of keeping aging technology running.
The older computers and other hardware become, the less efficiently they run. Older hardware tends to lag, even when it's well-maintained. All devices wear out over time with normal usage. The productivity issues with aging hardware only worsen when you add aging software to the mix. Here are just a few of the often hidden costs of relying on outdated technology.
Slow equipment and aging technology make it harder for employees to do their jobs. Studies estimate that employees lose an average of 46 minutes per day due to problems with aging technology. That adds up to 24 days per year! You can be sure that the time it takes to deal with aging technology has a ripple effect throughout an organization.
The newest software has features that can open doors to new capabilities. If you're still using old software and your customers or vendors are using the latest version, errors are likely. Customers expect their interactions with businesses to be quick and efficient. Competing in a digital economy is hard when outdated software capabilities limit your interactions with customers.
Older apps lose stable integration with companion apps. At one point, your customer relationship management (CRM) software may have worked flawlessly with your invoice software, but you are now experiencing problems. As developers focus on newer apps, they stop updating previous versions. The result is more errors, and you risk losing vital data.
Aging technology is a significant security problem. As technology ages and developers end their support, you'll see fewer security patches and updates. Eventually, zero security patches will leave your organization vulnerable to cyber attacks and data loss. Cybercriminals know that small businesses update their systems at a slower pace, which gives criminals a significant advantage. Newer hardware and software have modern security features and architecture that help protect sensitive information.
Decreased Employee Morale
A dying company doesn't invest in new technology, but a forward-thinking one does. You can't expect your employees to believe in your business more than you do. For better or worse, the technology you use communicates to your employees (and customers) whether your business is thriving or declining.
Questions to Ask Yourself
When considering the cost of maintaining older equipment, you may find that it makes sense to invest in upgrades. Few businesses can afford to replace everything at once, so assessing your situation and prioritizing the technology needs critical to your day-to-day operations is essential. Ask yourself:
- How would a piece of hardware impact your business if it fails?
- What equipment is near its end of life (or will be within the next 12 months)?
- Is any equipment or software out of compliance with regulatory requirements or security policies?
- What hardware or software is hampering your employees' productivity?
- What systems are difficult for your customers and vendors to use?
Once you’ve assessed your needs, you can begin to create a plan and budget for bringing your IT up-to-date. If you don’t have a dedicated IT specialist on staff to help with these tasks, outsourcing your IT is an excellent option for small and medium-sized businesses.
Every Business Needs IT Support
Every business has a common factor - the need for technology that works. Computer and network problems are some of the most significant frustrations of employees and business owners alike. When you outsource your IT, you put your network in the hands of trusted experts. Choosing the right IT service provider is essential. Look for a partner who can handle various IT needs, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, software integration, and network management.
Contact Fortify IT Solutions Today
Contact us online or call 856-512-1949 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert project managers. We look forward to connecting with you and showing you how we can bring you the IT services you need and the expertise you deserve.