Nowadays, businesses are heavily reliant on technology in carrying out their day-to-day operations. Enterprises invest a lot of money and effort in putting up IT resources to manage, process and store business data. However, as the business grows and time goes by, these vital tools begin to fall short of expectations.
Quite often, businesses have to switch to newer IT hardware and software to keep up with performance demands and maintain productivity. As a business owner, you should be able to recognise the need for new tech and quickly redirect efforts to acquiring and implementing new and advanced systems. Luckily, some tell-tale signs should tell you when it’s time to upgrade.
1) Frequent downtime and repairs
Most computing hardware and software have a useful lifespan of about 2-5 years. As devices age, they tend to become slower and unreliable. This is because outdated technology cannot keep up with innovations, plus, electrical components wear out over time and their efficiency plummets.
Frequent breakdowns bear a heavy toll on the business. Unreliable computers and servers, for instance, cause unavailability of services and delays, leading to frustration among workers. In most cases, downtime also leads to loss of customers’ trust in the brand. The cost of frequent repairs and losing business during breakdowns is far too high compared to the cost of upgrading to more reliable systems.
2) Unresolved security concerns
One of the reasons why software developers and hardware manufacturers continuously release new IT products is to improve on security. Outdated tech is more susceptible to security breaches, cybercrimes, and other forms of threats because they are not equipped with the most advanced countermeasures.
If you are already aware of security loopholes in your system or are experiencing low-scale cyber-attacks, then it’s time to consider upgrading. Businesses rarely recover from severe cyber-attacks. The risk is just too high – it’s not worth holding onto outdated insecure systems.
Data security concerns are not just about breaches and attacks. Data backup and recovery are also a big part of securing data. If your system lacks the provisions for robust backups and recovery features, your enterprise could be sitting on a ticking time bomb.
3) Problems with hardware and software compatibility
Hardware and software evolutions go hand-in-hand. Newer, powerful software require equally robust hardware to run smoothly. Similarly, a powerful device needs equally capable software to exploit its processing power. Over time, manufacturers continuously phase out products that do not meet modern performance benchmarks.
You’ll often find that older devices or software are not compatible with new ones. The functions may be the same, but the technology and performance specs are completely different.
If you happen to run into compatibility issues when trying to install new ERP systems, for example, that’s an indication that your system is out of date. The same is true when new devices can’t seem to sync up with your equipment. All elements of the system must work in harmony to maximise throughput and efficiency.
4) Cumbersome operations
The main reason for using technology is to make business operations easier and more efficient. Consider replacing any equipment that makes operating harder than it should be. With old systems, it always feels like you have to persuade them to work. IT manufacturers improve usability with every new model by adopting more intuitive and intelligent features.
Your staff or the IT department should provide you with insight into the usability and functions of IT systems. Take note as your employees express frustration over some of the IT resources. It could be that the performance is pitiful or the operations are difficult to understand. If this is the case, your workers are probably struggling with outdated machines and software.
Frustration with workplace tools reduces staff morale, which decreases productivity. It’s important to create a stress-free work environment; ditching stubborn computers and software in favour of improved versions is one way of doing that.
5) Branching to new ventures
If your company is rolling out some drastic changes in its enterprises, for instance, expanding into the online market, or adopting cloud services, then it’s time you took a long hard look at your IT infrastructure. Any changes in the day-to-day operations of the workplace have to be reflected in the tools handling the new functions.
The last thing you want is old tech holding back business growth and expansion. Upgrade whenever necessary to take advantage of new market trends and commerce techniques. For instance, you might need a new network and server system to handle a growing number of online transactions, or even implement flexible IT solutions to transform the workplace.
A long-term solution
If you have noticed any of these signs, you definitely need an IT upgrade. In fact, your systems may be running on borrowed time. However, it’s not too late; you can still get back on track by evaluating your IT systems against the business requirements and working out an effective update.
You may not necessarily have to overhaul the entire IT infrastructure. Since IT upgrades are quite expensive, prioritise upgrading the vital components to get rid of bottlenecks. However, fixing one part can easily lead to a cascading effect, and before you know it, you have upgraded everything. So, it’s essential to run a thorough assessment of the system to identify the exact items that need to be updated.
Changes in the tech industry happen so fast, and so often that it becomes difficult to keep up with IT upgrades. Instead of losing sleep over which signs to look out for, why not get tech experts to do it for you? CARA Technology is an IT consultancy service that lets you know the IT solutions that your business needs at any given time. Get in touch with us and learn more about getting the latest digital solutions tailored to your business needs.