Business owners choose to cut costs for all kinds of reasons. Some try downsizing or cutting off bad clients, but some opt to skimp on technology because they assume the return on investment simply doesn’t make sense. This is doubly true when it’s time to upgrade technology. Why fix what isn’t broken?
Well, that’s where things are likely to go seriously wrong. It’s only a matter of time before the system that your business runs on eventually becomes obsolete. If you don’t find ways to keep in touch with the latest technology available, your organization is likely to suffer in ways that can be hard to recover from.
The more outdated your software is, the more vulnerable it becomes, which in turn makes it easier to hack.Clunky, dated software becomes increasingly incompatible with new antivirus and security patches. Systems like this are easy prey for hackers, and small businesses are especially susceptible to attacks because attackers know that they are less likely to have appropriate preventative measures and detection systems in place. Hackers are skilled in penetrating your servers by using loopholes that are closed in newer systems and software.
The damage caused by malware and security breaches is threefold.
- All of your confidential data, including your client’s private information, is accessible by a malicious third party.
- You could lose existing and potential customers.
- Research indicates that ten out of every twenty consumers are likely to never do business with a company whose servers or computers are known to have been hacked before.
As a result of just one hack, your business could lose its reputation quickly followed by customers and sales.
One of the main issues with using old hardware is how likely you are to run out of storage space. Constantly buying more physical storage is costly and can lack easy organization and accessibility. Older systems are also more susceptible to sudden crashes, causing data wipeouts. Whether a crashed system creates a barrier to accessing your information, or a total data wipeout that results in losing contract files, customer database, or your business’s financial history, data loss is detrimental to every area of your business operation.
Upgrading to the cloud eliminates the cycle of constantly buying storage space, in addition to adding built-in protective measures that protect the information and data for both your small business and your customers.
High maintenance costs
The older your system is, the more you spend to keep it running. Let’s say you decide to spend your budget on fixing a bug, or replacing a malfunctioning component. None of that is going to matter because sooner or later, the system is going to break down and eventually have to be replaced anyway. The cost of repairing existing technology must be carefully weighed against upgrading and buying new. Spending a considerable sum on repairing a dated piece of tech can be like patching up holes on the deck of a ship that’s already halfway under water.
With that said, any technology upgrade will eventually fail or become outdated, and you can easily get caught in the cycle of constantly purchasing the newest system out there whether or not you need it. It is well worth your time and energy to make thoughtful, well-researched purchasing decisions so that you are getting the best of both worlds in terms of needed upgrades and the predicted longevity of the new system.
Slow response time (decrease in productivity)
Outdated hardware won’t keep up with the latest software for long. It doesn’t matter how efficient you think your processor is, years and years of use are bound to take a toll on any piece of tech you regularly use.
This can affect your billable hours. The older your system gets, the longer it takes to respond. If you’re offering your client a service that takes X number of hours to do, whereas your competitors offer to complete the same task in half the time, then you are going to lose customers to the competition.
Slow systems don’t just affect your customers, they can be harmful internally to your small business. Employee satisfaction and retention is highly affected by the work environment, and if your team is slogging through the day waiting for systems to turn on or catch up, they’re going to be miserable and their ability to work productively (which is already being challenged by out-of-date systems) will continue to suffer.
And outdated systems don’t just affect retention, they can also hamper your ability to attract new talent to your small business. It’s estimated that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials and a recent WorkForce study found that more than 80% of that demographic say that workplace tech influences their career decisions.
If expanding your small business is a goal in the near future, then you can’t afford to not update your technology. You’ll need both appropriate tech systems and employees eager to use them in order to set your small business for future success and expansion.
Poor online presence
If the website you run is rarely updated, slow, and not optimized for search engines, you’re likely to get pushed off the first page of Google’s search results.When was the last time you Googled something and went all the way to the third page to find what you were looking for? Exactly.
In addition, having a web presence that is visually outdated, slow to load, or hard to navigate, is also going to affect your ability to keep potential customers interested. Unless you’re in the business of vintage aesthetics (the Space Jam website for example, which hasn’t updated its homepage since 1996 and is a glorious homage to that era), then you need to put appropriate resources toward keeping your site modern, SEO friendly, easy to navigate, and designed with customer needs in mind.
Staying out of the loop with the latest developments in modern technology can put you out of business by diminishing your online visibility.
What can you do to ensure your business stays relevant?
Software and hardware alternatives
Business owners may be reluctant to invest in the latest tech because they feel it is challenging to keep up with at the rate it keeps changing, and the fact that costs incurred aren’t always immediately compensated by the returns.
There are plenty of SaaS (Software as a Service) and HaaS (Hardware as a Service) programs that allow you to virtually access and manage a cloud-based software and hardware environment for a monthly or yearly fee. This subscription model can be a more affordable alternative to complete hardware and software replacement, and often come with built-in security systems that are upgraded regularly, which also save on those types of costs in the long-run.
Team up with an IT company
It would be wise to partner up with an IT company, and consult them regularly on software and technological issues. A qualified technology partner will tell you regularly if the software you use is up-to-date and relevant, if it isn’t, when and how to get it replaced, and what systems provide the most bang for your buck.
The challenge with any business isn’t attaining monetary success, but maintaining it. If you are aiming for business stability in today’s world, where the technological climate is ever-changing, then you should be willing to stay one step ahead of the game. Tech Masters can help. We have over 60 combined years providing quality IT support to businesses in a wide range of industries. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation!
Original Article Here:
“As a result of just one hack, your business could lose its reputation quickly followed by customers and sales. “
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