When was the last time you updated your technology? Between your hardware and software, if you are still doing business on older technology, you could be putting yourself at risk, and it could end up costing you big. As we begin a new year, it’s time to take a close look at the tech you rely on every day.
While many small businesses on the Treasure Coast and The Palm Beaches tend to put off major technology purchases due to the upfront costs, by doing so, you may be opening yourself up to major costs down the road. These are hidden costs that businesses don’t always consider when they decide to “hold off” on investing in new equipment or the latest software.
Here are five ways outdated technology can take a toll on your business:
1. It leads to a loss in productivity. Old technology has a habit of getting slow. This means your team has to waste time waiting for their PCs to turn on and their apps to load. Even well-maintained equipment is going to wear out over time. This problem is only compounded when your team has to use software that no longer works as it once did. Eventually, programs that once worked well together start to experience hiccups, and you risk losing data.
2. It leads to a loss of customers. Your customers want to know your data (which may also be their data) is secure. If you’re using outdated tech, there’s a good chance that data IS NOT secure. One Microsoft survey revealed that 91% of consumers would end their relationship with a business that was relying on outdated technology.
3. It leads to a loss of employees. If employees have to deal with slow hardware and poorly-integrated software every day, they’re going to get frustrated. They’re going to get even more frustrated if nothing is done about it. The end result is high employee turnover. This alone can be a huge cost for a small business to absorb.
4. It leads to a loss of support. Over time, developers stop supporting their older products so they can focus on their new products. This also means they’re devoting more attention to the customers who are using the newer versions. This can leave you in the dark if you run into a problem that you need help with. You may have to call in a third-party specialist to answer your question and fix your problem, and they will charge you accordingly.
5. It leads to a loss of security. A loss in support also means you aren’t going to see security patches for your aging hardware or software. This makes you highly vulnerable to all kinds of cyberthreats, including data breaches, malware infections, and all kinds of other cyber-attacks. Hackers want to break into your network, and if you’re using outdated tech, you make their job much easier. South Florida has seen an increase in cyberattacks across all industries in 2020.
When you factor in the costs associated with these losses, it can be staggering! It’s enough to put some companies out of business (and it has). After a year that has left many businesses more vulnerable than before, you should be taking steps to avoid these kinds of losses.
Here’s what you can do: as we head into a new year, take stock of your technology. It’s unlikely you have to replace everything, but look at where you are most vulnerable. What issues are your employees experiencing? What hardware or software is no longer supported? Where are the gaps in your IT security?
The great news is that you don’t have to answer these questions on your own. Even better, you don’t have to drop a pretty penny to make it happen! You can work with a managed service provider (MSP) or a dedicated IT services firm that can help bring your business back up to speed. They can even help you mitigate some of the cost that comes with upgrading your technology. In the end, you, your employees, and your customers GAIN complete confidence in your business as you head into 2021!