When was the last time you integrated new IT into your business? For most business owners, the answer will be years ago. Consider this – IT is one of the fastest evolving fields, with technologies becoming obsolete within a couple of years. This means that there’s a high possibility of some equipment or software in your business that needs immediate replacement. Not convinced? Here’s an article on how old IT systems can affect your system.
Why do business owners avoid investing in new technology?
Business owners tend to adopt the “Use it till it breaks” stand when it comes to IT systems. Often, companies use a mix of old and new equipment and software, replacing them only when it becomes absolutely necessary. Why is this so?
There are mainly three reasons for this apparent lack of motivation for investing in new technology. They include:
- Fear of upsetting the balance: It is human nature to be averse to change and the imbalance brought about by alterations.
- Fear of increased expense: Upgrading or replacing old IT systems need capital. This financial investment makes business owners ignore the deteriorating state of their technology.
- Fear of loss of productivity: Installing new technology takes time. When new hardware or software is introduced, the team will need some practice to adjust to the changes. Business owners fear the loss of productivity this will bring about.
Even though they may seem valid reasons, using outdated systems will inevitably have a negative impact on your business. These systems will fail one day, and they will cost you more than what you save right now. But the worst part is that obsolete IT systems don’t fail suddenly. They die a slow death, affecting productivity, efficiency and profits increasingly. You will probably not notice the incremental loss, unless somebody shows you the huge loss in productivity and profits that you have accumulated.
How can old IT systems affect your business?
Continued use of legacy systems will cause you more problems than benefits. Here are seven ways in which how old IT systems affect your business.
1. Low productivity
There’s a very notable dip in the productivity levels of employees working on an outdated system compared to those who use more advanced versions. Newer technology offers you more straightforward navigation and faster access. It allows you to integrate apps and networks seamlessly and thus, is highly beneficial for team projects. Automation and the cloud contribute to increased productivity rates. As work from home is becoming more popular, technology is slowly turning into an equivalent of productivity. If you continue to operate with older IT systems, it will significantly reduce the productivity of your employees.
2. Higher expenses
Many business owners avoid upgrading to new IT infrastructure because of the financial investment new IT systems will need. What they fail to understand is that maintaining old systems usually costs more than a timely upgrade. Legacy systems aren’t equipped with the power-saving technology that newer systems have, leading to higher energy use. Such systems will also fail more often and make the job even harder for IT technicians. In case of emergencies, the fixes will be expensive and rushed. A well-planned IT upgrade will help you avoid such situations and also be cost-effective.
3. Increased security risks
It goes without saying that older IT systems are more at risk for security breaches and data loss. Technology is evolving by the minute, arming hackers and cybercriminals with simpler ways to intrude into your devices and access your data. Developers and manufacturers are constantly working on updates that will fix bugs. Once they discontinue a specific version, you won’t receive the security updates anymore. This will make your system vulnerable to cyberattacks. You also won’t be able to do proper back-ups or set up disaster recovery options.
4. Compliance issues
For businesses under regulatory compliance policies, outdated technologies can lead to legal consequences. If you fail to meet the requirements, not only will you be fined and penalised by the authorities, you’ll also lose the trust of your customers.
5. Customer loss
Inefficient customer service is often an outcome of a dated IT structure. Outdated technology causes your system to be slow. When customers contact you for enquiries, you’ll find difficulties in responding efficiently. The security risks associated with them will also make your customers lose their faith in your business. If they feel their data is at stake, they may decide to stop using your services and products. So, using old systems will affect the reputation of your business.
6. Compatibility issues
Old and new don’t mix well together when it comes to IT. If you try to integrate new software with your old devices, you’ll run into issues more often than not. You will be unable to use them effectively, creating a roadblock in your work. It also limits your staff from using their full potential for projects and makes the work environment stressful. There will be a loss in efficiency, which could make you lose out to competitors who are up-to-date with their IT systems.
7. Limits your business
A growing business will have changing technological needs. If your system isn’t ready to respond to the rapidly evolving digital stimuli, you will lose opportunities that could help you take your business to the next level. Outdated systems will force you to adapt and stunt your growth in a competitive field. To react positively to the increasing demands of a successful business, make sure to arm yourself with an up-to-date IT architecture.
Can old IT systems affect your business? Yes. Not only will they add to your expenses, but they’ll also disrupt the workflow and lead to strained customer-brand interactions. Doing regular updates and installing newer systems will help your business to stay afloat. But how do you know if your IT system needs replacement? We have had clients who never realised they were sitting on a money-eating legacy system, until we showed them the analysis results.