The world of technology is constantly changing – which means that your business needs to be able to keep up. I’ve highlighted some of the major signs that it’s time for a tech update.
If you’re finding that your systems are working slower than before, it’s definitely time to look into getting an upgrade. Having slow systems is not just a sign that you might be using outdated technology – it could also have a detrimental effect on your productivity. When you and your employees are working with a slow system, you’re not able to achieve the same output and over time, or in a larger-scale business, that could add up to have a noticeable impact on your workflow and even your profits. Upgrading to a faster system can, therefore, be a sound investment financially as well as practically.
Even if your systems were working well for you before, it could be that a recent change or upgrade to your business has made an impact that your existing technology is no longer able to keep up with. If you have more people or more processes on the go at once, it makes sense that it would have an impact on your system’s speed. Being unable to work at the expected pace can be a major cause of frustration for your staff, and could have a negative impact on the office environment and on employee satisfaction – so it’s worth making the changes before you start to see a shift in company culture which could be much harder to rectify than a simple system or technology update.
Having an outdated system isn’t just a concern for you and your employees; you also need to think about the image you’re portraying to your clients. If your systems are slow and this starts to affect the work they’re receiving, you risk harming the trust that you’ve established with them. They could notice because they’re in the office, because they’re unable to get responses at the speed they expect or because they may even notice errors in the work. When staff are frustrated or trying to work more quickly to compensate for a slow system, they’re more likely to overlook small errors that could slip through the net. Similarly, if your system isn’t processing changes at the speed that it should, it’s possible that work will go out without changes being finalised although the people working on them might think they’ve already been done.
Even if you’re not dealing with high-stakes or sensitive information, security is and should be a major concern for all businesses of all sizes. It’s important to keep your technology as up-to-date as possible not just for practicality and process reasons, but to ensure that you have the maximum possible protection online and on your servers. While it’s important to stay on top of security at all times, it’s even more essential if you have noticed any weaknesses in your existing system. This could be because you’ve had a larger number of alerts concerning potential intruders, or this could be because you’ve had more hacking attempts than usual recently – whether these were successful or not. Even if any potential hacks were fended off, it could be that you’re seeing a rise in them because there’s a weakness to be targeted in your existing set-up.
It’s particularly important to stay on top of business security when you’re taking on new information or responsibilities. Whether you’re acquiring new clients or taking on extra work from your existing clients, an increase in the data that you’ll be holding means that you’ll need to make sure that your technology is equipped to keep up with your needs. Not only does it make sure you’re covered legally, it means that your employees’ job will be a lot easier. Trying to work with outdated technology will make their task a lot more challenging and can become particularly frustrating for them when they know how vital their security protocol is but are unable to carry out the necessary processes with speed and efficiency.
Having updated technology will also make your clients feel more confident in your abilities to properly protect their data. As well as showing that you’re able to keep on top of and ahead of new developments, it also creates a positive brand image that will help to engender trust between you and your clients and makes a great impression that can make finding new business easier.
It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one looking to evolve; other companies and particularly technology companies are constantly upgrading and improving their products and systems. If you’re finding that your current technology is falling behind the latest trends, it’s definitely time to consider an office-wide upgrade. It will become particularly problematic if you find that the technology you’re using is not compatible with the latest software, hardware or applications, which may be one of the first signs that you’re overdue an update.
You might find that having older technology will mean that you struggle to get relevant advice and repairs if anything goes wrong because much of the support and literature that’s available will be targeted towards the most recent models. This might mean that small problems can quickly turn into larger, more long-term problems, so it’s worth getting in beforehand and making sure you don’t wait for something to go wrong.
Having outdated technology might also mean that you struggle to find new staff members that are familiar with your systems, or they might find it frustrating to try and work with out-of-date systems that don’t have the capability of more modern equipment. Similarly, the staff that you already have in your company might struggle to develop their skills without the latest technology, and you could risk low employee satisfaction as a result. They could find that they’re not able to use the latest applications and developments with your technology, which could both be hindering their work and learning and holding your company back in areas where you could be growing. Having up-to-date technology can open up a range of doors for you in terms of the new features that you can use, and you may even find a more efficient way of doing business or perhaps a new opportunity that you can follow up on.
As well as your staff, your clients will benefit from you having the latest technology. As well as it contributing to your brand image, keeping up-to-date means that you’ll be much more flexible to meet requests they have. You’ll be able to use the newest features and the work they receive will be improved as a result.
When your company is undergoing major changes, your technology probably should be as well. Changes in your business could come in many different forms, ranging from quick growth to taking on a new area or avenue of business, and you’ll need to adapt your tech in order to keep ahead of the curve. When you explore a new area or way of working, you might find that the equipment you’ve been using is no longer the most effective or useful for you.
It’s worth looking into not just what new technology is now available, but also options that may have been around earlier but which you might not have considered when on your previous path. Look back at all your options and consider your needs and the way they’re changing, and the ways in which your existing technology may not be meeting them. It’s important to make a positive impression when taking on a new challenge and to prove that you’re able to rise the occasion.
Similarly, if you’re expecting or are undergoing growth within your company, you might find that the technology which has worked for you so far is no longer able to cope with your workload. By finding the tech that is best able to enable you to up your productivity, you’re giving your new business ventures the best possible shot at success. You’ll also make it a lot easier on your employees, who might otherwise find the boost in workload overwhelming. Accompanying growth with company updates will help to show your staff how it can positively impact their career development and give them new experience and skills with up-to-date equipment.
Regularly assessing your technology needs is good practice at every stage of your business’ life. You’ll be able to spot whether you’re missing any important opportunities that come with new tech, and you can also see if you come up with ways that might help you work more efficiently. While an upgrade might be an upfront cost, it could pay for itself by saving you time or space in the long run.
How often to you update your technology? What do you think are the benefits? Let me know in the comments below.