No matter what industry you’re in, you likely understand the importance of technology in the business world. Without it, not only would your business lack a digital presence but you could also be putting yourself at risk from data breaches to potential viruses.
Unfortunately, far too many small businesses are using outdated technology. While that might not seem like a big deal on the surface, it can hurt your chances of staying relevant, attracting customers, and it could even put your business at a security risk.
If you truly want to improve your business, start focusing on the tech you use. Your upgrades could be as simple as purchasing new computers to implementing an oracle forms migration, or moving your information to a cloud-based platform.
If you aren’t sure whether your business is relying on outdated technology, there are a few warning signs to look out for.
Let’s take a look at some of those signs, and why you should consider them red flags that need to be changed right away.
1. Things Are Running Slowly
One of the easiest ways to tell if your in-office technology is outdated is if it’s running like it’s old. Do your office computers take forever to boot up? Does a simple application, document, or website take a long time to load? Do they crash frequently?
Slow speeds can indicate a lot of things. You either have a hardware problem, a software problem, or an Internet problem. But, if it’s been a while since you’ve upgraded your equipment, you could be dealing with all three.
Slow loading times are a hindrance to your business. They make it nearly impossible for employees to stay productive and motivated, and could be costing you hours of work time each day.
2. You’re Spending Too Much
If you find yourself constantly calling an IT professional or repair person to work on your tech devices, you’re probably spending more than you realize just to keep it up and running.
Even if your outdated devices seem to be running smoothly, today’s more advanced tech solutions tend to be more efficient. They also feature applications that can save you money, like cloud-based platforms. So, while your old tech might feel like it’s reliable, it could be costing your business more than it’s worth.
3. You Can’t Upgrade Your Software
As both new software and hardware applications become available, older versions can quickly become outdated. While you might be able to get away with using older versions of software for a while, manufacturers typically stop offering upgrades on applications that have become too old to be worthwhile.
It’s more than just some kind of ‘marketing technique’ by those manufacturers. Yes, they want you to upgrade to newer versions of their offered technology. But, they can’t adequately support their old tech when it’s used by so few people, and there is an increasing demand for newer, more powerful programs. If you reach a point where you aren’t able to upgrade your software anymore, it’s unlikely that you will ever be able to again, and this is a clear sign that it’s time to make a change.
4. You Are Losing Ground With Your Competitors
Competition is a big deal in the business world, no matter what sector you’re in. Unfortunately, your outdated tech could be keeping you from outperforming your competitors. For example, what is your website’s load time? Is it optimized for mobile? About 91 per cent of small business websites are not, but more people than ever are strictly using their smartphones to get online.
You might not be able to focus on your website, SEO, or your digital presence if you are relying on technology that is outdated and can’t keep up with the digital demands of consumers.
If your competitors have invested in the latest tech trends and tools, they are already one step ahead. They can create a cutting-edge website with unique features, have a strong social media presence, and keep track of analytics and data using cloud-based storage platforms, all because they have the power, storage space, and speed to do so with the latest tech offerings.
One of the biggest reasons businesses don’t want to upgrade their technology is the cost. But, think about what you’re losing by relying on old tech that doesn’t give you the support, efficiency, or productivity your business deserves. Yes, purchasing new, updated technology is an investment. But, if you truly believe in the success of your business, it’s an investment you should be willing to make.