Every day at the office, you’re surrounded by technology that helps your business be the best at what it does. You might remember the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and find yourself tempted to stick with what you know.
But a successful business doesn’t grow without adapting to meet a changing environment. Year after year, a multiplicity of technological innovations come to the fore, each with the potential to revolutionize your business model or allow your brand to assert itself as the leader in its category. To ignore this is to risk a slow decline into irrelevancy as competitors climb ever higher on the ladder of success and efficiency.
Looking to stay a contender? We’ve collected these ten signs that it might be time for your business to re-assess your IT strategy and investigate newer solutions.
1. Intrusion attempts happen more frequently
Businesses, especially but not exclusively those involved in e-commerce, are some of the most sought-after targets of information thieves. The longer your systems have been in existence, the more likely it is that hackers will discover vulnerabilities and create hidden backdoors that let them browse credit card numbers and financial records undetected.
2. The company network is noticeably slow
Experiencing crashes or incredibly long waits when loading files from shared drives? This means your network is no longer adequate for the increasing weight that it must pull in this age of cloud computing.
3. Support contract is nearing the end of its life
Even long-term support contracts have an end. If you’ve put off an upgrade until a month or two before your contract ends, you’ll find yourself in the less-than-ideal situation of scrambling to put together a solution.
4. Upgrading software becomes more fraught with error
Migrating to successive software versions is hard enough. But when software gets newer as hardware stays the same, more issues related to performance and compatibility rear their heads. Worse yet, if you wait too long to upgrade then migration might not even be possible.
5. Top exit interview complaint is old systems
No one likes an expected departure. If it happens more than once, that signifies a problem. Pay attention to what your employees are saying; if they speak out about how old and clunky the technology in place is, then you might soon find yourself understaffed if you don’t address the issue. Many people we speak with are surprised that an employee would leave a job simply because they didn’t like using the technology tools provided – but in a world where people can pull up any information they want using beautiful apps at their fingertips, it’s hard to compete if your tools aren’t up to snuff. Also, it’s worth noting that this is probably a trend that is only going to increase in occurrence, as more and more of the workforce becomes technology-savvy millennials.
6. Customers prefer a competitor’s tools
Whether via online reviews, surveys or contact forms, customer feedback provides valuable insights into your billing and communications processes from the other side. People prefer ease-of-use over practically every metric other than cost, and newer interfaces are well-known for their user-centric design.
7. Profit margins decrease every year
Revenue suffers when it takes too long to do business. The quicker your transactions become, the more money you make. Adopt
new technology sooner and reap the rewards of speed. Because of the increasing cost of human labor, there’s a natural march that causes profit margins to creep down – the best way to counteract this is to “get more for your money” in terms of employee productivity – and that means deploying new technology that does some of the thinking for them.
8. Off the shelf products often aren’t suitable
If you’re in a business sector that typically lags behind a bit with new software products coming out to market, it may be the case that you can’t find the tool you need to solve a particular problem. That doesn’t mean you should give up or not try to implement your business strategy – working with a software development partner to build a system is easier and less risky than ever before, and can solve the problem of only having weak off-the-shelf products available.
9. You still have paper records
The paperless office is rapidly becoming the norm. Not only does the transition away from paper reduce clutter, but it’s better for the environment too. You may think that no one uses paper anymore, but you’d be wrong. A significant portion of the business world in the US still runs purely on old fashioned “dead trees”, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. But, you don’t want your company to be the last one in your field still using paper records, and it’s not too late to do something about it.
10. Your system is over a decade old
Some old technologies can last a lifetime, like cast-iron pans and grandfather clocks. Business technologies are not among these. Even if the activities of your company seem to be proceeding as usual, older systems increase the likelihood that you may be one
step away from the catastrophe of lost data. Not to mention, these older systems were designed and built within a completely different technology landscape than we have today – if your system was built ten years ago, that was before mobile technologies hit the scene, and so of course it is not going to give a good experience for mobile users. Nor will it likely be built on other technology standards (such as open APIs or service architectures), which mean that it will likely be a lot more expensive for either you or the product developer to maintain – both of which translate into higher costs for you.
If you’re looking for a consultancy that can help you determine where you should be investing your technology dollars, contact us today so we can point you in the direction of the latest technological innovations and how your business can take advantage of them.