Perhaps your employees are increasingly frustrated with the length of time it takes to boot up their computers or by their screens suddenly going blank after working on projects for several hours. Maybe you discovered that your competition has made some advances that could require you to do some catching up.
These are negative outcomes of lagging technology, but can you pinpoint a cause? See if you can identify with any of these top five warning signs that it might be time for you to upgrade your technology:
1. Slow Technology
The average lifespan of most hardware and software ranges from 2-5 years depending on its use. If your system is older, it’s not uncommon to hear complaints of it taking 10–20 minutes to boot up in the morning, with potential additional reboots throughout the day. It’s bad enough when one employee is affected, but when that downtime is spread across several employees, the costs of lost production mount quickly. The price of upgrading your systems will likely pale in comparison.
The dangers of slow technology go beyond a loss of time or production. Sudden system shutdowns or software failures can result in a loss of critical data that interrupts or actually loses business. Slow response times, hanging apps and sudden shutdowns—if this sounds familiar, it’s time for an upgrade.
2. Excessive Printed Documents
With online bill pay, the internet, email attachments and other technologies, progress is being made toward a paperless society that uses digital documents to save money, storage space and time. Compared to a paper-free approach, it’s estimated that paper-driven processes slow customer responsiveness by at least four times.
Reducing response times could be the difference that gives you a competitive edge. A robust system can be equipped with ECM software to digitize documents, automate processes and electronically share, manipulate and store documents across departments and teams.
3. Your Company is Growing
New departments or new hires means having to equip them with the tools they need to support your business goals. If you’re looking to provide them with the same technology as the rest of your staff, you may be out of luck altogether or your current hardware and software may not be right for their job functions.
New computer models and updated software are introduced frequently, and ensuring compatibility with older existing systems is sometimes a challenge. Making sure your systems grow in conjunction with your business is a key part of ensuring success.
4. You Have Remote Workers
The use of smartphones, laptops, tablets and apps are an integral part of many business operations, especially since more employees are working on the go. With accessibility offered by the Cloud, workers no longer need to be in the same building or even the same country to collaborate, share documents and access systems.
Cloud computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective than a traditional, in-house IT system, but companies need to have more than a secure and reliable internet connection to make it work. While Cloud solutions require less equipment than traditional software, companies need to make sure their in-house technology supports a Cloud-based approach to ensure compatibility and efficiency. Many older systems lag behind.
5. Poor Software Compatibility
Perhaps you’re looking to invest in a new content management system, design software, financial reporting platform or other system to improve your operations and efficiency. Many of these systems have minimum software and hardware requirements to run properly, and older hardware is often insufficient.
Also, there may be considerations like which browser is best supported, whether Mac or PC is more compatible, security concerns, licensing across devices and more.
In the end, it’s difficult to know whether an entire system overhaul is necessary. This is where consulting with a Managed IT provider can help. They can evaluate your current systems and make recommendations for improvement or replacement, and can put you on a schedule to make sure your systems receive the latest software updates to keep them running smoothly.
Contact an expert at Gordon Flesch Company for a free consultation to help assess your current systems and develop a plan to reach your IT goals.