5 Signs It’s Time for a Technology Upgrade

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We’ve all heard the old adage “if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, and while this is usually good advice, no business can afford to wait until things go wrong to upgrade their IT. In today’s hyper-connected world, system and application downtime is tantamount to temporarily shutting up shop, and poorly functioning IT is likely to hand your competitors an advantage. But how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your workplace technology? Here we look at 5 signs it might be time for a digital transformation.

1.Workarounds

Does it sometimes feel as though your systems are held together with sticking plasters?

Organisations end up using workarounds for any number of reasons: it could be lack of c-suite buy-in for complete migration to a cloud solution, it could be a business sponsor's insistence on an unreasonable deadline, or simply just making do with what you have—whatever the reason, it’s rarely the most efficient way of doing things. Solving immediate problems by creating fragile workarounds might pay off in the short term, but in the long run, it’s likely to increase your maintenance costs, the risk of downtime, the time you spend training staff, and the complexity of everything you do.

Sometimes, it’s easier just to rip it up and start again.

To learn more about how to de-risk your digital transformation, download our  digital technology guide.

2.Obsolete Technology

As with workarounds, organisations can end up wedded to obsolete technology for a variety of reasons. But however you’ve got there, using outdated tech can have a damaging effect on your business.

The equation is a simple one: the more obsolete technology you have, the harder it is to maintain and interface with new systems and equipment. Likewise, the older your equipment is, the higher the likely cost of maintaining it. Worse still, software providers such as Microsoft will generally stop supporting applications that are more than a decade old, so not only are you on your own if something does go wrong, your systems are also unlikely to be protected against newer threats.

Using obsolete technology leaves your organisation open to attack, saddled with expensive maintenance costs, and unable to react quickly to changing business or customer requirements. In an era when businesses are expected to innovate at a dizzying pace, constraints caused by dated or obsolete technology are a potential recipe for disaster.

3.Productivity Isn’t What You’d Expected

This might be an obvious one, but technology that functions poorly or doesn’t support business needs is likely to have an adverse impact on productivity no matter how hard your staff are working.  

Systems that are unsuited to your organisation's size, that are inflexible, or simply too slow can open a veritable Pandora’s box of productivity problems. Staff frustration and disengagement, time lost to inefficiencies, downtime, bottlenecks, and eventually, an inferior customer experience or service are all likely results of ill-suited technology.

Great technology won’t be more complicated, in fact just the opposite. Your people need technology that’s slick and intuitive to navigate, with everything they need in one place. Providing employees with the right technology can transform the task of a few minutes into the task of a few clicks.

Digitally transforming your organisation may seem daunting, but the long-term benefits for productivity often dwarf the initial difficulties. The truth is when the concern is something as vital as your organisation’s productivity, standing still is often far riskier than taking the leap.

4.Your Technology Doesn’t Support the Way People Work

How and where we work is rapidly changing. The rise of the IoT and the move towards widespread remote working, have changed the way many of us view our jobs in just a few short years.

What’s more, it’s proving good for business; according to Gensler's UK Workplace Survey 2016, there are links between greater employee freedom and outcomes such as business innovation, performance and productivity.  

Enabling your employees to work remotely and communicate effectively with one another no matter where they are, is fast becoming a necessity for modern business. So, it’s worth asking yourself, can your employees work remotely just as well as they would be able to in the office? If not, why not?

Are your systems integrated so staff can access everything they need through one or two interfaces, wherever they are? Or are the tools they need to work spread across disparate platforms?

If your answers to these questions are more negative than positive it could be time to start considering an upgrade in technology.

5.Your Business is Growing but Your Technology Isn’t

The technological infrastructure you’re currently using was likely implemented with a smaller business in mind. Therefore, if your business is growing, it’s probable you’ve surpassed, or are in danger of surpassing, what your technology was designed to do.

If your organisation is in a period of rapid or sustained growth, this is the perfect time to consider upgrading your technology. Failing to do so brings with it all the attendant risks of technology that doesn’t meet business needs: poor productivity, increased risk of downtime and a potentially inferior customer experience.

Or, to put it another way, without technology that is scalable and able to swiftly adapt to changing business needs, you risk your business being hindered by its own growth.

Using the right technology is a fundamental part of modern enterprise, and the business that clings to obsolete technology risks quickly becoming obsolete itself. At Vass, we are firm advocates for digital transformation as a solution. However, digital transformation is a complex, dynamic process and before you begin you first need to identify the right solutions for your business and its particular demands. To help with this, we recommend you download our guide to digital technology evaluations.

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