When I was kid, growing up in the 1980’s, the computer was going through a transition period from expensive novelty to necessary appliance. This has turned out to be a bit of a double-edged sword. It has made computers cheaper, easier to use, and less expensive. However, because of this, they tend to be overlooked and taken for granted. As a result, many business environments have old, outdated systems, running obsolete software on obsolete machines.
Rather than being a priority, technology falls out of favor, corporate direction changes, and companies grow. While all this is happening, IT operations often get overlooked. This can be for many reasons, but the most common seem to be familiarity with the environment and the old mentality of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to overturn the apple cart while changing corporate direction or while undergoing large amounts of change, but you need to ask yourself if you are putting yourself and your business at a disadvantage by not upgrading.
Most often, companies will hold off on incremental upgrades to hardware and software, only to suffer sticker shock when they finally decide to upgrade or something breaks. Technology changes so rapidly that, most times, failure to upgrade one system now means that multiple systems will need to be upgraded at once in order to support the original item you wanted to upgrade. For example, you passed on the new server because your old one “ran just fine,” but you now want to upgrade to the new version of your line of business application, the one that will make you more competitive. It requires you to upgrade your server, install new software, which is only compatible with new desktops, and requires a rework of your network. All of these items would need to be performed at one time and with it comes a large price tag. Working with your IT Managed Services Provider will allow you to prioritize upgrades within your environment and budget for them accordingly.
Had these upgrades been performed in increments, you may have only needed to upgrade your software because you had previously performed these changes to your server, your network and your workstations. You would have spread the costs across multiple budgets and minimized your one-time out of pocket expenses, not to mention the increased efficiency of your newer equipment.
Here are some additional points to consider:
- Upgraded systems will allow you to produce more revenue, such as offering services not supported by your current systems.
- Obsolete software and systems can hamper a company’s growth.
- Upgraded systems can allow you to retain more clients/customers through increased speed and a generally improved customer experience.
- New systems and software can increase uptime and decrease losses due to downtime.
- Newer systems are almost always easier to manage, offer increased reliability and numerous updates designed to keep them secure.
- Older systems create fail points, decrease security and increase the likelihood of a catastrophic failure.
The points mentioned above do not take the following into consideration; end users walking away from their machines due to frustration, restarts needed during the day, time waiting for programs to launch and the inability to use desired collaboration applications and/or the latest software. Basically, it takes productivity away from your employees and revenue from your business.
If I still haven’t convinced you that your IT budget needs more attention and your systems need more regular upgrades, here is a link to a report showing that the US government spends almost 75% of its entire IT budget on the support of legacy software. Granted, this is an extreme example, but it does prove the point that if you do not look after your environment, you can find yourself in a very deep, very expensive hole.
Are you interested in working with an IT partner that can provide the strategic guidance necessary for your business to optimally function while staying within budget? Give us a call and we would be happy to discuss your business goals and how we can technology can increase your revenue overall.