Every business needs their employees to be productive in order to be competitive and provide the best services it can, right?
But if employees are struggling just to get things done because of outdated computers or repetitive tasks that could have been automated, there is no way for them to perform at their most efficient level. Even worse, your business could be losing money because of it; time, after all, is money.
Not only does productivity take a downturn, it isn’t the only disadvantage that outdated technology has on your business. In this article, you will learn about the hidden risks and additional costs of sticking with those outdated technologies.
Not Being Able to Take Advantage of Modern Applications
As newer computers with faster processors emerge, your computer from 5 years ago isn’t going to be able to compete.
Software creators do their best to try to keep their programs from taking up too much of your computer’s resources, but they also build to suit the capabilities of what is available at the present time.
This means that updating software or trying to introduce new software to your aging computers is going to create more strain on the system because the software is built for more advanced computers.
This scenario makes your older machine slower as it tries to keep up with more resource demanding tasks.
Eventually, those older computers will no longer be able to update or upgrade the applications that make your business productive.
Your business and employees will be stuck with the same old systems they were using years ago.
Meanwhile, if your competitors are making upgrades to newer machines and taking advantage of the latest solutions they could be getting the upper hand in your industry.
What it's really costing your business is your competitive edge.
Lack of Support
If your business is still using older operating systems, like Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you are most likely going to run into issues with newer software not supporting these systems, and updates not being available.
Mircosoft has planned end-of-life support dates for these operating systems which you can see here.
This means patches won’t be coming to protect against new vulnerabilities and exploits, and technical support might not be there to help you with issues.
What it's really costing your business is the reliability of your systems.
Crashes and system downtime / Increased Costs
Outdated technology can be expensive to maintain. If a decision has been made to acquire a new software that should help your employees work more efficiently, but it runs incredibly slow or not at all on their old machines, how are they going to be able to achieve the benefits?
Replacing older components to try and get a few more years out of that old PC might seem like a cheaper solution, but consider the time and money spent to do this.
Also there is still a chance they will have the same issues and complaints later on. It really comes down to asking “Where is your money best spent?” — maintaining antiquated systems, or driving business value?
What it's really costing your business, is reoccurring repair and maintenance costs.
Inefficient Business Processes
Manually inputting data, mundane repetitive tasks and overall inefficient processes take time away from more productive core business functions.
If your employees are using outdated software and processes your business is paying them a premium for work that isn’t directly affecting your bottom line.
There have been a lot of advancements in recent years to business software that make group collaboration and routine automating tasks available to increase productivity to streamline your business processes.
Group collaboration and file sharing allow your teams to work on the same files, at the same time which makes things like emailing documents back and forth, and hunting down the most current version a thing of the past.
Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite platforms both allow your business to maintain your file storage in the cloud so that everyone in your team can have access to the same files and work together more efficiently.
They also provide a central location for backing up that data and can be accessed outside of the office from anywhere with an internet connection.
Automating those repetitive tasks like combining your sales numbers and payroll data into an excel sheet for your accountant, sharing customer information from your sales team to your customer service team, collecting reports from your marketing team, and more can all be automated.
Just think, if 2 hours of your employees day is being used to manually process and share data, your only getting 6 hours of their day focusing on your core business.
Even over the course of a week, your losing 10 hours of their 40 hour week to mundane tasks that need to be done, but aren’t actually producing revenue.
If these tasks could be automated you wouldn’t be losing 25% of what you're paying out to their salaries each week. There are plenty of solutions available for automating these tasks, some are even free to use, and others can be justified to purchase by the increases in productivity alone.
A good ERP system can combine many of the routine business processes into one platform, and provide access to that information across your whole organization.
Many ERP platforms are even dedicated to certain industries meaning they already have a solution to your efficiency woes.
Although with all the choices it can be a burden to find the right one for your business processes, and they may take an expert to integrate properly into your organization.
This is why it might be best to work with a service provider who can provide ERP consultation to determine your business needs in order to find and configure the best solution.
What it's really costing your business is increasing operational costs.
Impacts on Productivity
The dreaded loading screen. It can make any task seem like an eternity.
If outdated applications, lack of customer support, and inefficient business processes aren’t enough to get you thinking about replacing those old PCs, consider the cost of your employees’ time.
If they are struggling to get even simple tasks done on slow lagging computers this makes it much more difficult for them to be efficient and able to focus on the tasks at hand.
No one likes to feel like they don't have the right tools to succeed.
Slow PCs don’t just affect the business’s performance when tasks take longer than anticipated, they can also lead to employee frustration and anxiety over their ability to complete tasks on time and be successful.
Low employee satisfaction and morale usually equate to high turnover, so you could be suffering additional costs of recruitment, hiring and training new staff, as well — all thanks to those old computers.
What it's really costing your business is productivity and employee satisfaction.
Security Vulnerabilities and Risks
Source: CVE Details "Top 50 Products By Total Number Of "Distinct" Vulnerabilities" | https://www.cvedetails.com/top-50-products.php
Again older operating systems eventually go unsupported like Windows XP, Windows Vista (and soon to be Windows 7) because the manufacturer simply has moved on to newer and better things, as should your business.
If your employees are forced to work with outdated operating systems this also puts your business at greater risk of a security breach leading to stolen information, ransomware extortion, or simply just having your files destroyed for fun.
One of the reasons cybercriminals actively target business with out of date systems because they make for easier targets.
This is because of the age of the software the tools and techniques for exploiting it are well understood, and there is no one actively working to close those security holes.
The results are added costs to your business to recover from security breaches, lost data and potential damages to your business's reputation.
Another thing to note is that if significant changes aren’t done after a business has been compromised it is only a matter of time before it happens again.
What it's really costing is the security and integrity of your business.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance Risks
SMBs, such as medical practices, law offices, engineering firms, and manufacturing plants are seen as low risk, high reward targets for hackers because they usually have valuable personal and proprietary information about their clients.
Small and medium-size businesses also tend to be the most lax about updating their technology to prevent these attacks because many do not have the resources to hire dedicated IT staff.
Cybercriminals know this, which dramatically increases your business's vulnerability and attractiveness to cyber-criminals.
Even if your business is not a law or healthcare firm does not mean you're immune to legal and regulatory compliance risks.
There are many compliance requirements that apply to any and all companies that handle payment card information and even employee data that must be protected by law.
Using out-of-date unsupported technology increases the risks of non-compliance that you may not even be aware of.
Consulting with an MSP like Netmon Services for a full assessment of your business technology and evaluation of any applicable regulatory compliance issues your business is the best way to manage your outdated technology and compliance issues.
What it's really costing your business, is potential fines and damage to business reputation.
But what if your custom software, or specialized programs won’t work on a newer operating system?
This can be the case for businesses like manufacturers, healthcare providers, financial services and engineering firms, that need to use software that was purpose-built for them or require specialized programs.
This software tends to cost a lot of money to and it is understandable that you would need to keep these working if there aren’t newer solutions available.
In many cases, a virtual server which runs the older operating system on can be recreated more securely on top of a newer operating system on newer hardware.
So there is no need to risk continuing to use a 10-year-old server that could kick the bucket at any time.
Additionally, if you are replacing older hardware, it’s a good time to also make sure the virtual server running an outdated operating system is fully secured and able to be easily backed up.
An MSP will be able to give you an assessment of the performance of your current network and provide recommendations on an action plan of how to best upgrade over a given timeframe.