Technology is constantly changing almost as swiftly as the clock ticks. Whether it is a new gadget or a recent upgrade to trending technology, they can all become outdated technology in no time. Information technology is now an integral part of many businesses today. From small businesses operating with just a computer to multi-nationals that maintain mainframe systems and databases, IT plays a significant role. However, staying up to date about the interconnected parts of IT as well as the latest innovations – from internet security and software to social networking platforms – probably aren’t always placed as a top priority with your busy schedule. Businesses that are failing to keep up with these latest trends may slip as a result. Over the last couple of years, several IT practices have become inflexible and well entrenched in the industry. While older concepts can be a good facilitator to run your business, some are now very ineffective. Let’s take a look at 5 outdated IT practices business owners should get rid of.
1. Update your software
One of the biggest cybersecurity challenges that can plague a business, which is also one of the simplest to tackle, is outdated software. There are lots of risks associated with using outdated software.
- Your business can be exposed to potential data breaches and regulatory compliance violations as a result.
- Hackers could take advantage of any known vulnerability within your system to gain unauthorized access leading to cyber attacks.
- There are also the unavoidable challenges of system failure or obsolete workflows which results in decreased productivity.
Although upgrading your software and operating systems can be costly and time-consuming, doing so can protect your business and save you time and money in the long-run. You also stand to have a competitive advantage in your industry and have more room for better innovations.
2. Switch to the Cloud
Since cloud computing began gaining grounds, it has almost become obsolete to lay emphasis on building and maintaining in-house servers. Although this is a great way to learn about hardware and software, much of the software that is in use today are hosted in the Cloud. Most cloud service providers can provide private, public or hybrid cloud hosting, based on the given requirements. Given such a broad potential, there is really no reason why business owners should depend on internally hosted servers. While some servers may still require in-house maintenance, a significant number of server requirements can be met by contracting it to a cloud vendor to take the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the hardware and software of your server. Here are other ways switching to a cloud-based system can help your business.
- Migrating to a cloud-based server will help your business save the costs of purchasing and maintaining software.
- Cloud computing will also save you the cost of running and maintenance of in-house servers.
- Cloud computing will prevent your business from experiencing crashes and system downtime.
- You can also run your business with the protection of cloud disaster recovery so your business doesn’t lose any data.
- A backup that enables your business to switch your operating system to a secondary operational mode, if need be.
3. Break Free of Email Chains--Switch to Group Chats
Newsgroups and discussion forums are another outdated IT practice. These mediums once served as portals where teams communicate, raised questions and received answers. They were usually in the typical question-and-answer format. However, the arrival of social media and message apps now serve as better alternatives that can be explored to communicate business tasks including platforms such as:
These work pages are significantly better substitutes to the old newsgroups and discussion forums. They are also much more instinctive and user-friendly with social media pages compared to outdated software. Depending on your business type, some of these platforms will also help you account for time spent, budget, organizing your projects in one spot, calculating any increased costs, etc. The dispersal of information can also be handled effortlessly with these team collaboration tools.
4. Promote a Remote Workforce
In the past decade, a new workforce is leaning towards an IT strategy that includes instant connectivity. This revolution has facilitated remote work and communications between team members. As companies are ever on the lookout for new and better ways to attract and retain top talent, naturally, when new location preferences become evident, re-evaluation and adaption begin to occur. Firms that do not offer such flexibility may encounter decreased productivity and also face the risk of being outpaced by the competition. Presently, flexible work arrangements are one of the best IT practices in the world with loads of benefits for both employers and employees.
- It reduces employee stress and time wasted on commuting to and from work which can lead to increased productivity.
- Flexible work hours improves employee morale and overall effectiveness.
- It’s a good cost-cutting approach for companies.
5. Cut Out Redundant Technology
One of the major reasons legacy systems fail is as a result of overly complex structures. Technology should make your life simpler, not more complicated. Complexity arises when there are overlapping and redundant technologies within your system. When considering updated technology for your operating systems, less is usually better in terms of functionality and structural design. So what should you do?
- Get rid of the old instead of adding them up. Review your structural design and make simplicity your top priority.
- You can begin by putting into operation only the most important features.
- Ensure the new application will operate well with the other tools used to run your business by default.
- Whatever your choice of applications, ensure you use a concrete technology stack that is future-set to deliver the best performance.
Many business owners are unaware of the risk of using outdated technology. Their ignorance stems from not possessing the right data and dealing with conflicting points of view on priority, value, and risk. Outdated technology will cost your business money, slow down innovation and get in your way of discovering new business opportunities. Business owners who want to stand the test of time should regularly audit their IT practices to ensure they are up-to-date.