Whether it’s to keep pace with modern technology, to remain competitive, or to accommodate growth, the reality of business is that from time to time you have to update your IT infrastructure. Although this may require an upfront investment, staying put with your current setup can actually be more costly in the long run.
As your company grows and the digital landscape increases, your IT needs are going to evolve. If they don’t, you are putting your productivity and your network security at risk.
But far worse is that you are putting your business at risk of becoming obsolete. Your customers, employees and other stakeholders are living in a digital age, which means they expect your business or organization to operate in the modern era as well. Which is why your IT infrastructure must keep up with these changes.
One quick way to determine if it’s time to upgrade is simply based on the last time you did so. If you’ve gone 3+ years without making any IT infrastructure updates, then it’s time.
But if you're still not sure, then here are five other signs that indicate that it’s time to evaluate your IT infrastructure and the price you could pay if you do not address this:
Your Applications or IT Services Are Slow or Crash or Are Outdated
Do your applications or IT services work at a snail's pace or sometimes stop working altogether?
Are your office tools collaborative and flexible enough to support the modern “on-the-go” workforce?
Slow speeds and intermittent outages can be a sign that your workloads are overwhelming your IT infrastructure – either because you’ve outgrown it or because it’s outdated and performing poorly (or both).
Slow speeds hurt employee productivity. Outages crush productivity altogether because of the downtime. Downtime costs small-to-midsized businesses thousands of dollars per hour, according to an IDC study sponsored by Acronis.
Slow speeds hurt productivity, but that’s not the only cause of this slow leak – tools and applications that are outdated and inflexible have the same negative impact. They may technically work just fine, but if, for example, file sharing and collaboration are difficult or cumbersome and your team can only access documents and files from your physical location, then you are also hindering productivity, even if your systems work "just fine".
To avoid these costly hits to your bottom line, it is important to test the performance of your IT infrastructure when your applications or IT services are slow or stop often. The tests might show it is time to scale out or upgrade your IT infrastructure.
And it’s just as important to evaluate your applications and determine if the enhanced security and productivity features that are available in newer, more modern versions are worth investing in, to the benefit of your team and/or your customers.
You Don’t Have Hybrid Data Backups
Cybercrime will cost businesses worldwide more than $2 trillion by 2019, according to a Juniper Research study. Counter to what many small business owners believe, having a small business will not protect them from cybercriminals.
Nor will it protect you against data loss due to human error, a local disaster like a building fire, a weather event that floods your building, or any of the countless things that can – and will - go wrong and compromise your information security.
The only guarantee against data loss and excessive downtime – whether it’s due to a spilled cup of coffee, a sprinkler malfunction or a phishing attack - is having your data both backed up and readily accessible. For modern business, the new minimum standard is a data backups management solution that is both on- and off-premise.
You Struggle to Keep All Your IT Assets Up-To-Date
As your company grows, it is important to keep all your software and firmware updated with the latest updates, especially security patches. Making sure you have installed all the security patches on all your devices is critical to a secure IT environment. A secure IT environment will help ward off cyberattacks and their associated costs.
Patch management is not the only thing you must stay on top of. You need to also keep track of expiring service contracts, end-of-life issues, and other time-sensitive items that need to be monitored to keep your IT systems humming. For example, it is important to replace older equipment on a set schedule to maintain productivity.
Far too many businesses are unaware of what they even have, can’t keep track of who uses what version of what, and simply don’t follow network and security administration best practices because no one is managing it.
You Aren’t Maximizing the Benefits of Today’s Cloud-Based Technology
Cloud-based applications, tools and solutions are not only efficient and affordable, they are allowing small and medium-sized businesses to reap the benefits of enterprise-level services by removing the barrier of a massive upfront investment in licenses or hardware.
With cloud-based services, you can take advantage of turn-key solutions. And with subscription or user-based plans, you only pay for what you use and you can generally scale up (or down) with relative ease.
It can also level-set your infrastructure. For example, if you are in a situation where your team members are operating on multiple versions of Microsoft Office simply based on the age of the laptop they have, an Office 365 plan would allow you to upgrade everyone to a consistent version. On O365, every subscriber has access to the most current (and most secure) version.
Game-changing technology is now available on a wider scale than ever before, and if you’re not maximizing the value by moving away from owned licenses and on-premise hardware and instead moving towards the cloud, then you are missing out on cost-savings and productivity gains.
Your IT Solutions Cost Too Much Time and Money
Some businesses take a fix-it-now-and-deal-with-it-later approach when dealing with IT issues. However, using stopgap or piecemeal solutions will cost you more money in the long run.
Implementing a solution that lets you manage your IT assets as a cohesive system can improve the performance of your IT infrastructure. It can also eliminate the costs that come from having disjointed solutions that aren’t providing the level of service and responsiveness that today’s customers and employees alike demand.
Need An IT Partner To Help?
Your mangaed IT provider should partner with you to build your technology strategy - including managing the timeline and planning for upgrades, cloud migrations and more. Corsica Tech specializes in providing specialized managed IT service solutions for modern business. You can learn more about our offerings here.
Want to talk to one of our dedicated Account Managers about your IT needs? Request a call and we'll be in touch right away!
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