Investing in technology upgrades is easy to put off, but dated hardware and software comes with its own set of consequences. Sticking to the old ways of doing business can send you (and your costs) careening into a bottomless pit of tech despair. Maintaining legacy systems is often “just something that you do” to keep your operations running, but old technology can have a creeping effect on your business. Operational efficiency isn’t the only casualty – you can lose your best people to newer, savvier firms with the latest tech, and worse, lose customers to more innovative, productive and differentiated offerings.
If you fail to keep up with the Joneses, they will often eat your lunch. If your firm relies on old standards, dusty hardware, and ancient languages (I’m looking at you, COBOL), you risk losing out on big contracts and successful bids on RFPs. Your clients are investing in their technology – are you? Even if your bid is lower, smart companies know that collaborating with you and your old tech is never as simple as it seems. Conversion and translation costs can eat up the savings quickly, and it’s not worth the risk to save a little on your costs upfront if you have a compatibility disaster waiting for you in the end.
Investing in newer technology and better systems are often cost-prohibitive until you consider your alternatives. “Doing nothing” is often the most expensive option. Newer technology and better software comes with cost savings and increased productivity. Technology producers and IT professionals are in business to do more with less, faster and cheaper. These firms compete against each other for your business, and the global nature of the tech industry produces robust competition and ever-better products and services. It’s up to you to take advantage of these advances, or you’ll find yourself eating someone else’s dust. Use technology to find solutions to your business problems, and don’t be afraid to invest money in your IT infrastructure before it’s too late.
Expectations are at an all time high, and businesses that invest in technology will continue to improve their results and save costs. If your company uses ancient technology, particularly as it relates to customer-facing tools, don’t pretend that people won’t notice. Your clients want to know that you’re on the forefront of technology, not managing the business with endless workarounds. Investment in technology can help your marketability as well as your productivity.
If you struggle to make timely investments in technology upgrades for your business, it’s time to make some changes to your planning process. Old technology needs to give way to newer, faster, and better alternatives. The first step is resource planning. As a business owner, you have to navigate your way through hundreds of different trade-offs throughout the year. While it’s easy to ignore technology upgrades, they tend to stack up over time. Set aside some of your annual budget for upgrades and implementation of future ready technology in order to stay competitive.
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