Are You Putting Your Business At Risk With Outdated Hardware?

 

Putting Your Business At Risk With Outdated Hardware

Any business, regardless of the size or industry, will face many challenges. Whether it’s a strict deadline, harsh industry regulations or aggressive competition, the business world will always offer its share of difficulties.

Despite being so crucial to a business’ bottom line, one challenge that is often overlooked is IT. Specifically, the ongoing maintenance of its lifecycle.

Is Your Technology Too Old?

There are many subtle (and some not so subtle) signs that it may be time to upgrade your technology:

  • Newer Versions Have Been Released.
    While the mere existence of a newer OS or new model in the line-up doesn’t mean you should automatically upgrade, it is an indication that you will have to do so sometime soon. When a newer version is released, it means the clock is running out on how long the providers will continue to support the version you’re using.
  • Repeated Hacking Or Intrusion Attempts.
    If you have been the target of multiple attacks or attempted intrusions, it could be related to outdated software or old, poorly configured hardware.
  • Your Competitors Are Leaving You Behind.
    You may be noticing that your competitors have far surpassed your capabilities and are able to provide clients with features and products that you are unable to offer. If you are finding it hard to keep up with your competitors, it might be time to consider how new technology can enhance the work you do.
  • Your End Users Are Complaining Of Slow And Unreliable Access.
    Are you finding that your staff is complaining about lag and that clients are unable to quickly access to your services and sites? If so, it is a sure sign that your technology can be improved.
  • You’re Not Mobile.
    In the modern age, your employees need to be able to work effectively from anywhere. Most businesses will benefit from the freedom to work from home and on-the-go, and recent innovations in tech have made that a simple and expected part of work.
  • You’re Paying For Short Term Fixes.
    The older technology gets, the more support it will need. That means paying more and more for support to come in and get it running again, the returns on which will quickly diminish.
  • You’re Risking Your Compliance.
    Malfunctioning technology will quickly take effect on your organization’s compliance efforts. The more your security and data continuity are affected, the more at risk you will be of non-compliance.

Three Questions To Answer About Your IT

1. Does Your Hardware Function Properly?
As step number 1, it doesn’t get much easier than this:

  • Can you turn it on?
  • How long does it take to start up?
  • How long does it take to execute tasks like opening applications?

In a nutshell, you need to know whether your hardware is holding you back, making you wait, and slowing your business down.

2. Is The Software Up To Date?
Now that you’ve determined how functional the hardware is, the next step is the software. Even if this technology hasn’t been turned on in a week, there will likely be some updates that have to take place.

Updates are important because they correct existing errors and mistakes in software, and patch potential flaws that could leave it vulnerable to security threats.

One by one, open up each program you would plan to use on a regular basis. If there are updates that need to be installed, a pop-up window will likely open on start-up. However, if the previous owner turned off that automatic function, you’ll need to manually check for updates, which can be done in the program preferences.

Warning – installing multiple updates can take a long time. The longer that this technology has been sitting unused, the longer you can expect the update process to take. This could potentially be hours or even an entire working day in some situations.

3. What Is The Status Of Licenses And Warranties?
After double-checking that everything is up to date, the next step will be to confirm the status of any existing licenses and warranties.

Depending on the type of business, there may be specific software needed for daily operations. It could be Quickbooks for accounting and bookkeeping or Oracle Micros for restaurant Point of Sales, but the bottom line is that if you need it to get work done, you should know whether you can use it.
At Where To Start We

See, while the program may be installed on your hardware, that doesn’t mean that the licenses originally purchased for it won’t have expired. The most direct way to check if the license is still in good standing is often just to try to use the software. If that doesn’t answer the question for you, then try looking at the About page for the software.

There are a variety of reasons why you may decide to hold off on making a major upgrade to your technology, such as the cost and hassle. However, avoiding the issue for too long will do more harm than good, and will affect your productivity, security, and ability to get work done.

 

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