10 Risks of Running Your Business on Outdated IT Equipment
Running your business with outdated IT equipment comes with risks you may not be aware of until it’s too late. Whether it’s the loss of important documents, damage to employee productivity, or costly security breaches, many issues can arise when you decide to delay an upgrade that’s long overdue. If you want to know what these risks are and how you can avoid them, read this guide on 10 risks of running your business on outdated IT equipment and what you can do about them before they occur.
1) Vulnerability of Legacy System
The software was built 10 years ago and hasn’t been updated in a long time. The manufacturers have moved on to newer technologies, so you need to maintain your system with custom patches that are downloaded from a hacker forum. You just can’t afford a major security breach at your company, so why take any chances? Get rid of your old computers and replace them with something modern. The sooner you do it, the better. A new device won’t only help secure your data; it will also help keep your entire team connected through their mobile devices, allowing for greater productivity overall. Once you see what you get for updating existing equipment, there won’t be anything holding you back!
2) Costly Service Contract
Most businesses don’t like to think about what happens when their IT equipment fails, and that’s why they purchase service contracts to cover it. While these can be helpful in certain circumstances, they can end up costing your business money if not handled properly. Before you sign a contract, make sure to find out exactly what your service agreement covers and what you will need to do once it ends. If things go wrong, you may have to fight with your provider for restitution. To protect yourself against unnecessary costs, always read all documentation before signing. It’s Never Too Late: Because technology is constantly changing, most computer systems are obsolete within five years. That means no matter how well you maintain your current system or how much support you receive from IT companies, there will come a time when it stops being viable or simply no longer meets your needs. You might run into issues because of compatibility or security reasons; either way, you’ll eventually reach a point where updating is more trouble than maintaining (and updating) old software versions is worth it.
3) Long Hardware Maintenance Contract
Computers and software tend to become outdated quickly, especially when they’re used constantly. If you don’t upgrade your computers regularly, there is a greater risk that you will be hacked by cyber criminals. This can also affect other employees in your office who may accidentally download malicious programs. For example, there was recently a high-profile attack where hackers installed malware that allowed them to take control of peoples’ webcams and record their every move. You never know what kind of security risks are out there, so it’s important to keep up with updates.
4) Costs Associated with Legacy Migration
If your computer network is vulnerable to attacks, hackers can steal information about your company. To keep valuable data safe, keep your technology up-to-date and well-protected. While an attack is unlikely if you’re careful, you’ll always run a greater risk with outdated systems than with modern equipment. Any upgrades you make should be made quickly; having out-of-date computers increases the chances that malware or viruses will get into your system. You can reduce costs by consolidating older machines instead of replacing them one at a time; even if older machines are still functional, they should eventually be replaced for security reasons alone.
5) Security Threats
If you’re running a business and using outdated or unsupported hardware, you’re also putting your company at risk. Old computers and servers run slower and consume more energy. This creates a bigger target for hackers to exploit. And if they succeed, all of your valuable data will be exposed to cyber-criminals looking to steal personal information, credit card numbers or hold your company hostage with ransomware. This is why it’s important to make sure any business system in use is up-to-date. Updated software ensures better safety online, while new equipment allows companies to deliver products faster—or even let customers place orders in real time.
6) Updates are not Compatible with Older Systems
If you’re still running a computer system that is over 5 years old, then you could be in for a rude awakening when Microsoft or Apple releases its next operating system. While your computer may have been able to run all your current programs, there is no guarantee that it will run future updates. In fact, some new versions may not even work on older systems. The same concept applies to laptops as well as PCs—if you want to ensure that your laptop works with today’s software and isn’t outdated by tomorrow, an upgrade might be necessary.
7) Lack of Collaboration Tool
It’s hard to retain employees when you can’t keep up with what they need to work. When your equipment is dated, it makes it harder for employees to access information they need in a timely manner. This, in turn, increases their stress and lowers morale; ultimately leading them to look for another job elsewhere. All you end up losing is money! If something breaks down because it’s outdated, you won’t be able to access critical information at all. Time spent figuring out why something broke means time not spent working on your business plan or expanding opportunities.
8) Time-Consuming Backups
Backing up your computer can be a time-consuming hassle. You have to think about storage space, ensure your backup is regular and complete, and eventually find a way to offload those backups somewhere else. If you don’t have a good backup solution in place already, it may be time to consider an upgrade to cloud storage. Cloud hosting enables you to store online files that can easily be backed up quickly and safely from anywhere in the world. This makes backing up data fast and easy, eliminating one headache entirely. Need more hard drive space? No problem; just pay for more. Need backups for all your employees? Easy! It’s all part of having a reliable host service, so you should strongly consider upgrading to cloud services if you haven’t already.
9) Increased Staff Turnover
Staff who are overworked and undertrained tend to quit, which leaves companies in a bind. Employees who have been around for a while may not be as willing to put in extra hours if they don’t feel that their efforts are being recognized or that they’re learning anything new. This makes it more difficult to keep a high-quality team, which is important as your business grows. A good internal training program will reduce turnover by ensuring people know how to handle their jobs and want to do them well.
If you want to take advantage of new technology or buy new software or hardware, your business may require that its existing computers be upgraded in order to run it. Without these upgrades, your business could face significant risks in terms of being able to operate efficiently. Commonly-needed upgrades include newer operating systems and faster Internet speeds. While upgrading might seem like a waste of money when all you need is basic functionality, it’s better to spend extra now than compromise your company’s ability to grow because of poor technological infrastructure. As such, putting off upgrades can cost more in the long run.