Technology is the lifeblood of business in the digital age so it pays dividends to maintain and upgrade the equipment, hardware and software that are critical to day-to-day activities. The consequences of lapses in tech maintenance can be devastating, particularly for micro businesses and SMEs, as outdated IT can threaten business continuity.
Hardware and software issues
Computer systems typically have a three-year life cycle because support and repair costs quickly become too expensive after several years when compared to new builds. In addition, older legacy hardware is more likely to be inefficient and incapable of supporting new and emerging software. This will make it hard for staff to work effectively and to collaborate, which can have a detrimental impact on sales and other business ventures and opportunities. It can also increase downtime and running costs.
In order to address these issues, you should introduce definitive lifecycles for computer systems and retire them at the right time. You should also attempt to standardise the hardware components and software applications you use to ensure deployment and maintenance is a quick and simple process. A streamlined, robust and coherent strategy for your computer systems will do wonders for your business.
Server rooms and data centres support the technology that is central to modern business, storing sensitive information and a mass of big data. Servers can often be neglected or overlooked by CIOs and directors despite their critical importance to business continuity. This can lead to problems such as inadequate temperature control, insufficient ventilation and power outages. The result of this neglect could eventually be catastrophic data loss and server downtime, which can have a direct impact on your bottom line, brand reputation and many other business factors.
To ensure your server is always capable of supporting your business, you could opt for a new server room build or upgrade your current IT setup. Investing in a bespoke comms room brings advantages such as enhanced speed, security, scalability, control and flexibility.
Poor tech maintenance and planning will leave your business incredibly vulnerable to hacks and attacks. The costs of security breaches are rising so you must take steps to reduce the risks, mitigate threats and prevent failures. Make sure that all of your network equipment, operating systems and applications are updated regularly and implement stringent policies regarding Internet and email use. Regular audits should also be performed to test and correct any deficiencies.
Spyware and viruses
A study by CompTIA estimates that spyware infections can cost SMEs $8,000 (£6,150) every year. To combat these threats be sure to install trustworthy antispyware and antivirus applications and never let the licenses for them expire. Again, updating the tech you have to your disposal regularly and using it effectively is the best way to maintain business continuity.
Running outdated tech is a nightmare scenario for business for a multitude of reasons. It increases security vulnerabilities and threats and the likelihood of server failures and data loss, which can result in a loss of competitiveness, lower IT flexibility, increased downtime and a slump in productivity. All these factors can potentially threaten the very existence of an enterprise.