Today, nearly every business could be classified as a technology company because of the sheer amount of technology utilized in daily operations and this technology’s importance to those companies’ bottom line. It should come to no surprise, then, that IT spending has increased from 5% to 10% of annual gross income and is scaling to 16% by 2022. [source: Cognizant]
Still, many companies – especially here in Louisiana – do not prioritize technology. These companies will soon be left behind as other companies in their industry are going through what is known as a “Digital Transformation”. This is where companies embrace and invest in new technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT), in what is also being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Is your company stuck in the past when it comes to technology? See how your company compares with our checklist.
10 Signs Your Company’s Profitability Is Held Back By Dated Technology
Old Computers Running Windows 7 – Microsoft is sunsetting support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020 so, if any of your computers are still running the 10-year-old operating system, you will stop receiving security updates unless you extend the support. If the bulk of your computers are still running Windows 7, you need to act fast to extend support and some of your newer applications like QuickBooks will not support the old operating system.
Legacy Applications – Many companies hold on to software programs they purchased 10+ years ago because their own workflows have not evolved, or they do not want to reinvest in new software. These legacy applications cause the company to hold onto old servers, old workstations, and onto poor performing employees because they know the older software.
Only Using Physical Servers – Years ago, companies needed a separate server to run each of those legacy applications while today the best practice is to create multiple virtual servers on a physical server. Virtual Machines (VMs for short) share the resources of the physical server, can be built-out per the software’s specified environment, and do not crash the entire server if something goes awry on a single VM providing a more efficient use of resources and better ROI (Return on Investment). A non-virtualized production infrastructure is a telltale sign of a company running like it’s 1999.
On-Site Email Server – Email was one of the first technologies to move to the “cloud” in the late 1990s with AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. Even before Microsoft’s 365 email offering became the standard for businesses, many companies already moved their email out of their offices and into the cloud to obtain better uptime, more robust features, and much better security.
Cybersecurity Limited to Anti-Virus & Spam Filtering – Speaking of security, companies cannot rely on a cheap (and especially free) anti-virus software and basic spam filtering to protect themselves. We highly recommend spam filtering with Advanced Threat Protection, next-gen anti-virus, and cybersecurity awareness training for all employees and executives. In recent years, we’ve also added Dark Web monitoring and Active Threat Hunting to our standard offering to further protect our clients.
Non-Managed Network Equipment – This technology will be hard for a non-technical person to determine, but today’s network equipment (firewall, switches, and wireless access points) are “smart”, meaning they can be monitored and managed remotely. Even newer battery backups (professionally known as uninterruptible power supply, or UPS) can be managed remotely. Older network equipment does not provide additional security or functionality so troubleshooting takes longer.
Lack of Real-Time Monitoring & Alerting – Today’s IT support companies and IT departments should know when something goes offline before you do thanks to real-time monitoring. Monitoring also allows IT teams to be proactive by alerting them if hard drives are filling up, security patches fail, and much more.
Copper (aka T1) Internet – The days of the loud, obnoxious sounding dial tone internet are gone, yet some businesses still use phone lines for their internet. Companies need to be on dedicated fiber or business class coax (cable) to get reliable, high-speed internet (and the prices for either internet connection are now quite affordable in most locations).
Lack of Offsite Backups & Disaster Planning – I’m amazed how many companies still do not back up their data offsite or have an employee take a portable hard drive home every week. In Louisiana, people generally only think of hurricanes when it comes to disasters, but a disaster can be an icy day that shuts down the roads, a fire at your building, a cyber-attack, or just the internet being out for an extended period of time. Your IT support team needs to have a plan for all these scenarios, so your company does not lose days of work.
Limit Employees to Working at Their Desks – A lack of mobility prevents your employees from being productive when the weather is bad, their kid is sick, or when they’re traveling for work. Many employees today seek out flexible work schedules and need an infrastructure where they can work from home, in a coffee shop, at a hotel, or on the road.
Besides missing out on the ROI technology provides companies, companies with dated technology also struggle with recruiting and retaining younger, more tech-savvy employees causing a slow “death spiral” which makes the company hard to sell.
If you’re concerned your company’s technology needs updating and securing, contact us and we can help you get your technology into the current decade.