Every company wants to grow, but if you treat your tech infrastructure as an afterthought, you may be severely limiting your company’s potential. When used strategically, technology can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) develop a more productive, efficient, and innovative workforce. That’s why businesses that prioritize technology are three times more likely to exceed corporate goals (Adobe Digital Trends Report). In a business world that’s evolving at a breakneck pace, your company may not be able to perform at its full potential if it lacks the necessary technology. However, even the most cutting-edge technology can experience the occasional hiccup and slow you down if you don’t keep up with regular updates and support. Do you have the best technology infrastructure to help you kick off this year with a bang? If not, it’s time to consider a technology refresh.
A technology refresh is the process of replacing technology components regularly by evaluating their ability to integrate with other infrastructure components and obsolescence, rather than waiting until the outdated element becomes the most significant impediment to achieving your company’s vision. A technology refresh is crucial because maintaining legacy infrastructure components comes at a cost. It exposes your systems to hackers, reduces overall productivity and may even drive your most valuable employees out the door because they are tired of dealing with outdated technology that makes it difficult to do their jobs.
Additionally, as the costs of maintaining outdated IT components and the risks of failure continue to rise, day-to-day operations can be negatively impacted. Remember that your IT infrastructure is a critical component of your business. An up-to-date and high-quality IT infrastructure is an asset that enables you to do business without falling prey to cyberthreats and helps you achieve your goals.
10 signs you need a tech refresh.
Systems are running slowly.
Slow systems consume a significant amount of a company’s valuable time. The slowness could be due to several factors including a failed integration, virus or lack of updates. It’s critical to find and fix the problem as soon as possible to get back to optimal performance levels.
2. Your risk of threats keeps increasing.
The threat landscape is constantly evolving. We know this because of the projected increase in the cybersecurity market size from around 217 billion in 2021 to about 240 billion in 2022 (Statista). If you want to keep cybercriminals out of your business, you must understand where your technology and security measures fall short, leaving you vulnerable. Some of the threats that small and midsized business’ (SMBs) IT infrastructure must defend against are:
- Targeted ransomware attacks
- Phishing attacks
- Insider threats
- DDoS attacks
3. Experiencing suspicious pop-ups.
Suspicious pop-ups typically warn users that their system is vulnerable to a security threat or has a technical problem. Cybercriminals then prey on worried users who want to make sure their system is secure by extorting money to fix issues and eliminate threats that do not exist. One of the best ways to keep such malicious players at bay is by immediately refreshing/updating legacy systems.
4. Random shutdowns.
It’s normal for systems to shut down to install critical updates. However, if the shutdowns are frequent and unpredictable, then there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. While random shutdowns can be due to a range of factors, such as an unstable power supply, virus/malware or corrupted files, it could also be a warning sign that the system is due for an update/refresh.
5. Connection issues.
Getting cut off from the internet in the middle of a crucial task or meeting occasionally can be inconvenient, but what if it happens regularly? It could be a sign that your system has a flaw that needs to be fixed. However, if software patching fails to resolve the issue, it may be time to refresh the system.
6. Lack of integration between your systems, software and technology.
Integration is critical for today’s firms because the current technology landscape is evolving rapidly, and businesses may have to depend on multiple vendors for different solutions. So, if any technology component in your company does not integrate with the rest of the infrastructure, it should be replaced immediately.
7. Compliance is a concern.
Regardless of your industry, you’re probably subject to compliance regulations that your company must follow. If you use outdated technology that no longer receives software patches and is no longer supported, you may jeopardize your compliance status. Finding these gaps in your infrastructure as early as possible allows you to close them, thereby avoiding reputational damage and getting into hot water with regulators. Never take compliance lightly since failure to comply can result in:
- Hefty penalties
- Uninvited audits
- Criminal charges
- Denial of insurance claims
- Forced closure or even imprisonment.
8. Your system acts possessed.
You’ve probably seen situations where tabs open and close on their own, the mouse moves in the opposite direction, things open on your desktop at random and files get downloaded without your knowledge. In such cases, you should consider a system refresh before consulting an exorcist. Systems without proper patching and update history may exhibit strange behavior.
9. You don’t know the status of your backups.
If you don’t have a backup solution, you should find one that will work for your business because you could lose all your critical data in the blink of an eye. And if you currently have a backup solution, you should check on it regularly to ensure that it is still functional. If it isn’t working, and your organization wants to access your backups, you’ll be in a tough spot. In addition, some cyberattacks specifically target backups. As a result, it is critical to review and refresh your backup solution regularly.
10. You haven’t considered AI yet.
Stay Competitive Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Other Emerging Technologies. According to Gartner, 33% of technology and service provider organizations intend to invest $1 million or more in AI over the next two years. AI and other emerging technologies are rapidly altering the landscape of every industry. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you must use the most up-to-date technology that is appropriate for your industry and goals.
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