A surprisingly large number of businesses are still reliant on old tech to perform daily operations. The common excuse is that these systems still work today, but just because something works does not mean it cannot be better. You may never know the benefits of new tech ideas if you don’t try them. Technology makes gigantic leaps every year, changing many aspects of society. To remain relevant and up to date in technological evolution, businesses should not be reluctant to use new tech, otherwise, this may hinder growth and marginalise modern markets.
A majority of businesses struggling with modernisation are those established well before some of these inventions. Start-ups normally incorporate the latest tech systems available at the time of launch, so they are more in tune with modern business services.
Nowadays, upgrading is not just a matter of buying new computer hardware and software. Although, decommissioning old legacy systems is a good place to start. However, modernisation goes beyond utility upgrades. Services, infrastructure and workflow practices should be the prime focus areas in weeding out outdated features and methods. Modernising operational systems helps streamline your business transactions and utilise time and labour more efficiently. Here are four crucial upgrades that will make the biggest difference in how you conduct your business.
Communication systems update
The importance of reliable communication in a business environment cannot be emphasised enough. You might think that all you need is a simple voice phone, but in the modern workplace, that is not enough. Personal communication has seen several improvements in portable smart devices. Communication in the workplace has not been left behind either. The modern workplace is now a neat, organised space thanks to the eradication of crisscrossing phone lines and network cables, and chunky communication gadgets and equipment.
Unified communications systems have effectively taken over internal and external business communication. Personal communication solutions and old PBX systems no longer satisfy the evolving business needs. The solution is to have a versatile and flexible system with a minimal footprint. Businesses have integrated unified communications for daily communication services like instant messages, voice (through IP telephony like VoIP), video conferencing and mobile communication. The beauty with a unified system is its compatibility with several different devices; so you only need one unified communications service provider to cover your entire infrastructure.
The main benefits of such a system are unlimited mobility and reduced running cost. Legacy phone systems require frequent maintenance and replacements; the voice plans for external calls are neither cheap nor reliable. Modern systems can be integrated with mobile devices for remote access even across different countries.
Embrace the cloud
Over the past few years, the cloud has grown from more than just a secure storage solution to an on-demand computing service for businesses across the globe. The cloud is essentially an online platform where you can access your business data and computing resources instantly from anywhere. This means all your data, software and processing hardware are always available whenever you need them. With such enticing benefits, it is surely time to move your business to the cloud if you have not done so already.
Many cloud services can be tailored to suit the different needs of different businesses. Moving to the cloud is fit for any organisation seeking secure solutions for data storage or looking to increase mobility and flexibility. Cloud solutions also offer ideal services to connect and share in enterprise operation with remote workers, contractors and freelancers. The workforce is rapidly migrating to the virtual workplace, and the cloud is one of the few secure ways to interact and work with online labours.
Instead of investing in expensive software and hardware that can only run within a localised office, a wiser decision would be to run services on the cloud; cutting down on the cost of processing hardware. Furthermore, several high-end software vendors offer cloud-based options where they rent out specific modules on a subscription plan for a considerably low fee. This creates an economical platform to access and use digital resources.
You might be surprised at how many strenuous manual tasks in your operation can be automated. Automation does not only cut down performance time but also eliminates human error from regular processes. Integrated automation systems are used to identify a host of manual tasks that can better be handled by automated routines. These tasks include repetitive procedures where environmental variables are predictable. Processes such as documentation, finance management, emailing, generating feedback, data management, payroll and systems checks are all tasks that can easily be assigned to robots.
Unfortunately, not every business task is automatable. Nevertheless, full automation and even semi-automation significantly reduces the staff’s workload and increases efficiency in business operation. Meaning you get more work done faster with fewer or no mistakes at all.
Invest in security
As IT technologies grow, new security threats emerge. The unsavoury community of hackers continue to create new security threats by exploiting any vulnerabilities available. With distributed data storage and remote access, businesses are ideal targets for cyber-attacks. Businesses store vast fields of confidential and valuable information online, from customer data, trade secrets, financial information, to sensitive authentication credentials. With that in mind, security is one of the most important investments not only to safeguard the business’ assets and data but that of the customers and stakeholders as well.
A simple antivirus upgrade is only a drop in the ocean when it comes to fending off cyber-attacks. You need to find loopholes in your system and take appropriate actions to seal them off. Luckily, several cybersecurity firms can do the work for you. In fact, many businesses keep security consultants on retainer around the clock, proving how serious cybercrime has become.
With security upgrades, you may need to dump older IT resources for newer ones with tighter security features. You may also need to change a few business practices to stay safe. The problem with IT security is that the changing technology gives rise to new penetration techniques, so with every new technology, there are new protection countermeasures. Therefore, security upgrades need to be frequent and recurrent.
Tech upgrades can drastically improve your work efficiency by trading traditional methods for more economical and versatile solutions. Remember, upgrades are not a one-time thing; you need to stay open-minded to new ideas and appreciate the benefits and possibilities new tech brings to your business.