If you are like so many businesses, you are probably under a tight budget. And tight budgets mean you have to make due with technology that is often woefully out of date. So you keep it going until you absolutely must take action.
Here is the problem with continuing to try to make old, outdated technology "work". You are impairing more than just the processes that the technology serves. You are also impairing the ability of your users to perform their work properly. And that equates to real dollars off your bottom line.
We've identified three questions to ask yourself (and your IT department) about your aging infrastructure (be honest!):
Are you running the latest operating system? This may sound like a no-brainer, but we've found that many companies rationalize not putting in upgrades and updates because they are waiting for all the version glitches to be ironed out. Then, they drag their feet and, before they know it, they are a couple versions behind. Not smart. Because, in most cases there are good reasons a new OS is introduced. Security is one reason. Getting rid of viruses and dealing with potential hack attacks costs a company valuable time and resources. That is time which should be spent optimizing and providing users with useful applications.
Is your hardware older than 5 years? By today's standards, any piece of equipment older than 5 years is considered out of date. When you apply that measuring stick, chances are you have quite a few computers, phones, modems and other peripheral equipment that should be replaced. Furthermore, you may be still paying for maintenance on legacy equipment. That's money down the drain that could be put to use updating and upgrading.
Is your network truly 24/7 high-speed? If it isn't you have probably found yourself unable to run certain applications without hanging up your network. Sharing and collaboration among users can be cumbersome. You may have used some work arounds, but given the massive amounts of data needing to move throughout an organization, nothing less than 100% can be truly efficient. The loss of productivity, lack of on-line collaboration and slowing of processes costs your company in time and resources.
If you find yourself in the "Catch-22" situation of spending money to keep a lot of legacy systems going because you don't have the money to replace them, you are not alone. We regularly speak with IT and telecom managers who know their infrastructure is impaired by a variety of legacy systems and ineffective networks but feel hamstrung by budget confines and so many other priorities coming down from senior management.
Maybe it's time to get off the merry-go-round and begin taking some simple steps to replace your old infrastructure. Make a list and tackle the most pressing issues first. And make sure you have installed a solid Telecom Expense Management "TEM" solution to keep track of expenses and inventory. The hardest thing is to get going. Once you start, you may be surprised at how quickly you are able to get your department, and company, up to date and performing better than ever.