Making changes to your office technology can be difficult and overwhelming, especially when it’s a large-scale change. This is especially true if you do not have your own in-house IT staff, and the task of managing an overhaul to your technology falls on a team member who has other important day-to-day responsibilities. There are consequences to putting things off. Upgrading and modernizing your technology, even if it is something as simple as swapping out old or outdated devices, can benefit your overall operations, the quality of the services you offer, and the bottom line of the company. However, the longer you wait to make needed changes and improvements, the more expensive and time-consuming it can become.
With that said, if your business is still operating with a remote or hybrid business model, now may be the right time to undertake an office technology refresh. It will almost certainly be easier to accomplish without everyone in the office, and it will help to better prepare the organization for everyone’s return to the office. This isn’t the only scenario where you should make the needed changes, however. Even though your technology may be working and allowing the team to perform their day-to-day operations, that certainly doesn’t mean that it is performing the way it should or could. Your office technology doesn’t just affect your internal customers (your employees and team members), but it also affects the quality of work that you’re sharing with your external customers (clients, vendors, partners)!
At Tech Wise Office Solutions, we understand how tricky and cumbersome it can be to know which outdated devices are not benefiting your company. That’s why our team of technology consultants will perform a complimentary assessment of your environment to evaluate the health, security, and cost of your office technology. Below we will cover some signs or indications to help you determine if your company might be in need of a technology refresh. By the end of this article, you will better understand if your office needs a refresh, and how it will benefit the business.
Here are four signs to pay attention to:
1. Your Business Is Growing
This can be somewhat obvious, but if your business or company has steadily grown over the course of the last several months, and especially if you’re forecasting the growth to continue, then it is likely that the technology needs have changed as well. The more your business grows and develops, the greater the need to optimize your systems. By optimizing your technology systems, you can potentially reduce the cost on a per-person, per-print, or per-subscription basis, and essentially recoup some of the overall expenses, thereby helping the company to be more profitable.
Some of the more simple changes you can make are to your office equipment. This can often be the easiest and least cumbersome type of change but have some of the biggest impacts on the business. Acquiring printers and copiers with a lower cost of operation can greatly impact the monthly cost of printing. Another is investing in a folder-inserter to fold and insert your letters, invoices, and statements into envelopes. Why pay an hourly or salaried employee to spend hours doing a mundane task like folding and stuffing envelopes when they could be focusing their efforts on more important duties that bring revenue into the company?
Another option is migrating to the cloud and utilizing SaaS tools like Microsoft 365. This is a great option to avoid large amounts of capital upgrading servers and ensures that you always have the latest and greatest. It also enables your team to stay connected and enhances collaboration and allows for simple scaling of your subscription as needed.
2. Too Much Downtime Affecting Productivity
Occasionally, this one is obvious. For example, critical software is taking too long to load or repeatedly freezes and brings company operations to a halt. By taking too long to load, we’re talking about taking 5 or 10 minutes for something to load or download that used to take less than 30 seconds. Something like this could be an outdated software or software license, an old or overused server without enough resources, a slow internet connection that no longer meets your needs, or a combination of these things.
Of course, the issue could also be a more hidden or nuanced culprit that doesn’t reveal itself so easily. Regardless of the cause, the fact is that downtime affects productivity. Low productivity affects your company’s output, which affects your clients. Eventually, your clients may opt for another company with faster turnaround times where they will be serviced quicker.
3. Your Operating System is Vulnerable to Security Risks
In today’s landscape of hackers and ransomware attacks, no company can afford to be indifferent about its IT security. Suppose your network comes under attack by hackers and they find that your old technology is vulnerable. According to the 2021 Annual Threat Monitor from NCC Group, ransomware attacks increased by 93% last year, and more than 70% of those attacks targeted the SMB market!
Older devices and outdated software are often vulnerable to cyber-attacks because they are no longer compatible with the latest versions of malware protection solutions. Cyber-attackers are always coming up with new ways to access your systems and get ahold of your important and confidential data. Therefore, it is more important than ever to consider swapping out old devices and systems for newer versions that can run more efficiently and better protect your data.
The Business is Pivoting or Shifting Directions
If your company is considering, or is currently, switching things up and shifting the vision of the company, this may be a sign that a technology refresh is needed.
A common example of this in today’s business environment is a company that has historically had a traditional business model where the majority of its employees showed up to work every day in the office. However, with the changes we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies shifted to a majority of their team members working remotely. After experiencing this over the last couple of years, maybe the company has recently decided that they want to implement the remote-work model permanently. This may represent the need to invest in an overhaul of the IT infrastructure to better suit this model permanently.
Is Your Company Ready for a Technology Refresh?
Your business technology is a direct reflection of the quality, quantity, and efficiency of your work output. As we have discussed in this article, it certainly has a direct impact on overall performance and productivity. If you believe it is time for your company to consider a refresh, or would just like to take a deeper look at the overall health of your technology, get in touch with us at Tech Wise Office Solutions. We work with our clients to develop IT and Office Technology solutions tailored to their unique needs and goals.