Good upgrades to your business’s network infrastructure and IT systems can be a huge boost to your bottom line. It’s common for a business to have a standardized IT system that they acquired in the early days and just upgrade in pieces along the way. This can hold your company back because it wasn’t initially designed for the growth of the business. An upgrade can help customize the system to your needs, save costs, increase revenue, promote productivity, improve the customer experience, and more. In this post, we will go over three ways system upgrades can benefit your business to explain why and how such an update should be a priority project for growth-minded business owners.
Everyone has seen the headlines in the past few years. Hackers are attacking businesses, breaking into their networks, and stealing data. Information stolen could be trade secrets, product designs, and internal protocols, or it could be customer financial and personal information that the hackers will use for identity theft. While big names like Target are the hacks that make the news, in reality, small and medium-sized enterprises are just as likely to come under fire from hackers. While the rewards are not as great, hackers know that most smaller businesses do not have as many resources to commit to security, and, therefore, are weaker targets.
Outdated network security is one of the easiest ways for hackers to get into a business’s network. As software ages, the companies that maintain it stop supporting it. For example, Microsoft no longer provides new security updates to Windows XP, so any business that is still using XP is running a significant risk. A new system upgrade to install new software and ensures everything is up to date closes all known security holes. This is quite valuable because many breaches exploit known holes instead of creatively finding new ones. Hackers want easy, soft targets, and a freshly upgraded system is neither of those things.
Upgrades Improve Processes
Right now, IT infrastructure plays a huge role in the productivity of any business. This will vary based on your industry, but there are very few companies that do not have a strong reliance on a functioning and effective network. It goes further than just whether or not you have a network: the quality of your whole IT system determines how much you can get done in a working day. With a new system, you can send files and data to one another more quickly, sharing results and designs. You have the ability to work through the day without worrying about whether or not the system will go down for one reason or another. Greater capacity means less downtime and better speed.
This is a qualitative difference as well as a quantitative one. Upgrades can unlock new features and tools that you were unable to access previously. For example, consider a new system that automatically backs up all of your important data to the cloud and stores it securely. If you have a power failure or a storm, you don’t need to worry about losing work. All of your progress will still be there when the office reopens. If you are a business that involves bringing customers or clients on site, then an upgrade might improve their experience by giving them a WiFi network for guests of the company. An improved network could allow for video-conferencing or other forms of communication that were not possible without the upgrade. Considering how critical IT is to productivity, it’s not surprising that a small upgrade project can pay big productivity dividends.
Globalization means that companies can now operate across borders, hire staff in different countries, send their employees across the world on business trips, and operate with agility in any time zone. But that is only possible with the right IT infrastructure. You need, for example, the ability to allow workers to connect remotely from offsite locations and still work as if they were at the office. It’s not easy to do this and ensure the connection remains secure. It’s particularly true if you also want to allow connections from mobile devices. For example, if you want to make an overseas hire, or you have an employee at a client meeting who needs information stored on his work computer, the right IT system can make that possible. However, without a recent upgrade, it is unlikely that your network can provide all of the functionality you need. Remote work is becoming such a big part of business growth making it hard to justify holding off on making the investment now. Even if this kind of remote work is not currently part of your workflow, that might just be because you don’t have the capacity to do it. Once your network supports it, you will find all kinds of uses for connecting remotely. It lets you distribute your network’s advantages to workers who are not physically present, opening up a wealth of opportunities.
The bottom line is that the business world is becoming more fast-paced than ever. An IT upgrade project is an up-front cost that provides a return on your investment for a long time because you get access to the latest tools and gain more capacity. A good network will reduce the chances that you need computer repair and other forms of support because it will have superior uptime and fewer bugs than in an old network. Computer repair is a cost that businesses would love to cut, and partnering with itNOW for your IT upgrades can increase your revenue and significantly decrease your future repair costs. By reaching out to us, you’ll experience a win on both counts.