Be honest here. Is your company guilty of using outdated technology? If so, it could be hurting your business more than you care to realize – or admit.
According to a recent survey from Microsoft, approximately 91% of consumers said they would stop doing business with a company due to outdated technology.
How do we classify outdated anyway? Computers and its operating systems are technologies are some important factors that can impact customer experience. The survey said that “61% of consumers think a small business is outdated if it has a five-to ten-year-old operating system, while about 60% said the same for a five-to ten-year-old desktop computer.”
It’s important to understand the life expectancies of different technologies to help gauge when it is on its last legs. There are, of course, some general guidelines you can use to know the lifespans of tech. Intel, for instance, says that four years is typically the max before PCs start wearing out.
Here are a couple of ways you can determine if your business technology is in fact outdated and will start negatively impacting your business.
Computers taking forever to boot up or applications start so slowly? Do websites take annoyingly long to load? Does using Internet-based software feel like it’s got all the time in the world? If so, it’s the best time for an upgrade. Slow speeds indicate a need new for hardware, software (or applications), a better antivirus, a faster internet connection, or all of these.
Another obvious sign of outdated technology is the wasted money you use to keep your tech running smoothly. You might not be paying a ton in repair or maintenance bills, but your older technology might still be holding you back from speed advantage and cost savings of newer technology. Modern technology is often more efficient (especially cloud-based technologies like cloud phone systems, therefore if you’re noticing that other businesses around you pay less, it might be time to upgrade.
Security vulnerabilities are exposed when technology ages, which can mean that the older technology you’re using is already exposing you to security vulnerabilities. Newer versions of software, for instance, usually include security patches that fix previous and current issues. Over time, security gaps occur, and in time can make your outdated technology vulnerable the longer you hold onto it.
Has it become normal for your point of sale (POS), phone system, computers, or other systems crash regularly? Are you forced to reboot because things “lock-up” or “freeze?” A potential culprit for downtime and crashes could relate to outdated software, OS, or security issues, which point to outdated technology. Regardless of the cause, downtime due to freezes or crashes may be premonitions of worse problems so consider a technology update.
Falling behind competitors
Finally, if you’re beginning to lose business to your competitors because of your outdated technology, it’s definitely the time for some upgrade. More than 90% of people, according to Microsoft’s research, would consider going elsewhere if they see that the small business is using outdated tech.
Shop visitors don’t visit as often
If you sell exclusively from your physical shop, then you’re losing a lot of leads and customers might prefer competitors with an online equivalent. This is especially true for merchants and service providers. It’s an e-commerce world and you need to be where your customers are – online. Get your business online by going to Crazy Domains and doing a domain name search to secure your very own unique domain name (identity).
Other steps will follow – hosting your domain, developing your website, migrating everything to your virtual address – these things, while can be long, will ensure that your business has a fighting chance in an increasingly online world.
Most of these are common sense because outdated technology signals customers that a business either isn’t serious enough to invest in improvements or it doesn’t have the capability to do so. Whether you like it or not, outdated technology can send the wrong message to potential customers, which is why investing in up-to-date technology will benefit your business in the long run.