For business owners and the workforce, IT is generally something they prefer not to think about unless something goes wrong. While the ideal scenario is to ensure that they can put all their concentration into running the business, a lack of IT awareness can lead to telltale signs that something is wrong. Here are six warning signs that indicate it’s time to update your business IT solutions.
#1: You are spending a lot on IT server and infrastructure maintenance
When you find that you are spending your IT resources—money or time—fixing or maintaining an old server, you may be faced with the decision of either buying a new one or continuing to swallow the bitter pill of rising costs. Legacy infrastructure eventually reaches a point where it costs more to maintain than it does to upgrade to more cost-effective solutions.
Modern technologies can dramatically increase productivity in ways that go directly to the bottom line. Virtualization and the cloud can hold cost-effective solutions that fit within tight budgets and poise the business for greater productivity and growth.
#2: Your systems make it difficult to support multiple offices and a mobile workforce
Businesses with multiple offices and a mobile workforce need the right network and application access, as well as the right virtual phone systems, in order to compete. If you’re dealing with lots of IT visits to branch offices for network issues, high phone bills, and lower productivity for the workforce on the road, you need to look at your business IT solutions.
#3: You’re experiencing lower workforce productivity and increased complaints
In order to be competitive in the digital age, your employees must have the tools that can maximize productivity while making their jobs easier and more intuitive. If you notice slowly declining productivity, it is pretty likely that the legacy technology is causing the problem. When things like software updates and patches take forever and cause downtime and glitches and lots of crashes, that is a clear indication of the source of lowered productivity.
#4: Systems don’t meet the minimum requirements of programs
The pace of technology improvements can be a boon for business if you stay ahead of the curve, but if you fall behind, the average minimum requirements for new programs must increase in order to match. If your computers can’t run programs that other businesses in your field are using, that puts you at a competitive disadvantage.
#5: You don’t remember the last time you tested your backup, if ever at all
Many businesses using tape backups fail to test the backups for reliability regularly. Or worse, they fail to test the backup at all. Without regular backup tests, you run a high chance of not having the ability to restore valuable business data when needed. With a virtualized backup solution, backup tests are conducted automatically without you ever having to worry about them.
#6: You don’t have a full disaster recovery plan
A full business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan is imperative in an era of sophisticated and increasing cyber threats. A full BCDR plan looks at the complete landscape of a business’s current operations and has policies and technologies in place in order to ensure that the business is up and running with little to no disruption. Cloud hosting solutions and colocation can be the best foundation for BCDR options. They can ensure that your business is up and running with minimal disruptions under any and all circumstances.
While these can be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to signs of the need for updating your business IT solutions, they collectively point to the need for an IT management advisor. Whether your company has internal IT or not, a skilled and experienced managed IT services provider can either augment and partner with your internal IT (that is likely overworked and falling behind) or act as your outsourced IT team. You want to think about IT as little as possible, so having that type of support ensures that problems never reach the level of impacting your ability to run the business effectively.