Technology has become a vital tool for businesses in 2018, and with new advancements constantly developing, it’s imperative that your business stays ahead of the curve when it comes to the software that it uses.
Many businesses make the mistake of overlooking outdated business software (also known as legacy software), putting off replacing it or waiting until a major issue occurs before taking action to update it.
Leaving the old software in place can often seem like the ‘easy route’, however, this comes with a number of major risks which can harm your business. This article, researched by retail management software providers PragmatiQ Solutions, will highlight the key risks involved with using outdated business software and explore the benefits of upgrading.
Of course, upgrading your business software won’t fix everything overnight, nor is it an easy decision; it comes with its own challenges such as training staff and moving company data. However, this article will help you to gain a better understanding of the benefits associated with moving to a new system and how they massively outweigh the risks of using older software.
1. Increased risk of failure
Society today operates on an ‘on-demand’ basis, where customers expect their services to be available when they need them, reliable and uninterrupted. If you’re using legacy software, downtime can often be unavoidable if a problem occurs, meaning services are unavailable for a period of time.
This result of this can have damaging effects on any business, posing a threat of losing customers permanently, if your services are inaccessible or unreliable. One of your competitors is more than likely using new, possibly cloud-based technology. Therefore, if your clients aren’t getting the level of service they expect, they could be lost to a competitor, able to give them what they want, when they want it, with much less risk involved. Increased failure rates can also incur extra costs, such as:
- Lost employee productivity; a lot of time is wasted fixing and maintaining legacy software
- IT and data recovery costs
- Lost sales
- Brand damage
- Legal and Regulatory Risks
Using outdated business software can put your company at risk from data-thieves and hackers. If you’re seen to be relaxed about updating your technology, you are increasingly more vulnerable than if you were to have modern software.
Laws around data storage are there to ensure data is kept in a secure and legal way, and if your business is using unsupported, outdated software you could be breaking these regulations, having detrimental consequences for a business.
The GDPR was designed to modernize data protection laws relating to the personal information of the individual. This change only highlights the importance of storing consumer data in the correct way and having the right technology to do so. For more information on GDPR, see the European Commission website.
- Increased Costs
It can be expensive to run outdated business software and although upgrading to a new system can prove quite costly, it will likely save your business money in the long run as well as lowering the risk to your business. All the risks carried with outdated systems, as stated in this article, are expensive to amend if they occur. Not only this, old technology doesn’t integrate well with new, modern technology. That means the opportunity to leverage this new functionality is missed and business processes are not as efficient as they could be.
Stats show that companies that engage both their employees and customers, gain a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes, so ensuring staff is armed with the right technology to succeed, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, goes hand-in-hand with employee success and work satisfaction. goes hand-in-hand with employee success and work satisfaction.
According to a recent study by Microsoft, 70-80% of the top malware detected by companies could be avoided completely using up-to-date technology.
Using old technology exposes businesses to a whole realm of security vulnerabilities, putting data at risk at all times. Security updates that are often automatically rolled out with new cloud-based technology, are there to protect your data. However, if you are using unsupported technology, these critical updates will not be available, and your data is at risk of being breached.
To provide you with an example, if your company is running Windows 10, you are much less likely to be infected by malware than if your company is running Windows XP. For those running applications like Office 2003 and Windows Server 2003, again you will be at a much greater risk of a cyber attack.
The benefits of upgrading your business technology:
The following list contains some of the main benefits that customers have found, after replacing their legacy software with a new system for their business:
- Competitive Advantage: 49% of businesses said it helped them to compete against larger organizations
- Reduced Costs: 66% of businesses say it has reduced their IT costs
- Company Growth: 49% of business owners say new technology has been a key factor in allowing them to grow
- Improved Security: 94% of companies gain security advantages when using the cloud
In conclusion, there is a great deal of risk associated with using outdated software, which is far outweighed by the numerous benefits provided by upgrading. As technology continues to develop, it is even more essential that your business has the right software to support its growth. By upgrading your software now, you are taking the first step in ensuring your business is ready for the future and in a good position within your market amongst competitors, who may potentially already be leveraging this technology. Although there is clearly an upfront expense incurred, the long-term cost of a new system will be absorbed by the benefits your company will receive.