As 2022 comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what worked and didn’t work so you can make improvements. Your business technology is a category that should not be overlooked. Take stock of what technology you are using today and determine if it’s meeting your business needs.
Outdated technology can seriously hurt your business by reducing your team’s productivity, causing data failures and downtime, slowing or completely halting your operations, and sending frustrated customers to your competitors for better services.
It’s important as a business owner to not be complacent with your business tech. The technology landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, changing the way people work and helping to drive businesses forward and remain competitive. One of the most significant benefits of technology is the range of new opportunities it can open up for your business. If you are not adopting or adapting to this new technology, it could leave your business left behind in 2023.
To help with your business technology review we’ve compiled a list of key indicators to watch out for that will help determine if your current technology is due for an update in the New Year.
Top 10 indicators that it’s time to update your business technology
Increased operating cost
Are much of your profits going to your utility bill or maintaining antiquated systems? If so, it may be a sign you need to upgrade your technology. The majority of older business systems tend to use more power than newer energy-efficient technology, and they are more prone to breaking down.
When old systems break down, they are typically more difficult and expensive to maintain because old hardware parts are often hard to find, plus you have to find somebody with the expertise to fix and modify your system.
Modern technology is made to be more efficient, especially cloud-based solutions like VoIP phone systems. VoIP uses the Internet to make calls. This means that VoIP calls can be made anywhere there’s an Internet connection so you don’t need to rely on hardware and fixed Phone lines running through your office building to make your important business calls.
Compared to traditional phone services, VoIP phone systems offer large cost savings. The large upfront costs associated with owning and installing an on-site telephone system, which can cost up to $60/line, are eliminated. On top of these immediate savings, you save significantly over time by removing the need to have staff in-house to operate and maintain the system.
The manufacturer no longer supports the device
Computer hardware and software are not built to last forever. Advancements in technology happen at a rapid rate, and as it does, older systems become obsolete and incompatible. When systems become obsolete, manufacturers will stop offering upgrades and support.
The issue with continuing to use outdated, and unsupported systems is that the longer technology goes without being updated, the more vulnerable it becomes to security breaches.
To keep your business and customer data safe, you should upgrade your systems when you find out that manufacturers are no longer willing to support their products.
Slow speeds and downtime
If your website, applications and software take long to load or are running slower than usual, or your Internet-reliant devices like point of sale (POS), phone systems, and applications crash on a regular basis, this can be an indication that you either need new hardware, new software, or a faster Internet connection.
Businesses need to be able to keep up with customer demands and stay ahead of their competitors and to do that your technology needs to be able to function at top speed. Slow technology slows down productivity, sales, and growth opportunities.
If you have the ability, you should consider upgrading to Fibre Internet connectivity. Fibre is a proven and reliable Internet solution that can help you meet your business Internet needs by improving your operations, your customer experience, and your ability to grow your brand over time.
To ensure network connectivity, providers like Execulink also offer solutions to help maximize speed and reliability and offer a network connection if your primary Internet goes down. Hybrid Bonded Internet and LTE Backup can enhance your connection and give you peace of mind.
If your company’s security has been threatened in any way, then it’s time to update your business technology. Hackers look for system vulnerabilities, and outdated technology is one of them. Older technology has older or less compatible antivirus software, putting your customer and company data at risk.
If your business is growing in terms of the scale of operations then you should consider upgrading your technology. With an evolving business comes expanding technological needs to accommodate an increase in employees, locations, and other opportunities.
Take a look at your current processes that could be optimized with technology. As an example, many companies are still paying someone to answer incoming phone calls to route them to someone’s extension.
VoIP phone systems come with advanced features like auto attendant that route calls for you without the need for a dedicated person to man your phone system all day. This streamlines communication processes, provides a consistent call experience, and in the end saves you money.
Do your research on the capabilities of new business systems, you will be surprised to learn how much automation and productivity-producing features and technology are available these days.
Productivity is slipping
If you are beginning to experience lag times, and less output, this may be a sign that you should upgrade your systems. When you have unreliable technology, employees are unable to perform their jobs as they normally do. A disruption to your team’s productivity can cost you time, sales opportunities, money, missed deadlines, and poor staff morale.
Your team needs tools to help them move seamlessly from one task to the next with little disruption. Upgrading your Internet or introducing cloud-based and unified communications (UC) solutions will help to improve communication across your business, increase connectivity of your staff, including those working remotely, and boost your company morale, ultimately resulting in increased productivity.
Older hardware lacks innovations that are available today. If you are finding that your current systems don’t have enough features to keep up with the needs of your operations, then it might be time for an upgrade.
New systems offer new, more advanced features that add functionality or improve upon existing capabilities. Features include everything from call routing, and voicemail to email, call recording, and even the ability to monitor, track and report on call activity, just to name a few.
Poor customer service
Outdated business systems can create various issues, like the inability to connect to your website, dropped calls, poor voice quality, and long wait times. If you’re noticing increasing bad reviews and continuous customer complaints, it might be time to look at new business systems to help increase your customer satisfaction.
Customers have come to expect lightning-fast service, including fast page loads and almost immediate customer service responses. If there is a delay in responsiveness, this could ultimately move your customer to a competitor resulting in a loss of potential revenue.
Implementing a cloud-based phone solution like Hosted Phone or Microsoft Teams Calling can improve your customer service by providing a better call flow, efficient call queues, and call routing. Plus, your employees can work from anywhere on any device, ensuring that calls never go unanswered and no opportunities are missed.
To improve communications and maximize performance ensure your employees have enough Internet bandwidth and speeds to be able to access and utilize the business applications and services they need. Business-grade and Dedicated Internet solutions will provide a strong foundation that will help to sustain a seamless workplace, reducing lag time and increasing download and upload speeds.
If your legacy phone system cannot easily expand its platform to add new users or support branch offices and remote workers, it’s time to look for solutions that can. With many businesses introducing flexible work arrangements and employees no longer centralized in one location, phone system mobility is necessary, and traditional phone systems are not able to meet those needs.
Cloud-based phone solutions allow you to take your business with you, anywhere and anytime. You can customize your call flow based on your business’s specific needs, replicate a dynamic office environment from your mobile device, and take calls if you’re out of the office. Essentially, employees can work from anywhere! This is ideal for remote working as well as for any outbound staff who may be required to travel.
If your business has multiple locations, VoIP solutions enable all of your sites to function as a single organization, even when each site is separated geographically. VoIP also provides a unified management platform and the extension of shared feature sets at each site. With direct extension dialing between offices and remote presence for home office users, phone calls are managed as if all of your employees are in the same physical location even when they’re not.
As you move into the New Year, make sure you’re taking the steps to future-proof your business and equip your staff with the technology they require to deliver the best services possible. New and emerging technologies have a huge potential to transform your business. The more you stay on top of the rapidly evolving business technology landscape the more equipped your business becomes to empower your teams both internally and remotely by giving them the ability to stay connected no matter where they work and the tools they need to be effective.
Plus, your business as a whole will start to gain benefits, including higher employee productivity and satisfaction, the ability to streamline repetitive processes, and the ability to better serve customers, ultimately giving you a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive business landscape.
Technology today is a critical business capability, not a nice to have. Start taking advantage of the benefits that technology provides in your organization in 2023. If you don’t, you run the risk of quickly falling behind your competition.