As the new year rolls in, you should be thinking about how to make sure your business performs better than it did last year, from streamlining your business processes to upgrading your company’s software and hardware. But just as important is keeping an eye on your budget to optimally achieve better performance without going bust.
So, how do you decide which systems should go and which ones can stay for at least another year? Let’s break it down by going through what makes a system old and, hence, replaceable.
If any of the following are true of your systems, it’s time to replace them now.
They don’t make them anymore.
If the company that made your software or hardware has stopped making it and even decided they’ll no longer support it, it’s too old to keep.
You can’t risk trudging along with a system even its own manufacturer deemed obsolete. Should something go wrong, you’ll have no one to turn to for help. You might think you’re OK outsourcing the support to a third-party business, but that’s not a very sustainable or budget-friendly option. This is especially true if you had been getting that same support for free.
You can’t find people to work on them.
Another good sign you need to replace a system is if it becomes increasingly difficult to find a professional who can run, maintain or administer it. In today’s workforce, people seeking jobs will remain in the market by acquiring new skills and letting go of the ones that have become inessential.
Even if you were to find professionals with the necessary skills, those professionals know their demand and won’t work for cheap. After all, the less people there are qualified to do a job, the higher their salaries – even if the job is in a dying profession.
There are too many bugs and issues.
As a business owner, you will want to have all your processes run with as little manual interference as possible. If you have to focus on firefighting one bug or server crash after another, it will cost you. Apart from distracting you from your core business processes and their management, you will be exposing your clients to a website that simply won’t work.
Don’t turn into a technician or programmer when you should be focusing on marketing and increasing your sales. And don’t subject your customers and clients to 404 error pages or site warning messages. They might do a u-turn and never come back again!
Your systems brings increased security risks.
The easiest way for hackers to get into your data is by exploiting older versions’ vulnerabilities. As the manufacturers stop supporting and patching their products, you’ll be left with a system open to attacks. The bad guys will always find a way to get into obsolete systems that no one pays much attention to.
Even worse, once one hacker has figured out a way to get in, they will immediately let their peers know about it, leaving you at the mercy of a growing number of data thieves.
If you experience a rise in attacks, that’s a sure sign you need to update your technology.
You experience an increase in traffic.
A sudden upward rise of traffic and profit is exactly what you want. But, have you ever considered how you would handle such a surge?
Are you sure your systems will be able to handle the increased demand for processing power? Do you think your servers have the bandwidth and storage space required in such a scenario?
If not, you might want account for a system upgrade in your dream of increased traffic and sales.
You know there’s better out there.
To be honest, you will always find a system out there that performs better than what you have – and that’s when your system is brand new!
If you’ve been using your system for some time, and you find out there is a newer and better-performing one out there, you should sit down and do a cost-benefit analysis. Try to figure out which would be better: keep your old system and continue patching it up or get the new one and rid yourself of having to babysit it.
In the end, it’s all about cost.
What’s the tried-and-true way of knowing you’re in need of an upgrade? Think about the amount of time and money you spend trying to keep your old systems up and running. Would investing in a new system save you time and money in the long run? If so, then you’ve already got your answer. Remember: it’s OK to abandon ship when you know the ship is sinking. Put on a life vest and swim toward the approaching vessel! You’ll be glad you did.