From cloud computing to mobile devices, technology has allowed small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) like yours to do more with less. But because technology is constantly evolving and business needs are always changing, it’s crucial to regularly assess whether your SMB’s technology is still up to par. Here are five signs that it may be time for an upgrade.
1. You're working around the limitations of your current technology
If your SMB has experienced significant growth or undergone any major changes in recent years, it’s likely that you’ve outgrown your current technology capacities. This is especially true if you've been relying on free or low-cost solutions that come with limited capabilities.
For instance, you may have started out with a free accounting software program but find that it’s no longer able to handle your expanded bookkeeping needs. Similarly, the limited storage space on your shared server may no longer suffice now that you have more employees working remotely.
You'll also need to reassess your technology needs if you've expanded your physical space. Especially if you've moved to a larger office or added new locations, it's highly likely that you need to upgrade your network infrastructure or invest in additional devices and software licenses.
2. Your business processes have become more complex
The more your SMB grows, the greater and more complicated its processes become. This can quickly overwhelm your existing technology, particularly if you're still relying on manual or paper-based methods.
For example, if you're still tracking inventory by hand, it may be time to invest in a barcoding system or software that automates the process. Or if you're still using an Excel spreadsheet to manage your customer database, it's worth considering a customer relationship management system that can better handle your sales and marketing needs.
3. Your employees are complaining about their tools and devices
If your employees have slow laptops or outdated software or don’t get the mobile support they need, then they can’t reach peak productivity. This can also have a direct impact on your bottom line, so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible.
Investing in new devices or upgrading to the latest software versions can help increase employee productivity and satisfaction. Upgrading your tech doesn't mean you have to break the bank, though. There are plenty of affordable options that can make a big difference, such as cloud-based applications that can be accessed from any device or mobile-friendly software that can be used on smartphones and tablets.
However, simply providing your employees with the latest gadgets and gizmos won't magically solve all their productivity issues. If you want to get the most out of your tech investments, make sure to also provide the necessary training and support so your employees can learn how to use the new tools effectively.
4. You're spending a lot on repairs and upgrades
It's understandable to want to get the most out of your technology investments. However, there comes a point when patching your old devices and software becomes more expensive than simply buying new ones.
When you’re forking over more and more money for repairs and upgrades, it’s time to start looking into replacements. Newer models and versions often come with improved features and performance, so you can get more bang for your buck.
5. You're missing out on energy cost savings
Newer technology isn't just more efficient; it's also more environmentally friendly. If you're still using outdated equipment, you could be missing out on significant energy cost savings.
These days, there are plenty of green tech options available that can help your business save money and reduce its carbon footprint. For example, switching to LED lighting or investing in energy-efficient laptops and printers can help lower your monthly utility bills.
If you're experiencing any of these signs, it's time to start looking into upgrading your SMB’s tech. Doing so will help you improve employee productivity, streamline business processes, and save money in the long run.
Still not sure where to start? Our team of experts at outsourceIT can help you assess your needs and find the right solution for your SMB. Contact us today to get started.