3 questions you should be asking of your technology
It goes without saying that all businesses now rely on technology in some shape or form for their day-to-day operations. From infrastructure and hardware to ERP and CRM software solutions, businesses could not operate without their critical systems.
But that doesn’t mean that those systems meet their requirements. Many businesses still operate on outdated, legacy systems because they’ve used them for so long, they can’t imagine a world without them. In reality, these systems are often slow, vulnerable to security issues, expensive and not fit for purpose.
To remain competitive, businesses should be regularly reviewing their technology to ensure it meets their needs. The thought of this may strike fear into the finance department’s hearts, because investment in technology is often perceived as an unnecessary expenditure. But moving away from outdated systems can save businesses money in both the short and long term – not to mention increase employee productivity and motivation.
Here are 3 questions you should be regularly asking of your business technology:
Is it secure?
This is a critical question to ask in a period of increased cyber-attacks against businesses. Unless you pay through the nose for specialised support, like the US Military does in order for Microsoft to continue to support its Windows XP machines, you may think you’re saving money by not upgrading your unsupported systems. But you certainly won’t be if you fall victim to a cyber-attack, and that’s one reason why secure business systems are critical.
Many modern infrastructure solutions like Windows Servers or Azure are protected by strict security protocols, as well as supported by the vendor and patched regularly. Exciting productivity solution Office 365 is wrapped up in Microsoft’s industry-leading security, and also allows you to deploy internal security policies which protect your business-critical data.
Is it value for money?
Again, many businesses make the mistake of thinking that, because they have a system they paid off years ago, it’s cost-effective. Wrong.
If your infrastructure or software solution is prone to failure, has security holes that hackers can exploit or doesn’t do what you need, you’re not getting value for your money.
It’s also important to understand how your system affects your employees’ productivity. Take your finance solution, for example. Do your people spend days at a time manually re-keying information? By using a solution like Sage 200cloud with its Bank Feeds feature, you can automate a number of manual and repetitive tasks, freeing up your people to add value only they can add.
Shifting to modern solutions, such as moving your infrastructure to the cloud, can help you see an immediate cost-saving in the reduced need for server space, as well as ongoing cost management with flexible subscription-based payment options.
Does it do its job?
Technology should support and enable your people, not be a hindrance or barrier to them.
If your employees are finding it difficult to do their day jobs due to the limited functionality of your technology, or the fact that it’s prone to failure or slow, that’s a sign that it’s not doing its job.
Perhaps your internet connection is constantly down, or your server hosting critical software or business data is prone to outages. This impacts on your business’ ability to operate efficiently and ultimately impacts on your bottom line.
To address this, you need to understand what your business is trying to achieve, then how your people fit into that. What do they need to be able to do in order to contribute to your business goals and how can they do it in the most efficient manner? These questions should always be answered before looking at your technology.
Not sure where to start?
At TSG, we’re dedicated to helping our customers succeed through the innovative use of technology; in fact, that’s written into our mission.
As part of our managed IT services offering, we’ll help you answer all of these questions. We pride ourselves on our method of understanding our customers’ businesses inside and out before even thinking about the technology. Because we know that you probably don’t care about that; you just want to be able to operate efficiently.
If you’re interested in finding out how we can help you ensure your IT estate is secure, cost-effective and fit for purpose, get in touch with our business experts today.