Old technology is not designed for modern-day operations, meaning its use presents several disadvantages to your business. These include detrimental impacts on productivity, data security, workplace flexibility and more.
Finding a solution isn’t always easy. There are limiting factors like irreplaceable functionality and costs to consider. The key is sourcing new-age alternatives to your current technology that perfectly suit your needs, such as changing from fax machines to digital fax.
Old business technology could refer to anything outdated. It could be legacy software like old operating systems, or hardware well past its prime. Like an old car, this technology might be aged and a bit worse-for-wear, but it still serves a purpose. So is it really wrong to keep it going another year?
Yes, and this is why:
Old technology was optimised for task completion when it was created, but over time, new solutions are likely to have arisen that get the job done more effectively. Old technology, like everything else, also degrades over time. Your new software from back in 2001 is going to be a lot slower nearly two decades later. What this means is efficiency is going to drop as time goes by. Even if it doesn’t, there are likely to be better options available that make your workforce more productive.
Data security could not be more important today. New regulations, such as the GDPR, make compliance with laws essential for avoiding heavy fines and penalties. Old technology is not supportive of these goals. Often developed well before the time of mass personal data acquisition, it wasn’t created with data security in mind, which makes it subject to vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
It’s now commonplace for work to be remote and the rise of digital technology has made it easier for employees to effectively carry out their tasks through more flexible working options. But to do this, they need modern solutions. Old business technology does not support flexibility and the result is limitations that impact task completion — and employee satisfaction. Forcing an employee to give up flexibility because they are reliant on tech housed within an office isn’t going to create a positive working environment.
New technology is often about connectivity. Take, for example, cloud-based word processors like Google Documents. This technology enables simple collaboration and sharing of information. Conversely, older word processors lack this kind of connectivity. They may also be incompatible with newer systems and make the sharing of files difficult. This is a simple example, but it conveys the idea that the use of old business technology can create barriers your business neither wants nor needs.
Customer perception can make your business or break it. What your consumers think about your business can influence the way they interact with it, as well as the information they share about your brand. Giving them the best possible impression is crucial to favourable perceptions, and the use of old technology goes against this. Modern ideas and forward-thinking brands inspire customers —not those trapped in the past.
It’s easy enough to state that your business is suffering under old technology and it’s not difficult to see when this happens. What is more difficult, though, is finding alternatives.
Some businesses will, of course, remain on legacy systems because the technology has become entrenched within operations, or the business owners are simply afraid of how change might impact their business. For these organisations, it’s all about taking a tough but essential step to understanding the harm this kind of mindset is causing and making the necessary changes to move towards a brighter future.
But this isn’t always the case.
Some pieces of old technology appear to be irreplaceable. They might be archaic, but without them, you couldn’t complete specific and essential tasks.
Take, for example, the fax machine. Fax might be old, but it is still used a lot. Seventeen billion fax are sent every year. You can’t just replace it with email or an instant messaging service. It’s a specific type of technology that your business cannot live without. Instead of maintaining this kind of system though, the answer is to look for specific replacements. Digital fax is the evolution of fax, enabling fax to be sent and received as normal, but using 21st-century solutions.
Today — as with digital fax — there is often always a new form of technology developed to solve a specific problem. The challenge is locating it. Moving away from your old technology is not simply about going for whatever is new and shiny. It’s about tracking down exactly what will enable you to carry on doing what you need to do.