The primary objective of your technology is to enable your organization to achieve its goals. Your I.T. service provider, be it an internal I.T. team or external partner, must align their day to day operational tasks with this cardinal rule to ensure business success. An essential part of any operational I.T. management service is ensuring your applications are running on the latest version. Not only does this function mitigate risk, but it also gives your organization access to the latest features which you can leverage to create a competitive business advantage.
Technology is changing at a rapid pace. The creation of new, innovative platforms or the re-engineering of existing applications provides organizations with new opportunities. Updated software can enhance efficiencies, increase productivity, and ultimately improve profitability. Due to this rapid rate of change, upgrading existing I.T. services is essential. Failing to perform this vital task could result in missed opportunities. Not only does enhancing your I.T. services lead to business benefits, failing to do so could eventually impact your organization’s ability to operate when systems become obsolete, or the vendor stops supporting older versions. There are multiple benefits to upgrading your technology and below is a list of the top four reasons you need to ensure system upgrades occur on a regular basis.
1 – Increased Productivity
Every organization needs to remain competitive to survive. There are only two ways to grow profitability. Increase revenues or decrease costs. Increasing sales is not easy and takes a great deal of effort with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Decreasing costs, on the other hand, is under your direct control, but caution is necessary to ensure that any cost-saving measures do not detrimentally impact your ability to operate. Enhancing efficiencies which result in increased productivity is the best possible course of action for an organization seeking to improve profitability without affecting performance.
Upgrading your I.T. services is an effective way to improve productivity. Better systems performance, enhanced features, and even cost savings are just some of the benefits created by the constant and rapid pace of technological innovation in the I.T. industry. If we take hardware as an example, faster processors and hard drives, as well as new architectures, can substantially increase the performance of existing applications. From a software perspective, new features can provide your staff with the ability to perform their tasks with higher speed and efficiency, increasing their productivity.
2 – Enhanced Security
Security vulnerabilities can be found in almost every software application in use today. Vendors often release patches to plug the holes these vulnerabilities create. Installing these software updates is a vital I.T. function as it aids in mitigating the threats unpatched systems pose to your organization. However, as software ages, vendors stop releasing patches for older versions, which places your organization at risk if you are running software which is no longer supported.
The only way to mitigate this security risk is to ensure you upgrade your I.T. services before the vendor ends support for their software. The same rule applies to hardware which has passed its warranty period. If any device should fail, replacing it could prove costly, and old components are also harder to find. A failed out-of-warranty hardware scenario could result in your systems being down for a prolonged period, which could have a catastrophic impact on your ability to operate.
3 – Improved Compatibility
The constant pace of technological innovation not only improves the productivity of existing I.T. services but can also lead to older technologies becoming obsolete. If we look at communications, the fax machine and telephone were the primary communication technologies for businesses until the creation of email, video conferencing, instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. Organizations who wanted to remain relevant needed to embrace these new technologies to continue operating effectively.
Upgrading your I.T. systems ensures you remain relevant and allows you to continue operating in an increasingly digital economy. As your customers, suppliers, and other essential stakeholders start using new technologies, you need to embrace these same platforms to ensure you can communicate and transact with them. Modern technical architectures are also dependent on each other. This dependency is another catalyst which may require you to upgrade your systems. For example, if a particular piece of software has reached the end of its life, updating it to ensure you mitigate any risks may demand you perform upgrades on other applications. Failing to do so will result in any preexisting integrations no longer functioning, impacting your ability to operate.
4 – Sustainable Growth
As your business grows, your I.T. services must provide the platform you need to remain as productive as possible. The I.T. platform which runs a small business is not capable of delivering the performance and functionality required by a larger enterprise. However, the number of I.T. users in an organization is not the only consideration. Larger organizations need to interact with many more stakeholders, be they customers, suppliers, or partners, and require the relevant systems to make sure they are capable of operating effectively.
It is essential that the scale of your I.T. services match the relevant expansion of your enterprise. Upgrading your I.T. systems as your business evolves is vital in ensuring your business continues to run efficiently. For example, an email system servicing a base of fifty users will be insufficient when your staff count increases to over five hundred. In some instances, upgrading may not be enough, and you might need to replace entire systems with new solutions. An old application which may have been adequate for your fledgling organization may no longer provide the performance and functionality required by your larger enterprise.
Upgrade to Remain Relevant and Competitive
I.T. is a dynamic domain with technology continually changing at a rapid pace. The constant innovation in the industry leads to the creation of new solutions entering the market on a regular basis. This innovative energy not only creates brand new solutions which disrupt entire business models, but it also forces vendors to either update their products or lose market share. Your business must ensure the I.T. team responsible for managing your environment attends to regular system upgrades. Making sure your services and applications are running on the latest version provides you with the competitive advantage you need to operate in a digitally-driven economy. Increased productivity, security, compatibility, and sustainable growth are only some of the business benefits which accompany a well-run, fully-upgraded I.T. platform. Ensuring your I.T. services run on the latest version should not be seen as a maintenance task; it is a strategic imperative which helps you sustain your business operations and remain competitive.
JMARK has been helping businesses in Springfield, Tulsa, and Fayetteville increase their success with the help of innovative I.T. solutions for thirty years. The driving force behind everything we do is to help our clients move their business forward and achieve their goals. To learn more about how we can help you upgrade your I.T. services and make them work for your organization, contact us today.