Almost nine in 10 UK businesses continue to struggle with basic tasks each day because of a failure to update their technology systems.
It may seem more affordable to keep existing technologies and only invest in upgrading them when the systems or software becomes broken.
But many business leaders are unaware of the impact old legacy systems can have on finances and outputs.
Cloud technology experts at TelephoneSystems.Cloud have named the hidden costs businesses are unknowingly incurring by keeping their old tech in place, rather than upgrading to modern systems.
Business leaders that fail to understand how legacy systems can hinder growth risk falling behind competitors who have moved more quickly to update systems.
Newer technology is usually faster and more efficient while offering greater transparency and collaboration resulting in stronger internal and external business relationships.
Staff retention is often higher if a business embraces integrated technologies that enable more progressive working practices with more employees wanting to have the opportunity to work remotely.
A recent study has shown that more than one third of UK workers would quit their job if they were asked to work full time in the office.
For those businesses with old, legacy systems which aren’t compatible with remote working, they are running the risk of losing key employees.
Inefficient, older systems also increase the likelihood of security breaches, as the technology is not compatible with the latest updates to help prevent advanced cyber attacks.
Juliet Moran, founder of TelephoneSystems.Cloud said that UK companies need to upgrade their systems as soon as possible, else seriously risk falling further behind.
She said: “Many business owners may think that keeping their old technology around is a smart idea especially when budgets are tight. It means business leaders don’t need to invest in newer systems that existing employees may be unfamiliar with."
“However, these older systems are actually having a negative impact on business outputs, and not making the switch to newer technologies is the wrong choice for many companies."
“Older technologies are usually much more costly to run compared to newer systems - so making the upgrades is going to save on energy bills, and hardware fixes that were previously expensive on the less readily available legacy tech.
“Failing to have modern devices and systems also runs the risk of losing both customers and employees. Clients want to have the reliability, security, and efficient services that older technology can not deliver on - they’ll likely take their money to your competitors who have made the upgrade."
“And one of the benefits staff members now want is the ability to work remotely.
Unfortunately, older systems are significantly less compatible than newer ones. Employees may be more likely to leave your company if you cannot provide them with the right technology for their working wants and needs.
“It’s becoming more and more essential to make the upgrade to newer technologies as soon as possible. Replacing older, slower, and inefficient systems may seem like a big change, but in the long run, modern technology is the one of the most important things to help your business grow and survive.”
Here are some of the key hidden costs for failing to upgrade to newer technologies:
Increased Costs: Old technology could be adding hundreds on to energy bills each year - as the legacy systems do not have effective power-saving modes and aren’t as efficient as newer technology is. Making the investment into more modern devices may be more costly in the short term, but after replacing offices once filled with old technology, newer versions can make a dramatic difference in energy costs. Newer technology is also much less likely to break down compared to the years-old devices. This means a reduced cost spent on trying to fix old tech, where replacement parts were much less readily available and cost more than parts for newer systems cost.
Losing Customers: Old, slow technology can cause clients to leave your business in a manner of ways. In the digital age, customers are now looking for solid communications, efficient services and high quality work. If a business is operating on legacy systems, the slow technology can quickly cause clients to feel as though they aren’t receiving the best service from your company, and may take their money to a competitor. Inefficient technology which is dated and slow can hold back business and quickly annoy customers who expect the best service.
Having To Say Goodbye To Staff Members: The pandemic has shown to all businesses that many staff members are capable of efficiently working remotely. A recent study has shown that more than a third of UK workers would quit their jobs if they were asked to return to the office full time, and not have the opportunity to work remotely. Businesses running on old systems risk losing their current employees who wish to have the option to work remotely. It is obvious that employees now want the ability to work from home, and businesses must adapt in order to allow this transition to remote working. However, old technology can seriously prevent employees from being able to take their work away from their desk in the office. Legacy systems were not designed with remote working capabilities, so often do not have the right structures to allow staff members to work from home.
Security Breach Risks: If one's business technology has not been upgraded enough, or cannot operate with modern software, cybersecurity attacks are more likely to occur. No matter the type or size of business, no one is truly safe from hackers. Yet, those who haven’t invested in modern systems are left even more vulnerable from cyber attacks - as their legacy technology is unable to fill the gaps in online security. Having the latest version of technology will allow businesses to be best equipped with the most up-to-date hardware and software protection from security breaches. Old systems are unable to offer the best protection to any threats.
Lost Opportunities To Scale Up: UK companies who fail to upgrade their technology cannot be as agile and competitive with other similar businesses. Having legacy systems often comes with difficulties in working as efficiently as customers would expect, and therefore some clients may not even engage in discussions with you, as they see it as a waste of time. For businesses to have any chance of becoming as successful, they must be prepared and ready to scale up. Part of this involves having the right equipment and digital systems to manage day-to-day tasks which often come as standard from many of your competitors.