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Five signs your business needs a technology upgrade

- August 24, 2017 12:55 pm

Eighty-two per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs intend to invest in their business this year, according to a Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) survey. The leading primary investment project? Computer hardware, software, and e-commerce technologies.

For a country struggling with business innovation, this is great news. We need our most agile organizations to invest in technologies that help them be successful, whether that comes from an upgraded network, enhanced cybersecurity posture, or cloud solutions.

But knowing when your business needs a technology upgrade, and what type of technology you require, can be confusing. After all, if you are going to invest in technology, you want to make sure it’s the right technology – for today and the years to come.

If you are unsure whether your business needs a technology upgrade, here are five signs to watch for:

Sign #1: You, and your employees, are experiencing growing pains

Growth can be a double-edged sword for any business. Rapid growth especially. On the one hand, an influx of new business means a surge in revenue. On the other, you need to increase resources to support those new customers. That means more employees, more software licenses, more work devices, more training, and ultimately, more strain on the technology infrastructure that keeps it all running.

If you haven’t upgraded your infrastructure to accommodate new – and remote – employees, you’re probably starting to feel some growing pains. Emails take longer to send, or don’t go through at all. Conference call capacity is exceeded before you join. Websites take minutes to load. Applications crash.

Sound familiar yet?

Related: 5 Solutions to your ‘nice to have’ business problems

Sign #2: Your high-performing employees are leaving

Retaining high-performing employees should be a priority for all business owners. And while the sudden loss of your star employees may not seem to scream ‘technology!’, frustration caused by using slow, outdated devices and feeling like they don’t have the right equipment to perform their job does affect employee satisfaction.

Consider as well what employees expect from their workplace. Millennials are challenging our perception of how to work and communicate. They value flexibility over compensation and expect the technology in their workplace to be as intuitive as their mobile device. If you are not providing mobile options and your high performing employees are starting to leave, that may signal an investment in technology is needed.

Sign #3: You are missing sales opportunities

First things first: I’m not talking about the hypothetical sales your business is missing through lost productivity caused by aging or inferior technology. That’s a separate conversation (although a good one to have with your technology consultant or vendor).

I mean the actual, quantifiable sales opportunities you are missing because technology is failing you – the ones your employees lament because they missed a lead’s call, couldn’t deliver a quote on time, lost connection on a conference call, or didn’t have access to email from home.

It’s 2017. There’s no excuse for your business to miss these opportunities when reliable, secure collaboration and networking products are available at a reasonable cost (made more so with financing options).

Sign #4: More of your employees, and you, are working away from the office

If you aren’t experiencing any of the other signs listed here, but more of your employees are working remote, you may want to consider investing in your mobility solutions. Security and secure access are the most important elements to consider when employees work offsite, and if you haven’t invested in products like Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs), an enterprise mobility management solution, or cybersecurity software, you could be putting your data – and your customer’s data – at risk. That’s not a chance you want to take.

Sign #5: The phrase “the XXXXX is down” no longer surprises you

We’ve all been there. Come into the office and, whoops, printer X or server Y isn’t working. It happens. But it shouldn’t happen often. If it does you’ve purchased an inferior product, or you’ve exceeded the capabilities of it. Either way, it’s time to upgrade.

Technology is the heart of your business – of all businesses. Its infrastructure houses your data and provides access to email, the Internet, and applications. If your technology isn’t reliable…then what else matters? If your employees don’t know whether they will be able to use their phone that day, or access email, how can they serve customers?

They can’t. And your business can’t grow if technology is holding you back.

If your business is experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to upgrade your technology to products that address your needs for today and tomorrow.

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