Technology has done wonders for modern business operations. The impact of current technology is obvious in Asian countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. If you run a business in one of these countries, you must maintain updated tech systems to remain in the game. A technology refresh is a necessary investment for any business, regardless of size. But what is a technology refresh? When should your business conduct a tech refresh? Read on to see what experts from EIRE Systems recommend.
What Is a Technology Refresh?
A technology refresh refers to updating or upgrading key systems to maintain or improve their functionality. You can replace old hardware and software with technology that’s faster, more secure and easier to handle.
Many companies follow a schedule for conducting a system refresh whether or not they have functional older technology. Your organization can benefit from frequent tech refreshes to preempt tech issues that would disrupt seamless operations.
Benefits of a Technology Refresh
Reduced System Downtime
In today’s fast-moving and competitive world, you cannot afford to have your IT systems go down. If downtimes occur frequently, your company can lose a lot of revenue while trying to bring systems back online. The situation can be direr if your business becomes known for having dysfunctional systems since you can lose important clients.
New technology can accommodate the organization’s latest needs, improving your ability to launch and sustain increased operations. If you maintain a consistent refreshing schedule, you can eliminate costly downtime, which maximizes financial benefits for your business and protects its reputation.
Gone are the days when businesses hid sensitive data in safes or vaults. Many modern businesses store staff details, customer information and even proprietary company information on their IT systems. Old technology, especially the kind that’s still functional but no longer supported by the vendor, poses a significant risk of information loss.
Cybercriminals can easily bypass your security systems if the latest IT security services are not in place. Conducting frequent technology updates helps safeguard your systems, protects important business property and saves your business from lawsuits incurred when confidential data is breached.
The systems your company has used for the past five years may seem fine if you don’t have any other point of comparison. However, newer technology is significantly faster and doesn’t have as many bugs compared to previous systems.
Updating your technology systems helps ensure business operations are supported by the best technology available. Better technology can vastly improve the quality of your company’s products and services.
Your staff and customers are integral to the success of your business, and inefficient systems greatly affect their satisfaction with your business.
Legacy infrastructure that’s difficult to use can easily frustrate employees, especially younger ones. Many employees in the modern world are willing to leave their jobs if companies use outdated technology. If you don’t implement timely technology updates, your company may spend a lot more recruiting for vacant positions than it does updating inefficient systems.
Customers also heavily depend on your systems. Employees can quickly fulfill customer requests and address their concerns using efficient systems. Developing a reputation for using unreliable or unsafe systems can vastly reduce your customer base.
Updating your company’s technology creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.
When to Do a Tech Refresh
It may be difficult to determine the right time for a tech refresh, especially if systems are up and running. However, some things indicate the need for a tech refresh.
1. Replace Outdated Technology
Many companies, especially small businesses, continue to use older systems long after the vendor no longer supports them. After all, an in-house IT team can manage any software issues that crop up, and many unlicensed third-party sellers can supply spare parts for outdated hardware.
However, using unsupported systems creates many security problems that can eventually be disastrous for the company. Unlicensed suppliers can be unreliable or give you faulty parts, increasing system downtimes. Additionally, people can take advantage of the security gaps in your unsupported systems to steal proprietary information.
You should always conduct system upgrades whenever the official vendor recommends them. Companies that provide IT support services often send alerts in advance whenever they’re about to stop supporting certain systems. Use these alerts to create a deadline for updating your company’s systems so you can take full advantage of the latest operating software and security patches.
2. Curb Reduced Productivity
If productivity at your company is slowly diminishing, don’t immediately assume your staff is bad at their jobs. Your employees can only accomplish their tasks if your systems remain operational. Frequent system downtimes, software lags and even unappealing technology can negatively impact people’s motivation and lower their productivity.
Planning for a tech refresh can help you curb technology-related loss of productivity. Conduct frequent upgrades for all your systems and replace or update the technology used for remote work to improve employee satisfaction and accelerate innovation in your company.
3. Fulfill Modern Business Needs
A company’s tech needs to grow with the business. The technology your organization uses at the beginning can’t properly cater to its needs when operations expand, your clientele grows and your staff increases.
Conducting frequent technology updates is essential to ensure your systems scale up with your business. Maintaining consistency in technology refreshes helps you maximize system performance and keep confidential information secure as you continue to increase your clientele.
4. Improve Competitiveness
If your competition uses new technology, it may be time to conduct a tech refresh. If your company doesn’t keep up with the latest changes in the tech world, you may be stuck dealing with costly downtimes as your competition takes your staff and clients.
Upgrading to current hardware and updating your software helps companies remain competitive.
How to Prepare for a Technology Refresh
Updating or upgrading technology to eliminate performance issues is a process that comes with unique challenges. It’s important to have procedures that allow the process to be done seamlessly without disrupting the workplace. Here are some things we tell our clients to keep in mind before conducting a technology refresh.
1. Budget for Technology Investments
Properly budgeting for technology upgrades can help your business reduce costs related to a tech refresh. Determining your company’s tech needs in advance helps you make space for them in your company’s expenses.
Consider upgrading at least a quarter of your hardware and software each year. Meet with managers from different departments in your company and conduct an IT audit to see what will need to be upgraded soon so you can include these expenses in the annual budget.
You should also set aside money in the budget for unplanned technology expenses, e.g., hacking. Planning for the unforeseeable can help you maintain good business operations even when the unexpected happens.
2. Properly Manage Waste for Outdated Technology
E-waste is harmful to the environment, and Asian countries are the world’s biggest producers of tech waste. By implementing proper waste disposal procedures, your company can avoid contributing to the problem when conducting a tech refresh. Instead of throwing old hardware in the trash, consider:
- Selling old technology hardware to a small business, secondhand tech shop or collector. Your company can use money from the sale to cover some of the costs of updating to current hardware.
- Donating to nonprofit organizations that help less fortunate people or needy students.
- Using the services of certified e-waste management companies to dispose of old hardware.
3. Make Accommodations for Newer Technology
While most current hardware tends to be more minimalistic than legacy infrastructure, your company may still have to make physical changes to your working environment. New technology may need to be integrated into walls, floors and desks. Analyze the organization’s premises before conducting a tech refresh to see areas that will be affected. Many companies handle such integrations after office hours to reduce the disruption of regular business operations.
To accommodate new technology, you will need to conduct regular tech training, people can easily start using upgraded technology if they have been trained on the differences from the previous versions.
Be prepared to set aside time and resources to help everyone learn how to use new systems. People don’t always welcome change, so be prepared to apply key principles of change management, especially when updating to novel current hardware and software. Don’t try to push people into accepting the change. Instead, give them plenty of training on the new technology, so the company can quickly resume operations.
Get Help From EIRE Systems
EIRE Systems provides professional IT services to companies in the Asia Pacific region. We offer companies in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China extensive IT support services, including IT security and cloud solutions. Contact us today to learn about our tech refresh services so your organization can remain productive and competitive in the modern business world.