Unexpected Ways Old Technology Affects Your Family Business

Has your business gotten stuck in a “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality? Are your younger employees pestering you to “get with the times”? Are you looking for ways to increase productivity in your family business?  

Being in a rut may be costing your business more than just money. Businesses that use outdated technology lose 42% of their productive work hours as a result. Old technology sends a message to employees that you may be out of touch and therefore give them the confidence to take advantage. Whether stealing dollars or time, employees know how much their leaders know (or don’t know) about their business. And it is not just productivity that is affected by old and outdated technology. Here are some things to consider when examining your yearly technology budget.O

New Security Threats

Whether you use a proprietary software or industry standard it is important to regularly update and evaluate the software being used in your business.  Old and outdated systems can be at high risk for cybersecurity attacks, loss of data and frequently are no longer supported by the company that made them. Outages and breakdowns due to old technology can cost a business up to 51% of their entire technology budget for a year. 

Software updates or patches frequently include safeguards against malware and other types of cyber-attacks. 40% of cyber-attacks happen because of vulnerabilities that were never fixed even though patches were released 2-4 years ago but those patches were never installed. If a security breach or infection does happen an older version of software is less likely to be supported by the company that built it and thus could leave you, and your data, vulnerable. Combine outdated software with old hardware and your company may be sitting on a ticking time-bomb of either data loss or a major security breach.  

New Tools

There are dozens of new tools available that can help clients and employees work more effectively and efficiently, from Slack, a cloud-based productivity tool, to DropBox, a cloud-based storage tool, these digital services help you share information, data, documents and keep track of electronic conversations.

Are you still asking for fax numbers or worse yet, handing yours out? There are a variety of electronic tools available for sharing documents via email. Digital signatures, PDFs and DropBox are all ways to share documents securely and in a way that is more efficient than relying on a fax machine. 

Old Technology = Old Brand

You may not think asking your customers to engage with old technology is a big deal, but it gives the impression that your company is old, stuck in its ways, and lacking innovation. It may be cumbersome for customers to do business with you due to your outdated technology and customers need little incentive to change when an easier solution is available. Microsoft conducted a survey in 2013 and discovered that 91% of people said they would stop doing business with a company if they used outdated technology and 70% said they would be concerned sharing personal information. 

This appearance of being out-of-date and behind the times can also affect your ability to hire and keep talented employees. A family business is often built with the idea that it will stay in the family, but a younger generation may not be inspired to continue with a business that is viewed as old and no longer leading edge. 

Knowing how and what to spend your technology budget on can be over-whelming. After all, you aren’t an IT expert. It might be time to reach out to an outside consultant to help you figure out where your vulnerabilities are and where improvements can be made. REGENERATION can help you connect with the right people and resources for your family business.

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