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January 2021 - Join the Digital Transformation - Not Doing It Will Cost You More Than You Think

Published on January 4, 2021

The new year is a time for fresh starts and improvements.  2020 has taught us all that businesses have to adopt new technologies if they’re going to survive.  From selling online, enabling a remote workforce and moving to the cloud, companies that weren’t already taking advantage of technology or quickly adapted were left behind.  The time is right to take a close look at the technology your business relies on every day. Perhaps the term “Digital Transformation” is new to you.  Fundamentally, digital transformation is the result of businesses adapting to the rapidly changing demands of customers, markets and new technology. While the disruption is immense, so are the opportunities and the benefits. A recent BDC study surveyed 1,400 Canadian entrepreneurs and found that businesses that have already embraced technology report improved customer experience, higher revenue growth and enhanced efficiency, thanks to lower costs and better productivity. The use of technology can also make your employees’ lives easier and improve productivity. For many companies, the driver for digital transformation is cost-related. Moving data to the cloud lowers operational costs. It frees up hardware and software costs while freeing up team members to work on other projects. Consider five ways outdated technology can take a toll on your business: 1. It leads to a loss in productivity. Old technology can slow your team down because they waste time waiting for their PCs to turn on and their apps to load.  This problem is only compounded when your team has to use software that no longer works as it once did. Eventually, programs that once worked well together start to experience hiccups.  How long should you expect computer equipment to last?  Many are surprised to find that the lifespan of computer equipment is generally 3 - 5 years. 2. It leads to a loss of customers. Your customers want to know your data (which may also be their data) is secure. If you’re using outdated tech, there’s a good chance that data IS NOT secure. One Microsoft survey revealed that 91% of consumers would end their relationship with a business that was relying on outdated technology. 3. It leads to a loss of employees. If employees have to deal with slow hardware and poorly integrated software every day, they’re going to get frustrated. They’re going to get even more frustrated if nothing is done about it. The end result can be high employee turnover. 4. It leads to a loss of support. Over time, developers stop supporting their older products so they can focus on their new products. This also means they’re devoting more attention to the customers who are using the newer versions. This can leave you in the dark if you run into a problem that you need help with. You may have to call in a third-party specialist to fix your problem, who will charge more for this unique expertise. 5. It leads to a loss of security. A loss in support also means you aren’t going to see security patches for your aging hardware or software. This makes you highly vulnerable to all kinds of cyberthreats. Hackers want to break into your network, and if you’re using outdated tech, you make their job much easier. When you factor in the costs associated with these losses, can your business afford NOT to stay up to date? How to Tackle Digital Transformation? Remember, digital transformation is an investment in your business.  Despite the long days and constant rush of owning a business, it’s important to take a step back and reflect. First, take stock of your technology. It’s unlikely you have to replace everything, but look at where you are most vulnerable. What issues are your employees experiencing? What hardware or software is no longer supported? Where are the gaps in your IT security?  Then create a clear action plan for acquiring and implementing the solution. So you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up before you begin, break it up into bite-sized pieces. The great news is that you don’t have to answer these questions on your own.  Employees are often the source of the best innovations, be sure to ask for their ideas.  A trusted IT Support Provider can help advise you on what steps to take and in what order to take them, strategically bringing your business up to speed. Digital transformation won’t always be easy, but it is now a constant and businesses must regularly pivot to keep up. It forces us out of our comfort zone because this requires changing how we are used to doing things, but that’s where great things can happen!  There’s no better time to start than right now as you head into 2021!