Technology is changing, and it’s changing fast especially when it comes to business. In fact, out of date technology could be hindering your bottom-line without you even realizing it.

While this is exciting for techies, it can be a real pain for business owners, big or small. Bottom-line: Businesses every now and then need to upgrade or replace computer systems, or risk falling behind their competitors.

Companies also need to remember as the capabilities of technology continue to rise, so do the expectations of customers. In fact, the bar keeps rising in terms of how fast and efficiently customers expect to be taken care of.

But weighing whether to invest in updated technology when other needs are needed can leave management guessing.  As a business owner you might be wondering: is it time to scrap the system and start over? Or is everything working OK – at least for the time being?

Importance of technology

Unless you’re a high-tech company, as a business owner, you probably don’t consider information technology to be at the top of the list. Chances are pretty good you prefer spending more time and energy on other pressing matters.  For instance, do you look at your IT system without really understanding it, and are more worried about how much it’s going to cost to get it upgraded? As a result, you keep shelving the idea about doing anything about it.

But be forewarned, not doing anything can come with its own costs:

• Low employee morale, production. Employees will dread coming to work when they know they must do battle daily with troublesome technology. Employees want to log in to the system and work. An outdated system leaves them frustrated and, production suffers when it works too slowly or freezes.

• Cybersecurity threats. While technology is a great asset, it also represents a potential risk for every company. Hackers are hard at work looking for weak links in everyone’s IT security systems. An aging system provides a weaker defense against potential breaches that could damage a company’s equipment and reputation.

• Missing out on potential cost reductions. Technology can be expensive, but the right technology can be a solution to rising expenses in other areas of a company. An efficient computer system can help reduce costs and potentially increase revenues. Remember, too, downtime and outages chip away at the profit margin. Many businesses barely function – or don’t – when computer systems crash.

Benefits of upgrading

Most companies with an aging system could benefit from an IT assessment that would help answer questions that leave business owners worried.

As a result this would tell business owners how well their technology infrastructure matches up with the goals and needs of their business. A good assessment can help a business owner become more aware if  he or she is spending too much or too little, and can point out ways they can gain the most leverage from technology.

But any decisions shouldn’t be about technology just for the sake of technology. This isn’t like consumers clamoring to buy the latest cellphone just because it’s the thing to do.

In the end, businesses don’t need something just because it’s the latest and greatest, they need what will help them succeed with their bottom line.