The key to continuous productivity is to ensure that your IT is running smoothly. After all, everyone is increasingly relying on networked technologies for work.
But as your business grows, it becomes more difficult to keep your systems running optimally at all times. Data volumes, network traffic, customer demands, and regulatory requirements are constantly evolving. That's why you need to upgrade your systems when you see the following signs.
#1. Your systems are slow
There’s nothing wrong with making the most out of your current infrastructure. However, if you’re paying for expensive maintenance fees and employees are constantly complaining about sluggish computer performance, less-than-optimal internet connection speeds, and inadequate storage space, you need to consider upgrading your infrastructure.
This entails acquiring new devices and network equipment that can handle the demands of your organisation. Upgrading your systems means your employees will work faster and you avoid frustrating, downtime-inducing computer issues.
#2. Your competitors are getting ahead of you
If your competitors are outperforming your business in several areas, it may be time to consider an upgrade.
Study what other companies in your industry are doing differently. Are they integrating new software to existing systems? Are they implementing particular network equipment or devices? If so, remember to tailor your plans to your current business size and needs, as what may work for one may not work for another. Either way, observing your competitor's performance gives you of when and how you can improve your infrastructure
#3. Your software is outdated
Too many businesses have an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset when it comes to their software. They’ll stick to a program released five years ago and won’t bother updating it because it gets the job done.
However, using outdated software won't help your operations, and in some cases, they can even put your data security and systems in jeopardy. All major software developers build an end-of-life date into their applications. After this period, they will no longer release security updates and hotfixes for the product.
One real-world example would be Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system (OS). While it was discontinued in 2014, it was still widely used past its support date. Business owners felt like it was enough to get the job done, therefore finding no reason to invest the time and money to upgrade. The importance of moving away was later emphasised when the WannaCry ransomware struck the outdated OS, which caused an estimated $4 billion in damages.
Make sure to update your software regularly and upgrade to a supported OS as soon as possible. This prevents hackers from infiltrating your system by exploiting software vulnerabilities.
#4. You’ve fallen victim to a cyberattack
A security breach, no matter how big or small, is the most significant indicator that your network infrastructure is in dire need of an upgrade.
To ensure your network is protected from future threats, you’ll need:
- Next-gen anti-malware software that can detect and remove malicious programs from your devices.
- Advanced firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IPSs) to monitor the network for suspicious behaviour that could indicate an attack
- Email security software to defend against phishing
- Secure cloud backups in case hackers compromise your data.
You can also partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Office Tek. MSPs monitor your network for the latest threats 24/7/365 and stops them before they can do damage to the system.
Upgrading your network infrastructure can be very costly, but it’s best to remember that your investments will be for the improvement of business operations, which will translate to higher profits in the long run.
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