We live in a world where every piece of technology we buy now has only a limited lifespan before it gets superseded by a new and improved model and we are invited to upgrade. Although not everyone will benefit from every upgrade, your business can learn a valuable lesson from the technology market by taking a proactive approach towards its development, and periodically checking to see which systems might be in need of an upgrade.
Upgrade your workforce
Hiring people who are specialists in their particular field is a solid strategy, especially in the early days of your business, but the pace at which technology is changing means that some skills, even those which currently seem essential, may not be required in the near future.
The key to ensuring your business is future-proofed is to hire employees with broader skill sets who have demonstrated the ability to acquire new skills and adapt to changing technologies. Upgrading your team to ensure you are surrounded by such individuals means your business will always be ready for anything.
Upgrade your security
The threat from cybercrime is constantly evolving and you need your systems to be fully up to date if you want to keep your level of risk as low as possible. Computers that were infected by the recent Wannacry virus, for example, were vulnerable because operating systems had not been updated to include the latest security protocols.
Ensuring such updates are being carried out a regular basis is essential, but you should also consider upgrading your hardware systems on a periodic basis to take advantage of improvements in technology that not only keep you safe but also speed up productivity.
As part of a security upgrade, consider migrating your data and computing needs to the cloud. Besides the monetary benefits that cloud computing provides such as faster time to market, improved scalability, and lower cost, moving to the cloud also means that you can offload some of your security responsibilities to the cloud service provider (CSP). Since the CSP can expend significantly more on securing its infrastructure than you can, it’s far more advantageous to use cloud for business critical operations.
However, you still need to take cloud security seriously. While the CSP will ensure that its tech stack is protected against intrusions, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your employees are using the cloud responsibly. Because the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, implementing proper access control policies will be a must.
If your business stores a significant amount of sensitive or regulated data in the cloud, you must consider using a reputable cloud access security broker (CASB) to add an extra layer of protection for data and users in the cloud.
Upgrade your website
It’s not so long ago when having website – any website – was as much as any business needed to do in order to obtain its fair share of the online market. Today, web pages have to be attractive and appealing but also functional and intuitive so that customers follow through to make purchases. Websites also need to be as easy to use on a small mobile touchscreen device as they are on a large desktop screen for a user equipped with a full-size keyboard and mouse.
If it’s been some time since your website was upgraded, you could be losing sales as a result. Ensure your engineers and designers work closely together to create a digital experience that matches the needs of your customers with the wider goals of your business.
Upgrade your technology
Computers that run the very latest operating systems are not just safer, they are also much faster, allowing your employees to be far more productive. Older machines will lack the necessary amount of RAM to allow web pages to load quickly and smoothly and may also have more difficulty connecting to peripherals such as printers and smartphones.
Although it might be tempting to hold on to equipment for as long as possible, the higher costs of maintenance, the increasing need for repairs and the greater risk of a catastrophic failure mean it’s a far more sensible business decision to upgrade all your tech once every three years.