Every business, throughout its various stages of growth, needs to keep an eye out for tech platforms and systems that are holding it back. Some companies don’t even realize what’s out there waiting for them: huge leaps forward with IT services and software and a trend toward integration and migration.
There are lots of new ways your IT infrastructure could be helping to improve efficiency and quality. But if you’re not taking advantage of them, you could be outgrowing your current systems without even realizing it.
So how do you know whether your legacy IT systems are holding you back? There are some common signs to watch out for - here are the five of the most critical. Read them over, and if anything hits home with your company, it might be time to make some changes in your IT infrastructure.
1. Growth Seems to Have Left the Building
Some companies outgrow their IT infrastructure because they’ve experienced tremendous business growth. But if they don’t look for ways to scale their IT departments, they’ll eventually see a slowdown in that growth.
It might be that outdated systems are holding back production and productivity.
It might also be that your outdated patchwork IT system is costing you more than it should. When companies apply quick fixes to patch up their legacy IT infrastructure rather than taking a larger view and reassessing everything from scratch, they could end up paying more in the end for all those piecemeal solutions.
2. Your Team Is Wasting Time on Clunky Processes
Managers should always do this, but spend a day seeing things from the user end of your businesses processes. Do employees waste time because they don’t have the proper tools to do their jobs efficiently? Do you see a lot of eye-rolling and grumbling during routine tasks? Ask for feedback.
3. You’re Putting Out Fires Left & Right
This one’s easy to identify but hard to solve permanently. If you can’t seem to get out in front of server demands and you’re hitting capacity every week, you’ll find yourself running from one emergency to another.
Server resources can be checked and quotas can be set but it’s also important to find out whether your current setup is sufficient for your workforce.
4. Your IT Department Doesn’t Get Any Respect
Users within your organization will have a bad opinion of your IT department if things just don’t work well. And sure enough, when you’ve outgrown your infrastructure you’re likely to be rushing around, constantly fixing things. That leaves no time for real improvements on a grander scale.
5. It’s Hard to Stay Current on Firmware Updates
A secure IT environment is crucial these days, even in the small business environment. Updating the software on the growing number of devices you use is a must. If you can’t keep up, there’s another sign you just might be outgrowing your current IT infrastructure. This may be an area where outsourcing could help.
The ever-evolving tech arena offers continuous, exciting developments and if your company isn’t maximizing existing systems or adopting new ones, it’s entirely possible that you could be headed down a dark path toward decreased productivity and lower profits.
Companies who can identify areas of their IT infrastructure where capacity is bursting at the seams and then quickly adapt to smart solutions will continue on their pathway to growth and prosperity.
On the other hand, businesses who can’t identify opportunities for improved IT performance will struggle.
Matching your business needs with your IT infrastructure is a delicate balance, so managers need to apply constant attention to how well their IT services are scaling, performing, and integrating. The key to striking that right balance is to stay on top of new technologies, listen to your staff, and always be on the lookout for opportunities to outsource and migrate.