Technology is an integral part of running a successful business. No matter the size of your business, you will use technology in different forms from HRM software to smartphones. However, staying up with technology isn’t always easy, especially for small businesses and start-ups. These smaller businesses don’t often have the resources to stay on top of the technological changes taking place.
But keeping updated is essential for a small business. If your technology is not adequately upgraded and updated, your business might:
- Be unfit to grow
- Lose out financially
- Be at a greater security risk
So, when is the time right to upgrade your small business technology? Here are the five signs to keep an eye out for.
Your technology is unfit to keep up with your operations
If your HRM software is not able to handle your workforce or your accounting system doesn’t meet your needs, your business has clearly grown too big for the technology it uses. Small businesses often start with small technology – opting for software and products specifically designed for start-ups and SMEs. But as the business grows, the needs grow too and it’s important to upgrade technology during the period of growth. In fact, the best decision a small business can make is to opt for technology that scales along with the business. For example, choose HRM software, which can be adjusted to a growing workforce.
The key is to keep in mind the broad picture and the minor details. Technology is used in day-to-day operations but its impact can also be clear when it comes to the broad direction of the company. You need to make sure neither operation is affected by the kind of technology you use. If it is, you need to upgrade and update your technology.
Your technology is obsolete for what you do
Businesses sometimes change direction, especially in the modern world. Your company might be heading towards a new goal and some of the technology it has previously used, suddenly isn’t useful any longer. Whenever a company starts adjusting its strategies and operations, it must also adjust and upgrade any technology it uses. Software and hardware must support the business goals – even when the strategy is changing into something unique and different. For example, if you’re not looking to continue pursuing the virtual reality market with your products, you really shouldn’t keep paying for VR technology. Align your use of technology with the big business objectives you are pursuing.
Your technology uses are not linked to each other
As small businesses grow, they often adopt new strategies and operations. The mistake many companies make at this point is to focus on adding technology in isolation with other existing operations. But technology should never be considered in isolation – you need to link and match all of your software and hardware with the rest of the business to ensure operations run smoothly and effectively. There must be a link between the different players because it helps to create consistency within the organisation. For example, your accounting programs must be compatible with your invoicing software or your warehouse inventory software. This ensures everything enhances each other and you get to enjoy the benefits of big data.
Your technology is not protecting you from security threats
Small businesses in today’s world have to take security seriously. There are a lot of threats out there and your business could be wiped away in seconds if you’re not careful. The most effective way to stay safe and to keep your business operations is by ensuring your technology is up-to-date. If you find your business under attack and the technology breached, you have to upgrade your software and hardware. In fact, you should be updating and upgrading your technology before things turn problematic.
Your technology is taking money but not making money
Technology is certainly not free. But it should provide benefits for your business. If it doesn’t and it’s only sucking money out of the bank account, then your technology needs an upgrade. If you take things like HRM software, you need to find something that makes hiring and managing the workforce more cost-effective. If the software is hard to use and costs more than the value you can add with it, it’s clearly not doing its job well enough. Always calculate and revise the cost of any specific technology. If it starts costing more than it makes, you need to ditch the technology and find something better.
Technology upgrades are necessary and your small business must stay on top of them in order to succeed in the modern world. The dangers of using technology wrong are clear – it can cost money and threaten your business’ existence. However, if you harness technology the right way, you will reap a lot of benefits.