Your IT infrastructure is a key component of your business. An IT infrastructure that is up-to-date and high-quality is a valuable asset that enables you to successfully do business and complete your goals. However, an out-of-date, low-quality system can be a headache that wreaks havoc on productivity, efficiency, and work quality.
To keep up with changing customer expectations, fluctuating data volumes, increasing network traffic, regulatory requirements, and other changing aspects of your business, you need to consistently maintain and upgrade your IT infrastructure.
Here, we examine 12 signs that indicate it’s time for an IT infrastructure upgrade.
1. You’re Using Old Computers
Things just don’t last like they used to—and your company computers are no exception. The desktop and laptop computers you invested in a few years ago were probably great when you got them.
Now, they seem to lag, freeze, crash, and frustrate you more than help you get things done.
When you think of IT infrastructure you probably think about servers and other networking tools. However, some of the most important IT infrastructure components you use are your computers. The good news is that you don’t need to simply replace old or aging computers with updated versions of the same models. Replacing those old computers is a great opportunity to invest in the next generation of devices with greater capabilities.
Investing in tablets and other hybrid devices can also give your staff updated tools that will offer them better flexibility and cost-effective access to the newest technology.
2. Your Software Is Out of Date
Software that is approaching its end of life is more than just slow and out of date, it can actually put your entire network at risk. Legacy software is convenient to use because your staff is comfortable with it and change is always challenging. But legacy software is more susceptible to viruses, malware, and cyber attacks than new software. Old software is also in danger of non-compliance with regulated industry standards.
Updating your software is a key IT infrastructure upgrade. New software will improve your business in a number of ways;
- Better Security
- Increased Capabilities
- Improved Productivity
- Better Efficiency
- Lower Long-Term Costs
- Employee Satisfaction
You should always update your software to ensure security patches are in place. What’s more, you should upgrade your software as it nears its end of life.
3. Inconsistent Hardware
As your company and team have grown over the years, you’ve added new hardware. That means your staff probably use a wide range of different computers and other tools. Inconsistent hardware isn’t just an aesthetic problem—it can actually lead to problems communicating and collaborating.
Because compatibility is a key aspect of a smooth running business, you need to ensure your staff is using hardware that easily syncs, shares documents, runs the same software, and can be easily controlled and managed by one system.
As you begin your IT infrastructure upgrade, focus on procuring compatible hardware that syncs together enabling your staff to more easily share and collaborate.
4. Your Systems Are Slow
There’s nothing more frustrating than staring at a spinning wheel on your computer screen. A slow application is so much more than a nuisance—it’s a drag on your entire company.
Slow applications slow down your business. Even worse, they wreak havoc on your employees’ productivity.
Slow systems may be a symptom of a deeper, underlying issue in the IT infrastructure of your company. This root cause could be inadequate storage, lack of processing power, or limited bandwidth. An IT infrastructure upgrade will address these issues to help you deliver lightning-fast systems. Fast applications mean a more efficient business.
5. Your Servers Constantly Crash
Crashing servers are often symptoms of much deeper infrastructure issues. Servers can crash due to limited bandwidth, inadequate space, or lack of processing power. Crashing servers may also be caused by corrupted disks, lack of proper airflow in your server room, or worse—malware infection.
Assessing your server infrastructure and implementing a strategy that allows for peak operation and growth will ensure your servers actually serve the needs of your business.
6. Not Enough Storage Space
If you’re running out of storage space you’re in desperate need of an IT infrastructure upgrade. As seen above, limited storage space can lead to slow systems and server crashes. But it can also lead to other issues as well.
If you run out of storage space your staff may not be able to save important documents, you may lose highly valuable company data, and your team productivity will grind to a slow crawl. Migrating data storage to the cloud is a cost-effective and efficient option. Cloud storage is infinitely scalable and can be added much quicker than traditional storage that requires purchasing, formatting, and installing additional servers and storage drives.
7. You’re Not Using the Cloud
Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way business is conducted. That’s because cloud computing offers increased flexibility, scalability, and collaboration. What’s more, cloud computing can help you get your entire staff on the same software.
If your staff is using a mix of operating systems, the cloud will enable everyone to work with the same current, updated software.
If your organization isn’t taking advantage of the cloud, it’s time for an IT infrastructure upgrade. A managed service provider can assist your company as it migrates services to the cloud. This process will not only give you the increased processing power and data storage your company needs, but it will also give your staff the consistency, flexibility, and improved collaboration tools to help you get the most from your technology.
8. You’re Paying Too Much For IT Solutions
The older the technology, the more it costs to update and repair it. Over the years, the costs of maintenance and repairs start to add up. It’s the nickel and dime effect. Your IT costs shouldn’t balloon out of control just to keep your systems up and running.
Many organizations follow this strategy. They use stopgap measures to deal with issues in the moment, but don’t address the deeper, underlying issues. A full IT infrastructure upgrade will end up saving you more money in the long run. It will enable you to assemble a cohesive system that works.
9. You’re Paying Too Much For Energy Costs
Your IT systems naturally require energy use. After all, they operate 24/7 and require strict environmental control for optimal operation. The older the technology, the greater the drain on energy use. Older IT infrastructure components typically run hotter, requiring more energy to keep them cool. Likewise, newer technology runs cooler, uses less energy, and is built with environmental concerns in mind.
New IT hardware and other components can lower your energy use and costs. That’s because they use less energy to do more work. If you’re paying too much on energy costs for your IT systems it’s time to consider an upgrade.
10. You Don’t Have Reliable Backups
Does your company have a solid backup plan in place? Unfortunately, the answer for many organizations is no. Without a reliable backup plan in place, your company is at risk for data loss in case of disaster, breach, or power outage.
Your business should institute and implement a full data recovery plan that includes regular backups and testing. Cloud hosting is a smart way to store full data backups at multiple geo-locations. This gives your firm the protection it needs to withstand a disaster or loss of primary systems.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to worry about data backups and disaster recovery plans. A key aspect of your IT strategy needs to be a reliable backup solution.
11. Non-Compliance With GDPR
In May of 2018, extensive data privacy laws were enacted in the European Union. The GDPR changes the way user data is collected, used, stored, processed, and deleted. If your company deals with citizens of the EU you must comply with these new data protection measures or you could face stiff penalties.
An IT infrastructure upgrade can help you ensure your company is in full compliance with these new laws. Speak to your managed service provider to verify whether your company must comply with the GDPR.
12. Your System Was Breached
There is no clearer sign you need to upgrade your IT infrastructure than a security breach. A successful cyber attack can damage your organization’s ability to conduct business, impair your status as a reliable business partner, and even put your company at risk of closure. Even if the attack had minimal impact, it’s a symptom of deeper issues that will almost certainly require an IT infrastructure upgrade.
Hackers take advantage of vulnerabilities in your system to breach your security and access your network. As you can imagine, even a small breach means you have deep systemic issues that need to be addressed immediately. If your systems are breached you need to complete a full systems check, replace old hardware, update software, and improve your security measures. A managed IT services company can provide proactive cybersecurity services to help you
Consult An Expert
If your business is experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to consult an IT infrastructure expert. Upgrading your IT infrastructure can improve your business in a number of ways. Consulting an expert will help you determine what areas of your IT infrastructure are sound, what areas need a little help, and what areas need a full upgrade.
Contact NIC today to discuss your IT infrastructure components today!