Is your aging IT infrastructure impacting your business strategy?
It’s time to rethink the traditional financial strategy to investing in IT infrastructure. It used to make financial sense to stretch the expenditure of an IT infrastructure investment over the longest possible lifespan before considering its replacement.
Given the rapid evolution of technology today, that strategy may not add up anymore.
To keep up with high customer expectations around service, product availability, and performance, brands must be strategic and innovative to differentiate themselves. A robust IT infrastructure helps businesses maintain a competitive edge, while an aging infrastructure brings many hidden obstacles.
Here are some factors that help illustrate how upgrading to a new IT infrastructure is actually good for your business.
When used over excessively long periods of time, the failure rate of any IT infrastructure will increase—and the resulting fixes all incur costs.
Maintaining a legacy infrastructure requires equipment and parts replacement, along with frequent patches to support outdated functionalities and fix vulnerabilities. As your infrastructure ages, so does the number of hours spent working on the fixes and the labour resources that are mobilized to implement them.
If we look at dated equipment from an energy consumption perspective, older servers consume more power to run and to cool. This drawback should immediately raise two concerns to leading businesses.
The first is the increased energy costs that come with higher consumption. The real costs of high power and HVAC costs have a negative impact on the potential savings linked to extending your equipment lifecycle.
The second concern is that energy inefficiency in your operations could undermine your organization’s investment in efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. CSR initiatives are becoming strategic pillars for many businesses and energy efficiency a key component. Today’s customer is environmentally conscious, and their loyalty is more likely to align with a purpose-driven brand.
Performance and Productivity
From a performance standpoint, aging hardware will be outmatched in efficiency and speed by new applications. The most recent applications are designed to run on the newest operating systems. And simply put, if you are still using a legacy operating system, your business has limited capability to upgrade to the latest and most efficient solutions available.
Continuing to run older versions of software on aging equipment usually dictates that there will be a drop in performance. Software can be updated, but compatibility issues are to be expected. It is possible to resolve these issues with equipment patches; however, they can become costly are over the long term.
More insidious still is the negative effect that obsolete technology can have employee productivity and staff retention. Employees who confront daily struggles to communicate and collaborate, lack access to latest digital tools, and lose sales because they do not have the resources to action customer requests, become less engaged in their work and more likely to leave their job.
Aging equipment that can no longer support the latest software versions is a strong indicator that your system has gaping security holes. And hackers have had more time to find vulnerabilities in older systems that, without updated firmware and patches, are at a higher risk of cyberattacks and malware.
Businesses relying on obsolete hardware and software must verify that their systems remain in compliance with their organization’s and government requirements. Your business could face heavy fines and even legal action for non-compliance with government or industry regulations. This risk becomes particularly serious when a data breach occurs as a result of using older technology.
As infrastructures come to the end of their lifecycle, system failures that result in downtime can become more frequent. Replacement parts for aging equipment are more difficult to find and fixes are less available, which significantly increases downtime during a system failure.
In today’s retail reality, most businesses cannot afford any downtime. Customers expect products and service to be available to them whenever they need it. A solution that can offer that level of service availability must be built on a robust and reliable IT infrastructure. This powerful infrastructure must allow easy and seamless navigation through your customer’s cross-channel purchases and avoid any negative customer experience that will have a lasting impact.
Any technology that has lost the capability to evolve creates a roadblock to your business innovation. To continue to thrive and grow, your business must be responsive to the fast-paced changes and demands in the industry. Legacy systems lack the agility to support business growth and innovation, while leveraging the latest technologies can give your business the leading edge that differentiate your brand in the eyes of the customer.